ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)–Maryland’s Democratic race for governor continues to be the biggest attention-getter in the Maryland primary.
But, as political reporter Pat Warren reports, even the big draw is falling short in voter interest.
With the election just four weeks away, WJZ asks voters if they’ve paid any attention to Maryland’s primary.
“No, I have not. I am out of the loop,” one woman said.
We also asked “Can you name any of the candidates for governor?”
“No, I cannot, sorry,” one woman said.
And we asked analyst Don Norris if he’s seen a race that’s generated less interest.
“Absolutely not. This is a first for me, and I’ve been watching elections in Maryland since 1986,” said Norris, UMBC public policy chairman.
Even some who are paying attention aren’t liking what they see.
“Oh, start right there. [Anthony] Brown. He’s part of the hoi polloi good old boys network,” said David Crosby, voter.
“Gansler, from what I gather, he’s a talker. He’s says what he can do. You gotta have some kind of back up. If you say you can do something, you have to have some kind of backup to prove you can actually do it,” said Tony Serio.
Frontrunners Anthony Brown and Doug Gansler continue to carve their own platforms out of what the O’Malley administration has done.
“We have had 40 consecutive tax increases here in Maryland. The people of Maryland just can’t take it anymore,” Gansler said.
Attorney General Gansler can criticize the last eight years under O’Malley/Brown but has to be careful not to alienate the Democrats who believe the governor has made all the right moves.
“We live in a much more just society today than we did eight years ago, passed marriage equality and the Dream Act. We passed some of the most stringent gun measures in the wake of Newtown,” Brown said.
Delegate Heather Mizeur steps up her campaign this week with TV ads, but this race appears to be a victim of bad timing.
“They, being the General Assembly, moved the election to June. School is not out yet for the kids, parents are still engaged, people are beginning to leave on vacation,” Norris said.
“I’ve been bolted down with twins,” one person said.
Another factor to consider, according to Norris, is there’s no striking difference in the policies the candidates promote.
“Heather Mizeur is further to the left than the other two. Doug Gansler is further to the right if you can say any Democrat is further to the right,” Norris said.
But this election appears to say what most Democrats are thinking, so what gets you elected?
“Whoever is going to be able to turn out the vote in his or her campaign in an election that’s going to have a very, very low turnout,” Norris said.
Remember, early voting starts June 12, so any candidate depending on voter turnout needs to get cracking.
The primary is June 24.
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