The poll sample size is relatively small, and the margin of error is relatively high. But there’s no mistaking the trend: Del. Cory V. McCray is pulling ahead of state Senate President Pro Tem Nathaniel J. McFadden in the Democratic primary for Senate in Baltimore City’s 45th District.A recent poll conducted for McCray’s campaign showed the challenger with 39 percent of the vote and McFadden at 33 percent, with 28 percent undecided.The survey of 236 likely Democratic primary voters was taken May 30-June 4 by Lake Research Partners. It had a 6.5-point margin of error.Del. Cory V. McCrayThe Washington, D.C.-based firm of veteran Democratic pollster Celinda Lake conducted a similar survey on the East Baltimore district about a year ago. That poll showed McFadden topping McCray, 35 percent to 20 percent.“The movement in this survey data underscores the appeal of McCray’s personal story, deeply-rooted connections to the community, and his message of change – as well as voters’ profound desire for change,” Lake Research Partners pollster Daniel Gotoff wrote in a memo. “McCray is well positioned to win the Democratic Primary for State Senate, provided his campaign continues to have the resources to mount aggressive voter outreach and paid media efforts over the final weeks of the race.”McCray has outraised McFadden by a considerable margin for this campaign. Through mid-May, he had $71,000 in his campaign account, compared to just $15,000 for the six-term incumbent. A fundraising committee controlled by Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert), an ally of McFadden’s, had paid for a handful of pro-McFadden mailers earlier this spring, but that spending appears to have stopped.The McFadden-McCray race is one of the most closely watched elections of the primary season, and it is one of several generational battles, particularly in and around Baltimore City. McCray is 35 while McFadden, who previously served on the Baltimore City Council, is 71.But McCray has also rapped McFadden for being insufficiently supportive of progressive initiatives and reluctant to stray from the leadership orthodoxy in the Senate. The challenger has the backing of several liberal groups and labor unions, including the Service Employees International Union Local 1199, Progressive Maryland and Our Revolution.According to the polling memo, McFadden’s favorability rating has dropped precipitously since the prior poll, from 58 percent to 40 percent.McCray, the pollsters wrote, “has the momentum” in the primary.[email protected]
Founding Editor Josh Kurtz is a veteran chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He was an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, for eight years, and for eight years was the editor of E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill. For 6 1/2 years Kurtz wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz regularly gives speeches and appears on TV and radio shows to discuss Maryland politics.