By Pat Warren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The candidates for governor in Maryland’s Democratic primary are on the campaign trail. But are voters paying attention?

A new poll suggests there’s a lot of ground to cover.

Pat Warren takes a closer look at the numbers.

The numbers indicate that most voters are either neutral or flat out don’t recognize the candidates.

First out of the gate in Mary and leading the race now is Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown. According to the Gonzales Poll, if the election were held today, Browns wins with 41 percent of the vote.

Attorney General Doug Gansler waited until late September to announce his candidacy and shows significantly less support. He polls 20 points behind Brown with 21 percent.

Delegate Heather Mizeur runs a distant third, with five percent of the vote. Thirty-three percent of voters polled are undecided.

“The primary is about eight months away. People probably aren’t paying that much attention yet,” said Matt Crenson.

The numbers bear that out. A total of 56 percent of voters are either neutral or don’t recognize the lieutenant governor. Seventy-two percent are neutral or don’t recognize the attorney general. Montgomery County Delegate Heather Mizeur is the least recognized.

“There’s nobody in the race so far that’s really known in Baltimore,” said Crenson.

As the campaign becomes more competitive,analyst Matthew Crenson predicts a battle for votes in Baltimore. All three candidates hail from the Washington suburbs and need to make themselves known here.

“Over the next few months as Anthony Brown and Mr. Gansler trade punches with one another, people will probably be paying more attention to the election and the name recognition of the candidates, which is now dismally low,” said Crenson.

Baltimore County Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger says he’ll announce next month whether he’s going to run for governor. He’d be the only candidate from the Baltimore area.

Candidates in the Republican primary include Harford County Executive David Craig and Anne Arundel County Delegate Ron George.

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