BREAKING: New Sun Poll: Pugh 31, Dixon 25

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The Baltimore Sun has done a new mayoral poll that shows State Senator Catherine Pugh extending her prior slight lead to a firmer six points:

State Sen. Catherine E. Pugh has opened up a clear lead over former Mayor Sheila Dixon as the mayor’s race enters its final weeks, according to a new poll for The Baltimore Sun and the University of Baltimore.

Pugh, who has gained support steadily over recent weeks, is the choice of 31 percent of likely Democratic primary voters, the poll shows. She’s followed by Dixon, who is in second place with 25 percent after leading or being tied for first in previous polls. Lawyer Elizabeth Embry is a distant third with 9 percent.

“Senator Pugh is clearly the one in command now in this race,” said Steve Raabe, president of OpinionWorks, the Annapolis-based firm that conducted the poll. “She is leading and widening her lead.”

The rest of the field trails by a significant margin:

Businessman David L. Warnock is in fourth place with 7 percent, followed by City Councilmen Nick J. Mosby and Carl Stokes, tied at 5 percent. All other candidates in the crowded field of 13 Democrats — including prominent Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson — polled at less than 1 percent.

Pugh is the only candidate who has been able to gain strong support from both white and black voters.

In the poll, Pugh showed an ability to appeal to both white and black Baltimore Democratic primary voters. Dixon led Pugh among African-Americans — 35 percent to 31 percent — with Mosby a distant third. But Pugh had a sizable lead among white voters: 38 percent support Pugh, compared with 25 percent for Embry, 16 percent for Warnock and 8 percent for Dixon.

Both Embry and Warnock have struggled to gain support in the black community, the poll shows.
“Pugh is crossing over well into the white community,” Raabe said. “Dixon is much less popular in the white community; Warnock and Embry are not able to pick up support in the African-American community. Pugh is the one leading candidate who is able to transcend.”

The poll confirms what has been the conventional wisdom for weeks, that Pugh is leading and has momentum. Expect the recent series of attacks on her to continue through to Election Day. But as long as she continues to weather the hits as well as she has so far, this race is now hers to lose.

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