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Poll: Many Md. Voters Don't Know Much About 7 Dems In Gov. Race

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Democrats have their work cut out for them in the primary race for governor.

A new Goucher poll shows that most Marylanders don't know enough about any of the seven party contenders to make a choice.

Political reporter Pat Warren reports on how they're stacking up.

The early leaders are the county executives in the race, but even they need more face time.

They are drawing crowds, but they are short on voters. According to a new poll, the Democrats in the primary for governor are running in a pack.

"The story right now is most of the candidates are really unknown," says Mileah Kromer, with Goucher Hughes Politics Center.

Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker leads the pack -- 21 percent would consider him, but 70 percent don't know enough to judge.

For Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, 17 percent of those polled would consider him but 72 percent say they don't know enough about him.

"This is a marathon, you know voters aren't really focused on a primary that's going to be in June. We're obviously all over the state letting people know about our great record in Baltimore County and we're talking about issues we think are important statewide," he said.

Rushern Baker tells WJZ in a statement:

"Polls can be helpful, but my focus remains on earning the support of Maryland voters by sharing my story and vision for the state. I look forward to working hard to earn the support of Marylanders across this great state, they already have mine."

"We're building a movement of working families across the state," says Ben Jealous.

The former NAACP president polls third in name recognition. 14 percent would consider him, while 77 percent don't know enough about him.

We're talking about kitchen table issues

86 percent or more of voters polled say they don't know enough about four other Democrats for governor.

8 percent would consider voting for state Senator Richard Madaleno, attorney Jim Shea has 6 percent, 5 percent would consider tech entrepreneur Alec Ross, and 2 percent would consider voting for Kkrish Vignarajah, a former aide Michelle Obama.

Which means there'll be a lot said about the incumbent.

According to the Goucher poll, education, economy, and jobs are the top issues.

Candidates have until February to file for a spot on the ballot. Maryland's primary election is June 26.

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