A new poll suggests the race for Maryland governor has tightened in recent months, with Democrat Anthony G. Brown holding only a narrow edge over Republican Larry Hogan in the traditionally blue state.
Brown, the state’s lieutenant governor, leads Hogan, an Anne Arundel County businessman, 47 percent to 43 percent in the poll, which was conducted by Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies. The poll found one percent of likely voters favor Libertarian Shawn Quinn as the state’s next governor, while nine percent are undecided.
The survey was conducted for the Maryland, My Maryland PAC, an independent group that supports Hogan’s bid for governor. However, Gonzales, the polling firm used, does not have a partisan track record.
A Washington Post poll conducted in June found Brown leading Hogan 51 percent to 33 percent among all registered voters in a hypothetical matchup. Both Brown and Hogan were still competing in their respective primary contests at the time.
The Gonzales poll is said to have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
The firm said it projected that 25 percent of voters will be African American. If black turnout is higher in November, that is likely to favor Brown, who would be Maryland’s first African American governor.
African Americans accounted for 28 percent of the electorate in 2010, the last year Maryland held a gubernatorial contest, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and 27 percent of voters in 2006.
In 2010, black voters accounted for more than twice the share of voters in Maryland than they did nationally (28 percent vs. 12 percent). With President Obama on the ballot in 2012, they accounted for fully 30 percent of the electorate.