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Who will be Maryland’s Democratic candidate for governor? Polling shows race remains competitive

5/23/2022 | Larry Miller


While a large number of Maryland Democratic voters remain undecided, new polling suggests John King is making gains.


WASHINGTON — As the mercury rises outside, so is the pressure within Maryland’s Democratic gubernatorial campaigns. Staff and volunteers are frantically knocking on doors, posting signs, shaking hands, and yelling into megaphones about the strengths of their candidates.

Exclusive reporting from WUSA 9 has shown, among Democratic candidates, the race has largely centered around current State Comptroller Peter Franchot, former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, Wes Moore, Tom Perez, Doug Gansler and John King. With less than two months until election day, the race is entering its final leg.

A tracking poll, which examines the position of voters during a specific time window, suggests the placement of the candidates continues to change. A polling memo conducted by 2020 Insight, LLC — that WUSA9 obtained — showed Franchot maintaining his lead with 17% and both Moore and King tied in second place with 16%.

King’s recent movement is new and a departure from prior polling that consistently had the former U.S. Secretary of Education in the single digits.

“This new poll shows a huge surge in momentum for John because as we have always known in this race, as voters get to know John and hear his vision for Maryland they quickly move to support home,” said Joe O’Hern, Campaign Manager for John King.

Tom Perez is polling at 12%, Doug Gansler at 6% and Rushern Baker has 5%.

The poll, conducted between May 19 and May 22, included 430 likely Democratic primary voters. Like prior polls, a large group of voters remains undecided, with 27% of those polled saying they were not sure who they would vote for.

WUSA 9 reached out to other campaigns. They either did not respond or declined to comment.