Skip to Content
chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up chevron-right chevron-left arrow-back star phone quote checkbox-checked search wrench info shield play connection mobile coin-dollar spoon-knife ticket pushpin location gift fire feed bubbles home heart calendar price-tag credit-card clock envelop facebook instagram twitter youtube pinterest yelp google reddit linkedin envelope bbb pinterest homeadvisor angies

Pamela Wood

The Baltimore Banner

March 6, 2024

New polling paints a picture of two very different races for open congressional seats in the Baltimore suburbs.

In the 2nd Congressional District, the Democratic primary appears to be Johnny Olszewski Jr.’s to lose. The Baltimore County executive enjoys 50% support, compared to 5% support for his chief rival, Del. Harry Bhandari, according to an internal campaign poll.

Meanwhile, in the 3rd Congressional District, no one among a slew of Democratic candidates is getting out of single digits and more than half of voters are undecided, according to another poll.

The primary is May 14. Here’s a breakdown of the new polls.

2nd Congressional District

The 2nd Congressional District seat is open, with longtime U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, a Democrat, opting to retire. The district includes most of Carroll County, a large portion of Baltimore County and dips into north-central Baltimore City.

Who did the poll: Olszewski’s campaign hired Global Strategy Group.

What they found: Among Democratic primary voters, Olszewski holds a 50% to 5% advantage over Bhandari, who has been a member of the House of Delegates since 2019. A total of 38% of those polled were undecided.

When the poll was done: Global Strategy Group polled 400 likely Democratic primary voters from Feb. 14-19.

Key takeaway: Olszewski is taking the poll as a positive sign as the primary approaches. He said in a statement: “We never take any vote for granted, and we are so very encouraged by the results of the poll” — perhaps a nod to his first run for county executive in 2018, when he won the Democratic primary by 17 votes.

The poll also tested Olszewski’s approval rating as county executive, which was 71% among Baltimore County voters who were polled and 47% across the full district.

3rd Congressional District

The 3rd Congressional District seat also is open after U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes, a Democrat, decided to step down after this election. The district includes all of Howard County, a large swath of central and northern Anne Arundel County and a small portion of Carroll County.

Who did the poll: The nonprofit U.S. Term Limits, which advocates for limiting terms of elected officials, commissioned the poll from RMG Research. U.S. Term Limits and the campaign of businessman Juan Dominguez released the results jointly.

What they found: In the Democratic primary, none of the candidates has a clear lead or base of support, with 51% of those polled saying they are undecided.

State Sen. Sarah Elfreth had the most support, at 9%. She was followed by former Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn (7%); state Del. Mike Rogers (6%); businessman Dominguez and lawyer Michael Coburn (both at 3%); State Sen. Clarence Lam and Del. Mark Chang (both at 2%); and Del. Terri Hill and lawyer John Morse (both at 1%). And 13% said they would vote for “someone else” if the primary election were held now.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8%.

When the poll was done: RMG polled 423 likely Democratic voters between Feb. 19-26.

Key takeaway: This race is anybody’s to win, and clearly voters know little about the candidates — 22 of them — they’ll choose from.

The pollsters also tested a message on term limits. After respondents were asked about who they’d vote for, they were told that Dominguez signed a pledge to support term limits, while the others have not. When respondents were asked again who they’d vote for, Dominguez’s support rose to 27%.

Contact Us Today