ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The primary election is right around the corner, and more than half of the state’s voters either are not thinking or do not care about who will lead the state of Maryland.
Derek Valcourt takes a closer look at a surprising new poll about the governor’s race.
The poll shows all of Maryland’s gubernatorial candidates have a lot of convincing to do.
From TV ads to positions on issues, Maryland’s three Democratic candidates for governor are working hard to introduce themselves to voters. Many voters WJZ found say they haven’t given any thought to the upcoming election.
It’s a sentiment echoed by a new Maryland poll by St. Mary’s College, which found while Lt. Governor Anthony Brown holds a double digit lead over his competitors, more than half of Maryland voters are still undecided.
“That’s a huge number of people that are either not connected to the election, don’t know what’s going on or don’t care,” said Don Norris, UMBC Public Policy Department Chairman.
Norris says timing may be to blame. The candidates are just coming out of a legislative session, when campaigning is restricted. This year, primary voting has been moved to earlier in the summer, leaving just a few short months to win over the huge numbers of undecideds.
“If the numbers remain anywhere near like that on June 24, turnout will be abysmally low,” said Norris.
Most voters say they expect to learn a lot more as decision day approaches and say they are waiting for candidates to talk substance.
“You’re a great family person? That’s wonderful, so am I. But I’m not running for governor. I need to know what you’re going to do for us,” said voter Chris Redding.
The candidates will get a chance to speak directly with voters. The Democrats have agreed to three debates. The first is set for May 7.
Republican candidates are facing similar challenges. Sixty-nine percent of registered Republicans say they too are undecided.
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