Ben Jealous Gets a Reality Check

Let’s just say that the first independent poll of the General Election did not bear good news for Ben Jealous.

The Gonzalez Poll that came out this morning shows that Governor Larry Hogan has a 16-point lead over Jealous. It’s already becoming clear that the Ben Jealous brand of radical socialism is not playing well with a majority of Marylanders.

Before we get to the numbers, I want to highlight something that I wrote last week about the implosion of the Jealous campaign and the release of their internal poll:

..the campaign releasing an internal poll that shows him nine points down is a monster red flag. The release of the internals was probably some attempt to stop the bleeding from the F-bomb debacle. Except it shows Jealous as an exceptionally weak candidate in a state where mathematically he should have a large advantage. That the Jealous campaign felt the need to release an internal poll this close to the release of the first independent poll, the Gonzales Poll which will be released Tuesday, says a lot about how the Jealous campaign sees themselves. Internal campaigns show results in a more positive light than independent polls do. This release tells us that the Gonzales Poll is going to show Jealous getting blown out of the water.

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The actual poll numbers spell all sorts of doom and gloom for the Jealous campaign. For example:

  • Ben Jealous has only a six-point lead in Baltimore City. You heard correctly, a six-point lead in Baltimore City, 44%-38%. And while our Charlene Cowan may have been onto something, that doesn’t account for all of what’s happening there. For comparison,  Governor Hogan received 21.9% in Baltimore in 2014.
  • Governor Hogan has a 36-point lead in Baltimore County, 63%-27%. That’s a number that will surely have a drag on other countywide races, such as the Baltimore County Executive race where Democrat Johnny Olszewski is trying to run away from having Ben Jealous as his party standardbearer.
  • Jealous only leads the Governor 46%-33% in Prince George’s County. Hogan got 14.5% in Prince George’s in 2014.

What should really scare the hell out of the Democrats is the fact that their entire campaign strategy for the last two years has been predicated on the idea of tying Governor Hogan to President Donald Trump, who has a high unfavorability rating in Maryland but has a surprising (to me at least) 39% favorability. But Gonzalez asked this question asked of non-Jealous voters:   Would you consider voting for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous as a way to express disapproval of Donald Trump?

The results: 12.8% said yes. 77.1% said no.

The Jealous campaign, who was never going to have a good time with this poll, decided to get ahead of on damage control with a bush league move that broke the embargo time of the poll and put out a statement.

Even before the poll was released to the public at 12:01 this morning, aides to Democratic candidate Ben Jealous released a statement criticizing the poll.

“Based on past precedent, these poorly designed public polls have never accurately predicted or captured the mood of Marylanders as we saw from the primary” Jealous campaign adviser Kevin Harris said in a statement.

That’s a true statement if you ignore the small detail that the Gonzales Poll was the only public poll that accurately predicted Governor Hogan’s 2014 win, something we discussed on Red Maryland Radio this week.

“The truth is this is a competitive race which is why Republicans have spent more than a million dollars lying about Ben’s record. We will continue building a robust field operation to mobilize Democrats to the polls around Ben’s vision for fully funding education, providing relief to skyrocketing health care and prescription drug costs, and creating good paying jobs for Marylanders.”

Can you imagine having to be the poor guy who tries to spin to the media that his candidate is in a “competitive race” when his candidate is down by 16-points in a state that has a two-to-one Democratic registration advantage?

Thumb through the poll for yourself. There is absolutely no good news in this poll for Democrats. They came into the race with the distinct disadvantage of running a radical socialist against the most popular governor in America. Since his nomination, Democrats have abandoned their candidate in droves, refused to go on television to defend their guy, seen their candidate lose his temper by cussing out a female reporter, and try to turn legitimate criticisms of his platform and his record into seeds of racial discord.

And don’t forget; the Jealous f-bomb and other stunts were only part of one day of this eight-day polling cycle. Imagine what will happens once another independent poll is out in the field.

Ben Jealous and his supporters keep screaming up and down that when people learn about the Jealous plan they will flock to his campaign. Well that’s clearly not happening. We’ll see if team Jealous sees this poll as a wake-up call or if they truly do believe their press clippings and think that Maryland voters, 63% of whom think Maryland is going in the right direction, will want to abandon our progress to try to turn our state into Cuba on the Chesapeake.

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