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Poll: Sanders leads Democratic field in Maryland

Bryan P. Sears//February 25, 2020

Poll: Sanders leads Democratic field in Maryland

By Bryan P. Sears

//February 25, 2020

In a Wednesday, May 27, 2015 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, speaks at a town hall style meeting, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, speaks at a town hall style meeting, in Concord, N.H in 2015. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)

In Maryland, Bernie Sanders leads the field of Democratic presidential contenders, according to a new poll released Tuesday by Goucher College.

The latest look at Maryland comes as Sanders has posted early wins in Nevada and New Hampshire and made a strong showing in Iowa and appears to have momentum among Democrats seeking to oust Republican President Donald Trump. But a plurality of those polled by the college said they were looking for a candidate who can defeat the controversial incumbent president rather than a candidate who most closely aligns with their particular political views.

“There’s been significant change in the preferences of Maryland Democratic likely voters since the September 2019 Goucher College Poll. Reflecting national polls, Sanders has gained ground, while both Biden and Warren have lost support in Maryland. After a late entry to the race, Michael Bloomberg has built some support among Maryland Democrats,” said Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher College in Baltimore. “We’ll have a better picture after Super Tuesday, but it’s certainly possible that the Maryland primary will be hotly contested rather than inconsequential to the outcome of the primary.”

The poll results show Sanders jumping from 10% to 24% support since September, when the college last asked about the Democratic presidential primary. Meanwhile, that same poll has shown support for former Vice President Joe Biden slip from 33% to 18%. Similarly. support for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has fallen from 21% to 6%.

The poll interviewed 718 likely Maryland voters, with a margin of error of 3.6%. Questions about the Democratic primary were asked of 371 likely Democratic voters in the April 28 primary, with a margin of error of 5.1%.

Saunders, who has momentum heading into the 14-state March 3 Super Tuesday primaries, bests opponents in the Maryland poll, including Biden and Bloomberg, who polled at 18% and 16%, respectively. Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg came in with 7%, followed by Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Warren, who polled at 6% each.

No other candidate finished above 1% in the Goucher poll for the state’s primary.

In head-to-head match-ups, every Democrat bested Trump, with at least 58% of those surveyed saying they’d pick Sanders, Biden, Bloomberg, Klobuchar, Warren and Buttigieg over the current president. Billionaire Tom Steyer and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard polled between 54% and 52%.

Trump’s support did not exceed 36% in any of the eight head-to-head match-ups polled by Goucher.

Trump continues to be seen unfavorably in Maryland, a blue state that has a 2-1 Democrat-to-Republican voter registration advantage.

Nearly two-thirds of those asked said they disapproved of the job Trump is doing, compared to 31% who said they approved. The president’s strongest support tends to come from white, Republican men who are 55 or older.

Congress is also seen unfavorably, with near eight in 10 voters saying they disapprove of the job Congress is doing, according to the Goucher poll.

Maryland voters are looking for someone who can defeat Trump rather than the closest ideological match.

A plurality of voters, 47%, said it was important to find a candidate who would likely defeat the incumbent Republican.

 

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