Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan maintains a sizable lead over Democratic challenger Ben Jealous, a new poll has found, but the former NAACP president performed better among core Democratic constituencies than he did in another recent survey.
The Mason-Dixon poll, released on Friday, found that Hogan leads Jealous by a 15-point margin, with 52 percent of registered voters saying they would vote to reelect the Republican governor and 37 percent saying they would vote for Jealous. Nine percent of voters were undecided.
The poll was taken from Sept. 24 — the day of the first and only televised debate in the race — to Sept. 26.
It highlights the uphill battle the first-time candidate faces with less than six weeks before Election Day, but also suggests Jealous may have greater support among African American voters than a Goucher poll earlier this month indicated.
Jealous leads Hogan 70 percent to 17 percent among black likely voters in the Mason-Dixon poll, with 13 percent of black voters undecided.
The Goucher poll, released last week, found Jealous ahead by a much smaller margin, 49 percent to 35 percent.
The Mason-Dixon result is nearly identical to the margin that then-Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown amassed among black voters in the 2014 election. A Washington Post-University of Maryland poll after the election found that Brown (D), who lost the governorship to Hogan, outperformed him among black voters 79 percent to 14 percent.
Both Brown and Jealous are African American. Maryland has never had a black governor.
The Mason-Dixon poll found Jealous leading Hogan among Democratic voters by a margin of 57 percent to 32 percent. The Goucher poll showed Jealous with a narrower 10-point advantage among Democrats.
Jealous, who trails Hogan in fundraising and has had little money to respond to Hogan’s media blitz, is banking on a high Democratic turnout to unseat Hogan. Democrats outnumber Republicans in Maryland by a greater than 2-to-1 margin.
In the Mason-Dixon poll, Hogan continues to be widely popular, with 68 percent of voters saying they approve of the job he is doing.
Hogan leads among men and older voters by more than 20-point margins, and holds a slight edge among women and younger voters.
Among independent voters, Hogan leads Jealous 58 percent to 26 percent.
The poll, which surveyed 625 likely voters, has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.
Scott Clement contributed to this report.