Reporting Pat Warren
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Baltimore’s mayoral race gathers steam as primary day gets closer. With just two weeks left in the campaign, a Baltimore Sun poll gives Stephanie Rawlings-Blake a commanding lead. But challengers tell political reporter Pat Warren they don’t believe it’s accurate.
On Monday, voters watching MPT’s mayoral forum heard now familiar themes:
“When I came into office we were in the middle of a crisis,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
“People need jobs, jobs, jobs,” said Delegate Frank Conaway.
“We’ve raised taxes and fees 16 times and cut services. It’s not working,” said Otis Rolley.
“City services now are more tuned in to servicing city workers and not the city residents,” said Jody Landers.
But how tuned in are city residents to the mayor’s race?
The Sun polled 742 likely voters in the Democratic primary, and the result was a 68 percent approval rate for Mayor Rawlings-Blake. The challengers combined won 32 percent. Senator Pugh took 12 percent. Rolley won 10 percent. Conaway and Landers got 5 percent.
Pugh hit the air Tuesday with the only TV ad other than Rawlings-Blake’s. The poll, she says, is not a concern. She fielded questions Monday on WOLB Radio and told WJZ her campaign is on target.
“When I’m touching people every day across this city, they’re telling me that they’re looking forward to me becoming the next mayor of Baltimore,” Pugh said.
“It said I’m really the only candidate that has a chance of beating Stephanie,” Rolley concluded.
Rolley is in a statistical tie with Pugh for second place in the poll, and continues to gain support.
“If you want change, if you want a difference, if you want someone else in City Hall, you really need to be supportive of my candidacy,” Rolley said.
As time grows shorter to the primary, more and more voters are paying attention to the election. According to the Sun poll, 18 percent of the likely voters they talked to are still undecided.
The primary is Sept. 13.