Democrat Wes Moore is widening his lead over Republican Dan Cox in the race for Maryland’s governor, according to the findings of a poll released Saturday.
Moore had 60% support compared to 28% support for Cox in a statewide poll of 810 registered voters conducted by The Washington Post and the University of Maryland’s Center for Democracy and Civic engagement. Just 9% of those polled were undecided in their pick for governor.
The new poll was conducted exactly two weeks after a Goucher College Poll of likely voters found that Moore held a 53%-31% advantage over Cox, with 9% undecided. That poll was conducted in partnership with The Baltimore Banner and WYPR Radio.
Moore, 43, is a first-time political candidate whose varied experience includes serving in the Army, writing a best-selling memoir, founding an education company in Baltimore and leading the Robin Hood Foundation, an anti-poverty nonprofit in New York City.
Cox, 48, is a first-term member of the Maryland House of Delegates who works as a lawyer in private practice.
The Moore campaign said the new poll is further proof that the candidate’s message is resonating with Marylanders — and that voters are concerned about Cox’s far-right positions.
“The data is clear, Marylanders understand the stakes of this election and know that Dan Cox is far too extreme for Maryland,” Moore campaign spokesman Carter Elliott IV said in a statement.
“Wes Moore has the momentum, but we can’t take our foot off the gas for even a second,” Elliott continued. “If elected, Wes will build up Maryland’s education system, boost the economy, and make Maryland’s communities safer. He’s the clear choice in November.”
Cox’s campaign staff did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Saturday.
Moore and the Maryland Democratic Party have focused on highlighting Cox as a candidate they say is dangerous to democracy. Cox went to Pennsylvania in 2020 as part of former President Donald J. Trump’s efforts to overturn the election that he lost. Cox also advertised charter buses that he rode on to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021, to attend Trump’s speech that day and posted on Twitter that then-Vice President Mike Pence was “a traitor.”
Under repeated questioning from reporters, Cox has not clearly said that he’ll accept the outcome of the 2022 Maryland election. And he’s pursuing a legal challenge to prevent local elections officials from confidentially tabulating mail ballots as they arrive this fall.
In the Post-University of Maryland poll, 20% of respondents said “threats to democracy” was the most important issue in their choice for governor, second only to the economy at 24%. Other key issues were crime (14%), public education (14%) and abortion (11%).
Poll participants were also asked if they think Cox’s ideas and policies are similar to Trump’s. A total of 58% identified Cox as being similar to Trump, while 15% thought Cox was different from Trump.
The Post-University of Maryland poll was conducted by telephone during Sept. 22-27, with 79% of respondents reached on their cellphones and 21% reached on landlines. The margin of error is plus or minus 4%.