Maryland Likely To Continue Momentum for Trump, Clinton

| Tom Jensen

PPP’s new Maryland poll finds both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton with double digit leads heading into next week’s primary election.

Trump isn’t looking as dominant as he is in New York, polling at 43%. But he’s benefiting from a similar dynamic to the Empire State in that there is no clear alternative to him- John Kasich and Ted Cruz are closely matched for second place at 29% and 24% respectively. Trump is by far the most broadly popular candidate among GOP voters in the state with a 57/37 favorability rating compared to 48/35 for Kasich and 33/50 for Cruz. This is a state where even if the field was winnowed to two candidates Trump would still have an advantage- he leads Kasich by 12 points at 53/41 and Cruz by 20 points at 54/34 in head to head match ups. 

Another thing that speaks to the indecision among anti-Trump voters is that only 53% of Kasich voters and 49% of Cruz voters say they’re firmly committed to voting for their current candidate of choice, compared to 90% of Trump voters who say they’re definitely with him. If New York’s results tonight give any sort of clarity on the stronger candidate between Cruz and Kasich that could help one of them to gain some momentum in Maryland with so many of their voters willing to shift allegiances.

Trump is winning in most of the different areas of the state with one notable exception- in the Washington suburbs he’s actually back in third place at 24% with Kasich leading the way at 46% and Cruz edging him out for second place at 27%. Trump leads with both men and women, and within every age group. He trails Kasich 48/32 with moderates (Cruz gets 15%) but has double digit leads with both ‘very’ and ‘somewhat’ conservative voters.

On the Democratic side Hillary Clinton looks to be headed for a resounding victory, with 58% to 33% for Bernie Sanders. Clinton’s key is that she’s winning African Americans- who are likely to be close to 40% of the Democratic primary electorate- 70/25. She has a more narrow lead with white voters at 50/41. Clinton has large leads with both men and women, and this is an unusual state in that she’s even up 48/43 with voters under 45 to go along with her 66/27 advantage with seniors. One other thing to Clinton’s advantage is that 86% of her voters say they’re firmly committed to her, compared to 65% of Sanders’ who say the same for him. Clinton leads in every party of the state except Western Maryland, although it’s closer in the Baltimore suburbs.

Clinton and Sanders both dominate general election match ups in the state. The Republican who comes closest to them is Kasich but he still trails Clinton 54/33 and Sanders 52/32. Trump (25/70 favorability) and Cruz (17/69) are incredibly unpopular and trail both Clinton and Sanders by more than 30 points. Clinton’s up 61/28 on Trump and 58/24 on Cruz, while Sanders is up 60/29 on Trump and 62/24 on Cruz.

Chris Van Hollen has the upper hand in the US Senate race as it heads into the final week, getting 42% in the primary to 33% for Donna Edwards. With 25% of voters undecided, things are still relatively up in the air. The key for Van Hollen is that he’s actually winning white voters (58/16) by an ever wider margin than Edwards (57/19) is winning black voters by. Van Hollen has a wide lead among men (48/31) but is more surprisingly also slightly ahead with women (37/34). Regardless of which candidate advances to the general election it should be an easy hold for Democrats. Van Hollen leads Republican Kathy Szeliga by 28 at 53/25, and Edwards leads her by 20 at 46/26. Whoever’s elected, they’ll have big shoes to fill. Barbara Mikulski is leaving office as one of the most popular Senators in the country, with a 58/26 approval spread. Maryland in general has a popular Senate delegation- Ben Cardin can’t match Mikulski but his 47/25 approval spread is still well above the median for Senators these days. 

Larry Hogan continues to be an extremely popular Governor. 55% of voters approve of the job he’s doing to 23% who disapprove. In addition to being pretty universally popular with Republicans (85/6 approval) he’s also on positive ground with independents (49/20) and even Democrats (42/33). He would lead hypothetical match ups for reelection by double digits- 50/36 over Martin O’Malley, 48/29 over John Delaney, and 48/24 over Tom Perez. That’s partially a function of name recognition- only 29% of voters are familiar with Delaney and 23% with Perez (O’Malley remains unpopular with a 36/49 favorability rating) but it still speaks to the fact that Hogan will be a tough out for Democrats next time around.

Full results here


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