After serving two terms as Governor, Republican Larry Hogan will be term-limited. Democrats are feeling confident about their chances of retaking the Governor’s Mansion in Annapolis, and their primary features a stacked fields filled with rising stars and established veterans of Democratic politics. State Auditor Peter Franchot established himself as the early poll leader, holding off fierce challenges from DNC Chair Tom Perez, Obama Education Secretary John King, and Prince George Executive Rushern Baker.
The steepest challenge might come from political newcomer Wes Moore, an Afghanistan Veteran and Rhodes Scholar who started the race as the David in a field of Goliaths. That’s hardly his fire time as an underdog. Moore is from Baltimore and grew up in a single-parent household after his father passed away when he was young. He graduated from West Point, joined the Army, and served in Afghanistan.
He built a successful business in Baltimore that helped kids go to college, and became CEO of Robin Hood, a charity that seeks to lift New Yorkers out of poverty.
Despite his compelling personal story, Moore was a serious underdog when he launched his bid for Maryland Governor last June. He started out with just 2% support, in fifth place trailing an Obama Cabinet Secretary and two politicians that had already won statewide. However, week by week, Moore has slowly put together one of the most successful campaigns in the race, and built the strongest fundraising machine, powered by an army of small dollar donors.
Week by week, he rose through the ranks until he secured second place in the polls. He’s now winning more endorsements than his opponents, including Democratic Majority Leader Congressman Steny Hoyer.
I’ve been running election forecast for the 2022 election at RacetotheWH, and my forecast were one of the most accurate in the nation last cycle. I’ve recently expanded that to primaries, and we just launched a Maryland Governor Primary Forecast. Moore has emerged as the ever so slight favorite over Peter Franchot. He is still in second place in polling, but we think he’s the favorite with months left to go in the campaign because he easily leads the field in fundraising, endorsements, and google searches.
Google searches may seem like a silly thing to track on a campaign, but they are actually a valuable indicator of future surges. We look at how much the candidates have been searched relative to each other in Maryland over the last 30 days, and Moore has more searches than the rest of the field put together. That suggest he might be on the brink of yet another surge.
We will be updating our Interactive Maryland Governor Primary forecast every day until election day. Of course, keep in mind that primaries are inherently harder to predict than general elections, so it’s worth taking these predictions with a healthy dose of skepticism.
So far this cycle, our primary forecast has correctly called every race in 2022 we’ve tried, including:
1. Ohio Senate (D & R)
2. Ohio Governor (D & R)
3. Nebraska Governor (R)
4. Idaho Governor (R)
5. Oregon Governor (D & R)
6. Pennsylvania Governor (R)
7. Pennsylvania Senate (D. R still contested, predicted Oz)
Finally, we are also doing forecast for the General Election. Our Senate forecast was closer than Nate Silver at predicting the final margin in 2020.
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