In a statement posted on her website, Lise Van Susteren became the first to drop out of the race to succeed retiring U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes. It’s the first of many such announcements as the 2006 campaign season slowly kicks into gear. While she hadn’t officially filed, Van Susteren had announced last fall she would be seeking the Senate seat.
The Senate hopeful had raised a half million dollars for her campaign, but did not deem it enough to reach a sufficient number of voters to win the Democrat nod. A recent poll by Gonzales Research found her third in the Democrat field, but with just a low single digit number.
If you’re handicapping the Democrat field to decide who will face presumptive GOP nominee Michael Steele, the Gonzales poll of 423 likely Democrat primary voters came in as follows:
Ben Cardin 39%
Kweisi Mfume 31%
Lise Van Susteren 4%
Allan Lichtman 2%
Josh Rales 1%
Dennis Rasmussen 1%
Basically the undecideds came in well ahead of the bottom 4 in the field.
This poll also gave both Cardin and Mfume a lead over Steele, Cardin being up 49%-35% and Mfume up 44%-39%. Perhaps the leak of a purported Democrat memo cited by the Maryland GOP served as a reminder to black voters about keeping on the plantation.