ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WDVM) — Former Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz and current State Comptroller Peter Franchot are the leaders heading into the July 19 Republican and Democrat gubernatorial primaries.
The newest survey by the Baltimore Sun Media and the University of Baltimore found Schulz received 27% of the votes from those surveyed. Delegate Dan Cox received 21%. The other two candidates got less than 10% of the vote.
Meanwhile, Franchot received 20% of the Democratic votes in the poll. Wes Moore got 15%, while 12% of the vote went to former U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez. They are the only ones among the ten candidates who reached double-digits.
The survey also found something unusual–a large number of uncommitted voters.
42% of Republican voters, according to the poll, have not made up their mind, while the number of undecided Democrats is 31%.
“There’s really a large field of candidates in the Democrat primary, and a lot of people are waiting to make up their minds,” said Roger Hartley, the dean of the College of Public Affairs at the University of Baltimore, who helped conduct the survey.
Redistricting and the move of the primary to the summer, according to Hartley, may have contributed to the number of uncommitted voters.
“People are going to be looking for voter cues, like polls, like ads, like other things to kind of distinguish who they might choose,” Hartley said.
Even though it’s still more than a month before the primaries, the polls are very fluid right now.
“If people were solidly behind a candidate who’s not doing so well, and they were somewhat undecided, they may move to the top three that are getting a bit more visibility,” said Hartley.
Heading into the final weeks of the campaign, two things, according to Hartley, will be keys to victory.
“Candidates with a lot of funding and a really good ground game organization are going to be in a better position to get their message out and win over those undecideds,” Hartley said.