The 2018 Democratic primary for Prince George’s County executive will be a tight race between State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks and former U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards, a month-old poll suggests – assuming Edwards enters the contest.
Both women are very popular with the electorate, and the primary will probably be decided by voters who like them both, the survey found.
The poll, obtained by Maryland Matters, showed Alsobrooks with a small but statistically insignificant lead over Edwards in a hypothetical four-way primary. State Sen. Anthony Muse trailed far behind, and former Obama administration official Paul Monteiro was barely known by Democratic voters.
The poll was conducted for the Greater Prince George’s Business Roundtable by Gonzales Research & Media Services. It surveyed 407 registered Democrats from Sept. 1-7 and carried a 5-point margin of error.
In the initial ballot test, Alsobrooks was favored by 37 percent of Democrats, compared to 33 percent for Edwards, 8 percent for Muse and 1 percent for Monteiro. Twenty-one percent of survey respondents were undecided.
Both Alsobrooks and Edwards are very well known and quite popular, the poll found.
Alsobrooks was recognized by 80 percent of Prince George’s Democratic primary voters; 60 percent viewed her favorably, while only 4 percent had an unfavorable opinion. Sixteen percent of poll respondents had a neutral view of her.
When it comes to Alsobrooks’ performance as state’s attorney, 76 percent approved and only 3 percent disapproved, while 21 percent did not evaluate her job performance. Alsobrooks is completing her second term as the county’s top prosecutor.
Edwards, who lost a bid for U.S. Senate last year after eight years in the House, is also well-liked. Two-thirds of Prince George’s Democrats viewed her favorably, and just 6 percent viewed her unfavorably. A quarter of voters had a neutral opinion of Edwards, and only 3 percent of those queried did not recognize her name.
Muse, a prominent minister who is finishing his third term in the state Senate and also served four years in the House of Delegates, was seen favorably by 39 percent of voters. Eight percent had an unfavorable view, 35 percent had a neutral opinion of him, and 18 percent didn’t recognize Muse’s name. Monteiro, a newcomer to Prince George’s politics, was unknown to 84 percent of the electorate.
It is unclear whether Edwards will join the race for county executive. She has publicly acknowledged that she is eager to return to public service and is publicly contemplating becoming a candidate. Several unions and progressive groups are urging her to run.
“When Donna Edwards formally enters, the 2018 county executive election will become a fierce contest,” pollster Patrick Gonzales wrote in a memo to the leaders of the business group. “Since the two frontrunners are very popular among voters, the election will ultimately be decided by the bloc that likes them both. Currently, Angela Alsobrooks enjoys a 52% to 22% lead over Donna Edwards amongst Prince George’s Democratic primary voters who have a ‘very favorable’ opinion of both candidates.”