Roy Baldwin released a poll for the Democratic primary in HD-35, the seat Steve Shannon is vacating to run for Attorney General. The poll was conducted April 13 – 16, and had a sample size of 400:
Roy Baldwin: 11%
John Carroll: 7%
Mark Keam: 5%
Esam Omeish: 2%
(The Baldwin campaign declined to send me any more information about the poll.)
Two things: First, while Baldwin “leads” the field, his lead over Carroll is within the margin of error. And with 75% of the Democratic population still undecided, this poll shows that none of the candidates have an advantage thus far.
Second, while Celinda Lake is a very good pollster, Mark Keam has tapped into the Korean population in Vienna. That community isn’t particularly large, but it’s enough to gain a lot of ground in a primary. It’s likely that a lot of Keam’s supporters are voters who don’t typically vote in local election primaries, and might not be included in a standard “likely voter” sample. It doesn’t mean the poll is wrong, or that Baldwin isn’t “leading”, but I think it’s understating Keam’s support.
Then again, with a contested Democratic primary at the top of the ticket, turnout is bound to be higher, minimizing that effect. And with 75% of the population undecided, this is truly anyone’s race.