Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Poll Shows Latest on Senate, Governor's Races


It turns out the numbers in the Comptroller's race aren't the only interesting ones in a new poll commissioned by Del. Peter Franchot (D-Montgomery), a hopeful for the office.

The same poll, conducted by Garin Hart Yang, showed the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in a statistical dead heat between Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin of Baltimore and Kweisi Mfume, the former congressman and NAACP leader. Cardin had the support of 32 percent of likely Democratic voters, while Mfune netted 31 percent. No other caniddate received more than 3 percent and 32 percent were undecided.

In the Democratic primary for governor, Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley led Montgomery County Exeuctive Douglas M. Duncan, 47 precent to 33 percent, with 20 percent undecided.

The survey by Garin Hart Yang Research Group interviewed 505 likely Democratic voters between April 3 and April 6. The Washington-based polling firm conducted the survey for Franchot, a Democratic candidate for comptroller who says he is neutral in the governor's race.

The poll also suggests that O'Malley backers are more enthusiastic about their candidate. Sixty-one percent of O'Malley supporters say they strongly support the mayor compared to the 37 percent of Duncan supporters who are solidly behind the county executive.

The news isn't all bad for Duncan. His campaign issued a statement this evening titled "O'Malley losing ground." In July 2005, O'Malley led Duncan 50 to 28 percent in another Garin Hart Yang poll, the Duncan campaign noted.

"It appears this will not be a coronation, but an election. This survey confirms that voters are starting to look for more than image-based politics. They're looking for somebody who understands the issues and can get things done, just as Doug Duncan has done for the past 12 years," said Scott Arceneaux, Duncan campaign manager.

Rick Abbruzzese, an O'Malley spokesman, said the mayor isn't worried. "This poll is consistent with other polls. It shows a considerable lead over Duncan not to mention our four to one cash on hand advantage," Abbruzzese said. "We are optimistic about our chances."

But the survey, which also showed Franchot six points behind Comptroller William Donald Schaefer (D), included a possible sign of trouble for whatever Democrat wins the nomination. Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) is viewed favorably by 32 percent of Democrats while only 40 percent hold a negative impression of him.

Tim Craig and John Wagner

By Tim Craig  |  April 12, 2006; 5:22 PM ET
Categories:  Governor  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Gone But Not Forgotten
Next: Video: Del. Pauline Menes


You almost have to wonder how well Mfume would be doing if he could actually raise some money to compete with Cardin's considerable finanical edge in fundraising. I wonder if Mr. Craig or Wagner could provide a breakdown, if they have this information, of the candidates by race (what percentage of African-Americans are choosing Cardin over Mfume), etc.)

Posted by: Fred | April 12, 2006 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Listen up folks, this O'Malley vs. Duncan race is a done deal . . .

Duncan, you better start looking for another job, maybe with one of your real estate developer friends.

Posted by: Duncan'sHotTemper | April 13, 2006 12:35 AM | Report abuse

As a public service to our fearless Washington Post reporters, Tim Craig and John Wagner, here's some insight into Duncan's piss-poor showing in the Garin Hart poll.

Reporters Craig and Wagner were successfully spun by the Duncan campaign into believing that Duncan is actually gaining traction in his race against O'Malley -- the truth is, Duncan is stuck in the mud and these poll results reflect that.

My overall message to reporters Craig and Wagner is this:

The next time the Duncan campaign tries to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge, don't buy the hype -- any professional assessment of this latest poll would lead anyone to conclude that this is yet another huge setback for Duncan.

Let me repeat -- there isn't any good news for Duncan in this poll and Franchot's release of the results to The Washington Post was a slap in the face of the Duncan campaign -- Franchot's claims of neutrality in the race for governor are laughable.

Posted by: Duncan'sHotTemper | April 13, 2006 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Temper. I suppose you would have the Washington Post - based on a poll of 505 possible voters - just stop covering Duncan and announce in tomorrow's paper that the election is over. O'Malley won.We have a responsibility to cover both sides until the voters decide. The blog item speaks for itself and the people who read it can make their own assessment of how the race is shaping up. And how do you know how we got the poll results? Answer=you don't.

Posted by: Tim Craig | April 13, 2006 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Tim, newspapers like The Washington Post call elections before election day all the time -- they're called endorsements and they sort of give the signal to voters that the election in essence has been decided.

Endorsements are found on the editorial pages of papers like the Post, but they somehow find their way into the tone of political coverage given to various political candidates such as Mr. Duncan.

Posted by: Duncan'sHotTemper | April 13, 2006 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Temper:

1. An endorsement is not an indication that the paper thinks the race is over - it's an indication that the editorial side of the house is philosophically in synch with the endorsed candidate. By your logic, the New York Times would have endorsed Ronald Reagan in 1984 or George Bush in 1988, when everyone knew Reagan and Bush were going to win.

2. Your eagerness to dimiss Duncan reminds of the cliche of the cop brushing aside onlookers to a horrible spectacle, with the admonition to keep on moving - nothing to see. Democrats are only going to hurt themselves if they engage in another coronation.

Posted by: Martin | April 13, 2006 1:35 PM | Report abuse

The Senate race is bound to get even more exiciting. Cardin has shown no movement in weeks. An underfunded Mfume doggedly hangs in indicating the voters have not really fallen in love with any candidate. If someone like a Rasmussen who is the only other experienced candidate, can gain some traction we will see a real horse race where a mere 33% wins the victory

Posted by: Gerry | April 13, 2006 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Do any of Teh Washington Post employees who post here have any idea when The Washington Post is going to commission another poll for Maryland? It would seem to me the money spent on polling President Bush woul dbe much better spent on some polling for Maryland. We can get Bush polls anywhere, but polls for Maryland are few and far between.

Posted by: Fred | April 13, 2006 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Fred, The Post should probably spend some time looking at one of the most exciting states in American politics this year right in it's own backyard.

Posted by: ConcernedCitizen | April 13, 2006 3:44 PM | Report abuse

For competitive reasons, we're not going to say when we're going to poll. But we definitely will poll.

Posted by: Phyllis Jordan | April 13, 2006 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Hi folks, The Washington Post has probably already done a poll, but because the results show their chosen boy, Duncan, getting clobbered, they haven't released the results.

Posted by: Duncan'sHotTemper | April 13, 2006 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Mr. Craig and Ms. Jordan. I don't like Duncan, but that doesn't mean I have any problem with the Post's coverage.

Posted by: Pepe le Moco | April 13, 2006 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Pepe,
And trust me, if we had poll results, we would release them.

Posted by: Phyllis Jordan | April 13, 2006 5:55 PM | Report abuse

It is laughable that Duncan said O'malley is losing ground. O'malley is only 6 points behind Duncan in Montgomery County. Moving from O'malley-50% Duncan-28% to O'malley 47% Duncan-33% can't be considered "losing ground". Being up only 6 points in the jurisdiction you've governed for twelve years is losing ground.

Posted by: Andrew | April 13, 2006 6:56 PM | Report abuse

I would like to point out an interesting wrinkle in the Senate race: In order to minimize the impact of the campaign of Kevin Zeese, the Legilature passed a law prohibiting him from running a fusion campaign. As I've said before folks: We don't live in a democracy, we live in a republic!

Posted by: Nat | April 13, 2006 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Okay; I'm used to looking stupid: "What's a fusion campaign?" And I have heard from a VERY reliable source that the Post's Tim Craig is headed for Richmond in a few weeks to cover Virginia politics for a while. Best of luck to him.

Posted by: Pepe le Moco | April 13, 2006 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Duncan has a hot temper coming from an O'Malley supporter? Hey I don't care for either of the schmucks, but that is just downright hilarious. When is Martin's next poutfest at a police meeting? I'd love to see him stomp out live.

The interesting number here was Ehrlich's support within the democratic faithful. If these numbers are accurate than he is cruising into re-election and O'Malley and Duncan should both quite while they've got time to hop into the senate race.

Posted by: Bryan | April 14, 2006 8:13 AM | Report abuse

I find this poll to be very interesting. This is really good news for O’Malley. It looks like after almost a year of Doug Duncan traveling the state and going negative on O’Malley and Baltimore his numbers have only fluctuated within the margin of error.”

Posted by: Suzanne | April 14, 2006 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Dear O'Malley supporters,

Please tell me what, real progress, has the mayor brought to the city. I understand issues like electibility, challenging Ehrlich in Baltimore County, etc. This is a policy/governing question: what solid, long-lasting ral improvements has he brought to the city.

I have lived in Montgomery County my entire life, so my biases are out there, but all you really need to do is drive North out of DC along Georgia Avenue to see downtown Silver Spring, downtown Wheaton, and the positive changes upcounty, that Duncan has delivered. He is not flashy, but the man knows how to govern.

As for schools, don't look at over-all numbers, where Montgomery will always out do the city because of the money here. Look at the performance of down-county/inside the beltway schools where the student population in terms of economics is similar to that of Baltimore. Again, Duncan (and Weast) have been able to improve student performance - though, of course, there is a long way to go.

On the electibility/political front, I will readilly admit that O'Malley will give the governor a more competitive race. But governing is different than electibility.

Posted by: Facts not fictions | April 14, 2006 12:04 PM | Report abuse

#1. Facts not fictions is a paid staffer on that sinking ship called the Duncan campaign, so everyone needs to take what this individual says about O'Malley with a grain of salt.

#2. Montgomery County is the richest county in Maryland and one of the richest counties in the United States -- the wealth of the county is mostly due to its proximity to Washington, D.C., not Doug Duncan.

#3. For Duncan to take credit for Montgomery County's success -- the resources of Montgomery County are enormous and it's been that way for the last 40 or so years, so its schools and economy thrive -- everyone knows that and that's why Duncan's pitch beyond Montgomery County is falling flat.

#4. It's really unbelievable that the Washington Post didn't find it relevant or important enough to print an article prominently in their newspaper about this recent poll -- the poll, like the previous poll done by Mason Dixon, shows Duncan's political fortunes are in the toilet, but since the Post loves Duncan, they have squashed the story by burying it in the blog section of their web site, where about 20 people, including me, will see it -- please Post reporters, let your hundreds of thousands of readers really know what is hapenning in this race -- don't bury important stories that cast a negative light on Duncan on your blog page.

#5. Indeed, it is newsworthy that Duncan, who has been in office for 12 years has done piss poor in ALL of the recent polls conducted for this race -- don't the reporters at the Post realize that these polls show that Duncan will lose not only the race throughout MD, but that he will also possibly lose in his own home of Montgomery County?

Why has there not been one story in the Post that examines these poll numbers in detail to find out what's behind Duncan's weak base of support in Montgomery County? --isn't this newsworthy? Oh, I forgot, unless they print it, it's not newsworthy -- yeah, OK.

Posted by: Mr. Rogers | April 14, 2006 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Pepe Le MoCo--

You asked what a fusion campaign is; it is an election campaign in which a candidate appears on the ballot more than once under different party's ballot lines. This allows (in theory, anyway) for the aforementioned candidate to achieve more electoral exposure. The real effect is to allow minor parties to "pool", as it were, their resources behind one candidate. Naturally, the leadership of the Republican and Democratic Parties are opposed to this (they detest competition, don't you know); this would hurt THEIR parties much in the same way that Instant Runoff Voting would hurt them as well (Never heard of I.R.V.? Check out

Like I've said before: We live in a republic, not a democracy!

Posted by: Nat | April 14, 2006 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Rogers. You are mistaken. The Washington Post did run the Mason-Dixon Montgomery numbers in the Metro section on March 22. As a general rule, however, we try not to publish other organization's polls in Metro because we are unable to verify their methodology. But expect us to do our own polling as the campaign heats up.

Posted by: TimCraig | April 14, 2006 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Tim.

I do think, however, that getting at what is behind Duncan's horrible numbers in his home county of Montgomery would shed quite a bit of insight into why his campaign can't gain any traction.

It would be a fascinating in-depth story for lots of your readers.

Posted by: Mr. Rogers | April 14, 2006 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Nat. I appreciate your taking the time and trouble to respond to me.

Posted by: Pepe le Moco | April 14, 2006 6:08 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company