Does online poll carry any weight in House race?
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 12:57

Grammer, Long, Toland top Red Maryland tally

by Ben Boehl

    Professional polls are plentiful in the Maryland gubernatorial race, but it is rare to find polls of any kind for local races.
    Rare, but not unheard of.
    Red Maryland, a prominent conservative blog, recently released the results of an online poll conducted for the 6th District Republican House primary. Many of the Republican candidates — and other observers — said the poll was flawed, since the sample size was relative small and not necessarily a true representative sample, and also because voters could vote multiple times and online votes from outside the 6th District could not be screened out.
    Over 300 votes were cast in the poll, and Essex resident Robin Grammer led the GOP field with 19.4 percent. Real estate broker Bob Long  had 18.4 percent and finished three votes behind Grammer.
    “Polls are non-scientific tests that are won by persuading voters and turn-
ing out your supporters; so are elections,” Grammer said in response to the Red Maryland poll.
    “While I personally don’t see this single poll alone as a big deal, it is a part of the bigger narrative of our campaign.”

In what may have been the poll’s biggest surprise, Mitchell Toland’s tally of  15.5 percent of the vote put him third in the poll.
    “I’m excited to be in the top tier of candidates,’ Toland said. “However, a lot of work still needs to be done between now and election day. I’m not taking anything for granted.
    Dan Liberatore came in fourth with 7.6 percent and Ric Metzgar was fifth with 6.9 percent, while  26.6 percent said they were undecided.
    Metzgar said he is not taking the poll seriously at all.
    “If I really wanted to win that poll, I could have voted multiple times.”
    Long, who was the top Republican vote-getter in the 2010 general election, discounted the results as well.
    “I don’t take much into it,” Long said. “I guess [the poll] depends on which candidate can get their friends to vote the most often.”
    With no clear-cut favorites on the Republican side, candidates are preparing for the last six weeks before the June 24 primary.
    Long said that he has never stopped campaigning since his defeat in 2010 and questions if the first-time Republican candidates can build up enough name recognition before the primary.
    Metzgar, who has two previous GOP primary wins on his résumé, also feels confident as the June 24 election approaches, saying he believes he will be in the top three.
    “People ask me why I don’t have any big signs,” Metzgar said. “I don’t need big signs. I stand on the issues and my integrity.”
    Grammer said his campaign has put itself in position to have success on election night.
    “Our campaign leads in fundraising, we lead in voter outreach and now we lead in this poll,” Grammer said.
    “Big victories are built on small victories. We are happy with the poll.  Now we continue our campaign and prepare for June.”