BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As the votes slowly start to trickle in before the polls fully open later this month, the race for Maryland governor ramps up.
Six Democrats want the state’s top office.
It’s a close race for the two leading candidates, and one of them just got a $1 million boost.
It’s a tight race at the top of a crowded field of Democrats as they near the first hurdle in the gubernatorial election.
Marylanders are beginning to decide who they would like to face off against Gov. Larry Hogan in November.
A Baltimore Sun/University of Baltimore poll shows only two candidates are polling in the double digits: Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and former NAACP President Ben Jealous.
They are tied at 16 percent of likely Democratic voters.
“We feel the momentum,” Baker said. “This is just another step, and we’re ready to win this.”
“We keep organizing like we’re still the underdog, and we’re going to keep up the fight until we win,” Jealous said.
Now, outside groups, including the Maryland Together We Rise PAC, are giving Jealous a $1 million boost.
That amount is a possible game changer, and far more money in the campaign bank than anyone he’s up against.
Other Democratic candidates are hanging on as they poll in the single digits, while Gov. Hogan coasts into the election unopposed.
“We’re just anxious,” Hogan said. “Whoever it is, to get a chance to talk about the issues with them. It really doesn’t matter who we’re running against. I think the race is about the job we’ve done over the last four years.”
He holds a 60 percent approval rating from Democrats, 24 percent of whom say they would back him again.
“If people want a dramatic change in directions, if they want to go backward to the way things used to be before we got everything fixed over the last four years, then they’ll do that. But, right now, it sure doesn’t look like it,” Hogan added.
44 percent of voters say they are still undecided heading into the primary.