In the first major salvo of the general election in Maryland’s lone competitive congressional race, financier John Delaney (D) released a poll showing him with a nine-point lead over Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R).
The survey, conducted for Delaney’s campaign by Garin-Hart-Yang
Research Group, shows the Democrat leading among likely voters 48 percent to 39 percent, with 13 percent undecided.
Delaney won the right to face the Republican incumbent in the redrawn 6th District by trouncing state Sen. Rob Garagiola (Montgomery) in the Democratic primary. Bartlett easily fended off a host of GOP challengers as he seeks an 11th term.
In a memo accompanying the survey results, Democratic pollster Fred Yang writes that the numbers show Bartlett “is extremely vulnerable.” In addition to trailing in the head-to-head race, Bartlett gets a “positive” job performance raring from just 30 percent of voters, while 44 percent give him a negative review. And only 24 percent said they’d like to see Bartlett win another term, while 50 percent said they’d rather elect another candidate.
Responding to the poll results, Bartlett spokesman Ted Dacey said: "It’s unsurprising that a Democrat pollster has the Democrat ahead. We are confident that, come November, voters will choose Congressman Bartlett, who has proven to be a truly independent voice for Maryland."
No nonpartisan polls of the general election race have been released so far. Garin-Hart-Yang, a Democratic firm, polled the 6th District Democratic primary almost exactly right. The firm's last survey showed Delaney leading Garagiola by 26 percentage points, and Delaney's final margin of victory was 27 points.
The 6th District was altered to include Democratic-leaning territory in western Montgomery County, and Bartlett appears to be at a disadvantage on that turf. He also lags on the fundraising front; Bartlett has raised $360,000 for the entire election cycle, while Delaney banked more than $850,000 from outside donors in the 1st quarter of the year while also giving $1.6 million from his own pocket.