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Brandon Scott sees surge in approval amid Baltimore mayoral race

Your Thursday morning news roundup: 4/11/2024
Your Thursday morning news roundup: 4/11/2024 02:58

BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott is seeing a surge in support from city voters in the last few months as he makes a bid to keep his seat this year, according to a newly released poll. 

The Goucher College Poll, released Thursday morning in partnership with WJZ media partner The Baltimore Banner, surveyed 705 Baltimore City registered voters. The poll has a 3.7 percentage point margin of error.

The voters were asked about their opinions of city leaders, issues facing the city and how the city is doing. 

Scott gains ground 

Mayor Scott's favorability rating in the closely contested race increased by 18 percentage points in the last six months, and the incumbent's job approval rating grew from 37% last October to 46%. 

This year's election field looks much like it did in 2020, when now-Mayor Brandon Scott won 29.6% of the vote to defeat former Mayor Sheila Dixon (27.5%) and Thiru Vignarajah (11.5%). 

Scott faces a strong rival in Dixon, who holds 32% favorability and is on her third bid to retake the seat.

In a Goucher Poll last year, 27% of registered Democratic voters said they would vote to reelect Scott, but 39% would vote for Dixon. Now, about 40% of likely Democratic voters polled said they would reelect Scott, while 32% said they would support Dixon.

As for trailing candidates, 11% of respondents said they would vote for Thiru Vignarajah, and 3% said they would support businessman Bob Wallace. 

Scott performed even better with the 440 respondents likely to vote in the Democratic party. In a city where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 10 to 1 margin, the outcome of the Democratic Primary in May effectively decides the General Election outcome in November. 

The incumbent is "clearly" in a better position now than he was six months ago, Mileah Kromer, associate professor of political science and the director of the Sarah T. Hughes Center for Politics at Goucher College, told the Baltimore Banner.

"I wouldn't say he is, by any stretch of the imagination, a shoo-in," Kromer said. "But he has made some considerable gains."

The mayor is emphasizing the results of his tenure in his campaign, which include reduced violent crime, investment in the city's youth, and economic growth.   

Last year Baltimore saw fewer than 300 homicides for the first time since 2015. Kromer also told the Banner that Scott's response to the Key Bridge collapse may have resonated with voters. 

The Goucher Poll found 61% of respondents approved of his leadership in the disaster.  

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