The Democratic Candidates for Maryland Governor

Wes Moore and Tom Perez are running for Maryland governor

Are you following the 2022 Democratic candidates for Maryland governor?

Jill Kamenetz, the widow of the late Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, is closely following Maryland’s Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Kevin Kamenetz ran for Maryland governor in 2018.

He died May 10, 2018, a month and a half before Maryland’s June primary election.

On June 17, 2022, Jill Kamenetz, released a devastating video on her Facebook page urging Maryland Democrats to vote for anybody but Peter Franchot.

The Democratic Candidates for Maryland Governor June 2022 Polling

The Baltimore Sun and the University of Baltimore released a poll on June 5, 2022, showing Maryland Democrats and Republicans mostly undecided about which candidates they support in the July 19 primary.

The Baltimore Sun and the University of Baltimore conducted a poll on the 2022 Maryland governor race

Will Maryland Democrats Win Back The State House? 

Louis Jacobson, a U.S. News and World Report contributor, ranks Maryland’s governorship as one of the “most vulnerable” to switch political parties in 2022.

“The most vulnerable governorship on our list is the open seat in deep-blue Maryland that moderate Republican Larry Hogan is vacating,” Jacobson wrote.

Maryland isn’t that “deep-blue.”

Republican Larry Hogan proved that while Maryland Democrats outnumber Republicans, the state isn’t politically “deep-blue.”

Nr. Jacobson’s 2020 column elevates the following four Democrats into the proverbial top-tier.

  • Former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker (ran and lost in the 2018 Democratic primary);
  • Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot;
  • F0rmer nonprofit executive Wes Moore;
  • Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez.

“For now, the top tier of declared candidates in the Democratic field appears to be Wes Moore, a veteran, and former nonprofit executive; Rushern Baker, the former Prince George’s County executive who lost the 2018 gubernatorial primary; state Comptroller Peter Franchot; and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez,” Jacobs0n writes.

As of June 2022, Mr. Jacobson’s theory has proven true.

Understanding Polling Methodology

Mr. Jacobson used his reporting to analyze political races around the country.

He said he used a “variety of sources in each state.”

“That’s the case here,” Jacobson said, in response to A Miner Detail‘s email requesting information about how the columnist determined candidate rankings in the 2022 Maryland Democratic gubernatorial contest.

Jacobson said he doesn’t reveal his sources when he handicaps political races.

“I can’t share the names of the folks I interviewed, Jacobson said, though his sources’ assessments “could be wrong or incomplete.”

Jacobson said he spoke to more than one source when handicapping Maryland’s 2022 Democratic gubernatorial contest.

Whomever Jacobson’s sources are, he says they are “consistent.”

Political Polling: The 2022 Democratic Candidates for Maryland Governor 

In the 2022 Maryland gubernatorial race, polling is virtually nonexistent.

Only one Maryland gubernatorial poll was even mentioned in 2021.

Last year, Gonzales Research & Media Services polled 301 likely Democratic primary voters on the Maryland governor’s race

The poll ran from May 17, 2021, to May 22, 2021; it had a 5.8 statistical margin of error.

A Quick Statistics Lesson 

A Miner Detail‘s Ryan Miner has to prove to the astute readers of this Maryland politics blog that the B- he barely squeaked out in Dr. Tefu‘s MBA statistics class is worth the headache and loss of hair.

You didn’t sign up for a statistics lesson- and you don’t deserve it.

Polling Key Terms 

Population

A population is simply a group of people pollsters poll.

Take a poll – any poll!

Ask 1000 Sopranos megafans if Tony Soprano was whacked in the show’s final episode, “Made in America.”

In Gonzales’ poll, Maryland Democratic primary voters are his population.

Sample Size 

A poll’s sample size is the number of people polled within a population.

Mr. Gonzales’ May 2021 poll included a sample size of 301 likely Democratic primary voters.

Is the poll’s sample size – 301 voters – a little, a lot – or doesn’t it matter?

Consider Maryland registered voters.

In May 2021, the Maryland State Board of Elections reported 4,124,038 registered Maryland voters.

  • 2,261,375 registered Democrats;
  • 1,002,325 registered Republicans;
  • 793,429 registered Unaffiliated;
  • 25,408 voters fall into the everybody else category.

Three hundred one people is a small sample size.

Polling Margin of Error 

A poll’s margin of error measures a pollster’s confidence in their polling methodology, and the number of Maryland Democratic primary voters polled directly impacts the poll’s margin of error.

A pollster wouldn’t ask every Maryland Democratic primary voter to rank their favorite gubernatorial candidate.

Instead, pollsters like Mr. Gonzales would survey only a sample of Maryland Democratic primary voters to determine the standing of the Democratic gubernatorial contest as a snapshot in time.

More importantly, the more Maryland Democratic primary voters pollsters include within their samples, the smaller their poll’s margin of error, presumably.

“The margin of error is the price pollsters pay for not talking to everyone in the population they are targeting,” says the American Association for Public Opinion Research.

Thus, the poll’s margin of error decreases as the sample size increases.

Are Pollsters Confident In Their Polling Methodology? 

We hope pollsters are confident.

But the data collected from Democratic primary voters are expected to vary slightly from sample to sample.

Polling, you should know, is not an actual science.

But pollsters use the scientific method, don’t they?

Yes, sort of.

But try solving an equation with multiple variables. You can’t solve an equation with multiple variables. You can, however, converge on the best answer.

Pollsters measure accuracy amid sample populations.

Add a bookie into the mix, and now you’re gambling. Just don’t get indebted to the mob.

Word to the wise: Remember Davey Scatino.

Consider that humans conduct polling; human beings are pollsters’ respondents, and Homo sapiens are fallible.

People frequently lie or mislead pollsters, and sometimes people may misunderstand pollsters’ questions.

Disreputable pollsters and politically biased pollsters tend to craft leading questions to present an untruthful reality to voters.

Think about internal polls.

Internal polls may be agenda-driven polls conducted by political campaigns absent reputable pollsters or polling firms.

Candidates presenting internal polls to their supporters are often guilty of manufacturing narratives unreflective of reality.

Journalists, reporters, and bloggers alike should hit the delete button immediately when a candidate’s campaign communications director e-blasts breaking internal polls.

Polling Margin of Error and Confidence Intervals 

Mr. Gonzales randomly selected 301 Maryland Democratic primary voters and surveyed them about the 2022 Democratic gubernatorial contenders.

Hypothetically speaking, what if Mr. Gonzales randomly selected 301 additional Democratic primary voters to poll, using the same polling methodology (the same questions, etc.)?

And what would happen if Mr. Gonzales repeated the same process 98 additional times?

Mr. Gonzales would have 100 samples, though the data collected from each voter sample would vary slightly.

If a poll’s margin of error is three percentage points with a 95% confidence interval, 95 of the samples the pollster surveyed should fall within three percentage points of the true answer.

Does that make sense to you?

Confidence levels are often tested at 90%, 95%, or 99%.

Have you had your fill of statistics for the day?

Thanks for hanging in there.

Maryland Democratic Primary Voters Mostly Undecided In 2021

Jacobson’s column links Maryland Matters’ June story that reports the data collected from Gonzales’ May 2021 poll.

According to Gonzales’ survey results, a large share of Democratic primary voters – 41.2% – are undecided on a gubernatorial candidate.

13 months before a primary?

No forums, no debates, little retailing, no Tawes, no MACo Summer Conference, nothing.

No wonder nearly half of Maryland’s Democratic primary electorate is undecided on their top 2022 gubernatorial pick.

“The poll tested the nine men who are already running for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination or are likely to join the race,” Maryland Matters reported.

Polling Results 

Above 10%

  • Rushern Baker, the former Prince George’s County executive and the runner-up in the 2018 Democratic primary led the poll with 21.9% of the vote;
  • Peter Franchot, Maryland’s four-term comptroller, was slightly behind Baker at 17.9%.
  • Tom Perez, who hadn’t declared his candidacy at the time Gonzales conducted his poll, was locked in at 10.3%;

Above 1%

  • Doug Gansler, a former state attorney general who ran for governor in 2014 but finished second in the primary, sat at 3.7%.
  • Wes Moore, a former foundation CEO, and author came in at 2%.

Here’s who came in at 1%

  • John King, a former U.S. Education Secretary under Barack Obama;
  • Jon Baron, a former Clinton administration official, and nonprofit executive;
  • Michel Rosenbaum, a Baltimore tech entrepreneur.

Below 1%

  • Ashwani Jain, a former Obama official, sat at 0.3%.

Wes Moore’s Support

Wes Moore has significant establishment support.

As of June 2022, Wes Moore has seemingly wrapped up more endorsements from the Maryland General Assembly than his fellow Democratic contenders.

Of the nine Democratic gubernatorial candidates, Jacobson wrote that “Moore, despite his lack of electoral experience, has made the deepest inroads in securing establishment support.”

Who is the Maryland Democratic Party Establishment? 

Is the Maryland Democratic establishment the Democratic Party of Maryland’s elected officers and county central committee members?

Yes. 

Is the Maryland Democratic establishment U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Maryland’s all-male Democratic congressional delegation?

Yes. 

Is the Democratic establishment House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County) and Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City)?

Yes. 

Is the Maryland Democratic establishment the House and Senate majority leaders and their deputies?

Yes. 

Is the Democratic establishment the wealthy Democratic donors?

Also yes. 

And most of Maryland’s Democratic establishment is backing Wes Moore for Maryland governor.

What Does Establishment Support Mean In This Election? 

It means that a lot of Maryland Democrats aren’t crazy about Peter Franchot.

Franchot rails against “politics-as-usual,” or the Maryland establishment.

He does that because the Maryland political establishment doesn’t like him.

And some of the Democratic contenders for governor might avoid calling themselves the establishment.

But consider this: If you’ve been in elected office for more than 20 years, you’re the establishment.

That’s right, Mr. Franchot; you’re every bit part of the Maryland political establishment.

Remember Rushern Baker’s 2018 Gubernatorial Campaign? 

In 2018, Rushern Baker was the establishment Democrat who locked up Maryland Democratic establishment support.

Progressive Democratic primary voters in 2018 blew up Baker’s chances of securing the nomination for his party.

They chose Ben Jealous instead.

Hogan defeated Jealous in the November 2018 general election by more than 10 points.

Do you Remember Anthony Brown’s 2014 Gubernatorial Campaign? 

How could Mr. Brown possibly lose the race with the Martin O’Malley political machine carrying him to a glorious victory?

Then-Lt. Gov. Brown had the Democratic establishment in line, eager to notch a win on their proverbial belts.

But Maryland general election voters chose Mr. Hogan.

After a few years in Congress, Anthony Brown is running for statewide office again in 2022.

Anthony Brown is a clear front-runner in the Maryland attorney general race, according to a June 2022 Baltimore Sun/University of Baltimore poll.

Mr. Brown leads former Maryland first lady, longtime judge, and prosecutor Katie Curran O’Malley 42% to 29% among likely Democratic voters.

How’s that for a political comeback?

Ryan Miner Administrator
Ryan Miner is Editor & Founder of A Miner Detail, a Maryland Politics Blog.