By Pat Warren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new poll released Tuesday shows how the upcoming gubernatorial election is shaping up — with Gov. Larry Hogan maintaining strong approval and edging out his Democratic competitors at this point.

Hogan has a 69 percent approval rating among Maryland voters, according to the latest Goucher Poll.

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When it comes to the 2018 gubernatorial race between Hogan and Democratic contender Rushern Baker, 44 percent of those surveyed say they plan to back Hogan, and 31 percent say they’d vote for the Prince George’s County executive. Former NAACP President Ben Jealous also garnered 31 percent when polled against Hogan.

When asked about the poll, the governor said, “I’m pleased that people seem to be happy with the job that we’re doing and the direction the state is headed in.”

Fifty-one percent of Marylanders polled see Hogan as a moderate, 26 percent as conservative and 9 percent think he’s liberal. Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center Director Mileah Kromer sees his success in the balance.

“One of the consistent factors is he does well among independents, and also well among Democrats,” Kromer said.

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Hogan has yet to crack the 50-percent mark against any Democrat in the primary, but he leads all by a wide margin.

Hogan leads Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz by 17 points, State Senator Rich Madaleno by 18 points, and there is a 20-point margin each between Hogan and Baltimore lawyer Jim Shea, tech entrepreneur Alec Ross and former policy director for Michelle Obama, Krish Vignarajah.

“The governor is in an advantageous position right now,” Kromer said. “Things will most certainly change. They’re going to fluctuate and adjust as we get in the General Election season, but he’s in a good spot right now. ”

The Democratic gubernatorial primary will be held June 26.

The Goucher Poll surveyed 617 Maryland adults. 524 of them were registered voters and 449 were likely voters. The poll has a margin of error of 4.6 percent +/- and it was conducted between April 14 and April 19.

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