The Gansler-Ivey poll results are catnip for people like me who follow campaigns but also a good example of why outlets that try to estimate the current shape of election campaigns (e.g. 538, pollster.com) do not include them in their analyses.
The press release includes some interesting numbers. I was less interested in the top lines than in the report of Doug Gansler’s favorability ratings. If opinions of the AG have indeed improved since the spate of very bad press earlier this year, that would certainly be good news for the Gansler-Ivey campaign.
However, the press release was more telling for what it did not include than what it did. There is no information about the questions that were asked. One poster on Seventh State’s Facebook page claims that the questions were primed to elicit negative responses about Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown.
(Update: The Gansler campaign informs me this was not the case and that the questions about candidate ratings and horse race numbers were asked prior to the questions regarding the exchanges in any case.)
While the poll reported Gansler’s favorability ratings, it did not do the same for either Brown or Mizeur. Additionally, there are no demographic breakdowns. I’d be especially interested to know the gender, racial, and religious composition of the survey, as well as the results for these demographic groups.
This information would make it possible to answer several questions. For example, does the share of women estimated in the electorate correspond to past gubernatorial elections? Women routinely makeup a disproportionate share of Democratic primary voters in Maryland but do they in the polling sample? How strong does the poll state support is for candidates among groups whose support they might hope to consolidate?
So, while fun to read, I’ll be looking forward to the next poll reported by an outlet not associated with one of the campaigns.
Note: I’m supporting Gansler but I try to call it like I see it as is evident here.
I’ll try to provide more analysis later but thought I would just share the document now. It shows Brown with a 31% lead with 22% for Gansler, 8% for Mizeur, and a whopping 40% undecided–less than reported in past polls for the Post and the Sun.
The release from the campaign also highlights that Brown has a 37% positive-47% negative rating on handling the health care exchange. It also says that Gansler’s favorability ratings have increased 10 points from previous media polls to a net 46% favorable and 16% unfavorable.
Gubernatorial Poll from Gansler-Ivey Campaign
Gansler-Ivey is opening its Montgomery field office this Sunday from 1-2pm and is inviting MoCo Dems “for refreshments and a meet-and-greet with the candidates.” Address: 326 N Stonestreet Ave. Ste. A2; Rockville, MD 20850
Brown-Ulman is opening campaign offices in Prince George’s and Howard this Sunday. The Prince George’s opening is at 1:45 and the Howard opening is at 3:15, so I guess you can make it a progressive party (oh, what a terrible pun). Addresses: 10236 Lake Arbor Way,
Mitchellville, MD 20721 and 8865 Stanford Blvd. #117,
Columbia, MD 21045.
I had a Town Council meeting last night so this post will be short.
Before getting to the negative, I thought a bit of positive news was in order. I was thrilled to see that the Nation’s first openly gay eagle scout lives around the corner in Kensington. Many congratulations to Pascal Tessier. Let’s also thank his older brother Lucien Tessier (and the clearly terrific Tessier parents) for showing him the way even though even though Lucien was not allowed to be out when he became an eagle scout. What a wonderful achievement and family.
But on to the gubernatorial race. . .
Doug Gansler’s campaign has rolled out a surprisingly chirpy looking attack on Anthony Brown (see below). The question is whether Democrats will simply conflate any criticism of the functioning of the health exchange as an attack on Obamacare. On the other hand, the figures are pretty embarrassing for Brown, who has been left scrambling due to problems with the State exchange.
Meanwhile, Brown has launched a snark twitter attack on Gansler (see way below), suggesting that the MoCo candidate is demeaning Prince George’s following on a letter from Brown supporters condemning Gansler essentially for lamenting that the level of retail and restaurants in Prince George’s does not match the economic success of the County.
Congressman John Delaney gives not-so-subtle signs of wanting to enter the gubernatorial race. He has leaked a poll that shows many undecided voters and the three current contenders with low support. Delaney took a jab at Doug Gansler
for “suggesting a sensible solution on the Maryland Exchange which is the same solution we have been proposing for months” (h/t Maryland Juice
Hardly the words of someone who plans to be Gansler’s BFF. (While Anthony Brown endorsed Rob Garagiola, Gansler stayed out of the congressional race.) Josh Kurtz argues that these political feints are part of an effort by Delaney to get Gansler to leave the race, opting for the Sixth District congressional seat that Delaney would have to vacate to run for governor. Until the filing deadline, after all, nothing is truly settled so political animals can fight over the pecking order.
Delaney’s entry into the race would indeed probably hurt Gansler more than Heather Mizeur but Brown has the most to gain. Delaney’s profile is similar to Gansler’s demographic and political profile. Delaney would have to work harder to attract either the hard-core progressives that are Mizeur’s base or the O’Malley supporters who have flocked to Brown.
But this doesn’t work for Delaney unless Gansler exits stage west. To the extent that Brown can consolidate the African-American vote and O’Malley supporters, Delaney’s entry benefits Brown. And this matters a lot because African Americans make up a larger share of Democratic primary voters than in the overall population.
Make no mistake: all candidates are working hard for both black and white votes. Gansler’s ability to attract Jolene Ivey to his ticket–a very well-liked, savvy African-American delegate with a high profile–was a real coup and Gansler has courted black voters for years. Mizeur similarly attracted first-time pol Delmon Coates who reinforces her outsider progressive message. And Brown got a great, experienced running mate in Ken Ulman who should help Brown, especially in Howard County.
Having said that, a passel of white candidates seems most likely to benefit Brown and make it an uphill battle for either Delaney or Gansler. Call it a mutual political suicide pact unless one can so completely marginalize the other–unlikely–as to render them irrelevant. Delaney would likely run a strong campaign–his focused and well-run congressional race demonstrated that–and he may view Gansler as bloodied but Gansler has run twice statewide and has the funds to stay in the race. Moreover, he has passion and a vision for the state with primary day still several months away.
Delaney may entice Gansler into the congressional race but that is no sure thing either for Gansler. Let’s leave aside that Gansler doesn’t live in the district–this seems oddly common among candidates for this juicy Democratic morsel. A bunch of other high profile candidates would surely also jump in the pool for that nomination. Gansler would have his sizable gubernatorial campaign fund but otherwise the same political problems. Maybe a better bet but definitely not a sure one.
Meanwhile, the other candidates still have to keep an eye on Mizeur. Unquestionably, the two-term delegate is a longer shot candidate. But she is staking out the most left-wing territory–not usually a bad place to be in a Democratic primary. She is the only woman in a Democratic primary in which women invariably make up a disproportionate share of voters. And despite having less money, she is the candidate who knows the most by far about how to run a campaign. Her delegate campaign from eight years ago probably belongs in a textboo.
UPDATE: John Gallagher kindly wrote and explained to me that Doug Gansler could not transfer more than $1000 from a state into a federal account. That gives them a lot more of an incentive to stay in the gubernatorial race. This professor is always happy to learn, so thanks!