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Maryland voters split, AG's race up in the air

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Both former judge Katie Curran O’Malley and Congressman Anthony Brown are running for Attorney General.

This year’s election is the first in decades in which there are no incumbents running for any of the top three statewide positions.

Yet less than three weeks before the primary, the race to be the Democratic nominee for Maryland attorney general is essentially tied, according to a new Goucher College Poll, conducted in partnership with WYPR and the Baltimore Banner.

The poll shows former judge Katie Curran O’Malley with a slight lead over Congressman Anthony Brown — supported by 30 percent of Democratic likely voters, compared with his 29 percent. However, that difference is statistically insignificant and well within the poll’s margin of error.

And with 35% of Democrats still undecided on who to vote for in the race, “the race could easily break either way,” said Mileah Kromer, who runs the Goucher Poll as director of the Sarah T. Hughes Center for Politics at Goucher College

“Expect to see certainly a lot of television ads and push in these last two weeks,” she said. “Our poll certainly indicates that there is going to be a competitive election.”

On the Republican side, former Anne Arundel County Council member Michael Peroutka leads, supported by 17 percent of likely voters. Attorney Jim Shalleck has the support of 11% of likely voters.

However, the vast majority of Republican likely voters — 68 percent — said they are undecided.

In the Democratic contest for comptroller, state Del. Brooke Lierman is a clear frontrunner, backed by 28 percent of likely voters, compared with Bowie Mayor Tim Adam’s 14 percent. But there are still plenty of votes up for grabs, with 52 percent of Democrats polled undecided in that race.

“Comptroller is a race that the average voter doesn't pay a lot of attention to,” Kromer said, “and so it's sometimes difficult to discern what that looks like in the waning weeks of the campaign.

See full poll results here.

Rachel Baye is a reporter for WYPR's newsroom.
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