Skip Navigation

Produced by the Office of Marketing and Communications

Subscribe Now

UMD-Post Poll: Moore Holds Commanding Lead in Governor’s Race

Democratic Candidate Has 32-point Advantage Over Republican Dan Cox, Interviews Reveal

By Rachael Grahame ’17

Dan Cox and Wes Moore

A new Washington Post poll conducted with UMD's Center for Democracy and Civic Engagement shows Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore leading Republican Dan Cox by a nearly 2-1 margin.

Candidate photos by Getty Images; state image by iStock

Wes Moore, the Democratic candidate for governor in next month’s state election, leads Republican opponent Dan Cox by a more than 2-1 margin—60% to 28%, according to a Washington Post poll conducted with the University of Maryland’s Center for Democracy and Civic Engagement (CDCE).

The poll finds that Moore has fully galvanized his own party as well as some GOP members heading into the Nov. 8 election, potentially making it difficult for Cox, a state delegate representing Frederick and Carroll counties, to make up that ground. According to the survey of 810 registered Maryland voters conducted from Sept. 22-27, 86% of registered Democrats and 22% of registered Republicans say they would vote for Moore, a U.S. Army veteran and bestselling author who lives in Baltimore. Independents are evenly split at 38% each.

“Given the fundamental features of this race, unless there is a shocking revelation, it is hard to see how Cox can win,” CDCE Director and Department of Government and Politics Professor Michael Hanmer told The Post. “The windows [of opportunity] are really just on the economy and taxes and some sort of catastrophic mistake from Wes Moore.”

Voters rank the economy as the top issue, but it is of noticeably greater concern to Cox supporters: 43% vs. 16% of Moore supporters. Threats to democracy are the second-highest concern overall, but place No. 1 for Moore supporters (27%), those ages 65 or older and college graduates. Only 8% of Cox supporters agreed.

Nearly 60% of registered voters say that Cox’s ideas and policies are either “very” or “somewhat” similar to those held by former President Donald Trump, who has endorsed and fundraised for Cox.

In addition, 90% of those who cite threats to democracy as their top issue also say they are certain to vote. Those motivated by other issues are considerably less sure about casting a ballot this November, including crime (14%), public education (14%), abortion (11%) and taxes (8%).



Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Marketing and Communications for the University of Maryland community on weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.