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Sheila Dixon Leads Baltimore Mayoral Race, Poll Says

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Sheila Dixon is leading Baltimore's mayoral race, according to a new poll by The Baltimore Sun, the University of Baltimore and WYPR.

According to their poll, Dixon leads with 16% of the Democratic primary voters, she is followed by City Council President Brandon Scott and former Maryland Deputy Attorney General Thiru Vignarajah who both have 10% of the voters polled.

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T.J. Smith has 9% followed by Mary Miller with 7% and the incumbent mayor Jack Young with 6% of the voters polled.

"I think the blind spot in the polls is always, 'What is voter turnout going to be like?'" political expert Dr. Roger Hartley, of the University of Baltimore, said.

Some of the candidates are spending on name recognition.

"That's really critically important," Hartley said. "It's not important. It's not because people don't know what's going on. These are likely primary voters."

Many voters that WJZ spoke with still haven't made up their minds.

"I'm trying to weigh it out and stuff," Dannette Barksdale, of Baltimore, said.

"It's hard to decide who you're going to vote for," another Baltimore resident told WJZ.

Given recent public corruption involving former Mayor Catherine Pugh, some voters said ethics will play a role in choosing their candidate.

When the same poll asked voters about what the most important thing they are looking for in the next mayor or want the mayor to do, honesty and integrity the second item at 21%.

"Can you trust they're going to do what they say and not be afraid?" Barksdale said.

Addressing crime was the top issue at 50%, then schools and youth at 15%. Vision and leadership and cleaning up Baltimore were 9% and 8% respectively.

The poll results are based on a survey of 400 people, who are likely to vote in the Democratic primary. The margin of error is 4.9%.

Read the full poll results here. 

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