Former Maryland Governor predicts gubernatorial race will narrow

Former governor Martin O’Malley (D) predicted on Thursday that Ben Jealous’s bid to unseat Gov. Larry Hogan (R) will be closer than what polls are suggesting.

“I think there are a lot of Democrats in Maryland who in this critically important midterm do not want to be recorded as being in Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE’s column so I think it’s actually going to narrow – I think it’ll be a better race than it would appear from the polling,” the former Maryland governor told Hill.TV co-hosts on “Rising.”

Hogan has maintained a sizable lead over Jealous throughout the course of their gubernatorial race, but O’Malley argues that the energy among the base offers some hope in a state where Democrats have traditionally outnumbered Republicans.

“I was at a big rally the other night and Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 candidates have the chance to embrace smarter education policies Bernie Sanders Adviser talks criminal justice reform proposal, 'Medicare for All' plan Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona MORE was there as well and the place was jammed…so there’s a lot of energy within the base in Maryland,” he said.

Hogan holds a 20-point lead over Jealous, according to a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll that was conducted in October. Fifty-eight percent of voters support the Republican incumbent compared to 38 percent who support Jealous, while just 5 percent remain undecided.

Hogan is also the second-most popular governor in the United States as measured by Morning Consult, with 68 percent of Maryland voters approving of his job performance.

O’Malley has been on the campaign trail stumping for Democratic candidates across the country, including in state legislature races like Colorado and Minnesota that don’t generally get a lot of national attention.

Overall, the former Maryland mayor thinks that November’s midterm election will be a “very good night for Democrats,” citing the growing momentum over the past two years in state races. 

“I don’t have a way to see what happens on Tuesday but I can tell you what’s happened over the last two years and of the 100 special elections, 50 of them haven’t flipped at all – the other 50 have and of those, forty-four of them have been won back by Democrats.”

— Tess Bonn