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Larry Hogan, Anthony Brown
Republican Larry Hogan and Democratic Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (AP Photo)

The Unknowns

A large number of Maryland residents—Democrats and Republicans—have no opinion of the two major party candidates for governor and the polls suggest those same residents may not care.

A new poll of 708 residents released by the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher College found that 32 percent of those asked had no opinion of Democratic Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and 45 percent said they had no opinion of Republican candidate Larry Hogan.

There is less than 30 days until the Nov. 4 general election.

“It’s pretty late in the campaign for any Marylander to not be sure,” said Mileah Kromer, director of the center. “(The candidates) have not done a good job of telling people who they are.”

The poll, conducted between Sept. 28 and Oct. 2, came after negative ads run against Hogan by groups including the Democratic Governors Association.

She said Brown has spent “too much time telling voters why they shouldn’t like Larry Hogan and not enough time explaining why they should like Anthony Brown.”

For Brown, a two-term lieutenant governor who also served eight years in the House of Delegates, 32 percent of those polled said they had a favorable opinion of Brown and another 35 percent had an unfavorable opinion. For Hogan, 28 percent said they held a favorable opinion while 27 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion.  The question asked deliberately withheld the party designation of each candidate, Kromer said.

The results could be more problematic for Brown than for Hogan, a developer who served secretary of appointments from 2003-2007 under former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr, Kromer said.

The Goucher Poll was released just a day after a Washington Post poll found 47 percent of those who responded would vote for Brown compared to 38 percent for Hogan. The paper reports that “the race remains fluid” as about 30 percent of those who responded said they may change their minds before election day.

Kromer said the large number of those who reported they where undecided when asked about how they view both Brown and Hogan suggest that some perceptions that the public may not be excited about the governor’s race “look to be spot on.”

Last week, a poll paid for by a Super PAC that supports Hogan reported that Brown held a 4 point lead over Hogan with a margin of error of 3.5 percent.

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