Maryland Governor's Race: Moore leads Cox by more than 30 points

There's just over a month before Maryland voters pick a new governor, and a new poll out on the race says Democrat Wes Moore is opening up a sizable lead over Republican opponent Dan Cox.

The poll by the University of Maryland and the Washington Post shows 60% of voters saying they'll vote for West Moore, but only 28% saying they'll vote for Dan Cox.

READ MORE: Wes Moore declines FOX 5 debate with Dan Cox

Washington Post Polling Director Scott Clement tells FOX 5 that Moore has locked up the support of Maryland Democrats in a state where they hold a big voter advantage over Republicans. However, nearly a quarter of Republicans say they plan on voting Democratic in the governor's race.

"Suffice to say, he really needs that number to go up a lot – Dan Cox – he needs more support from Republicans in addition to sinning independents and some Democrats," says Clement.

Meanwhile, Maryland's Court of Appeals will hear arguments Friday on a suit by Cox aiming to block the early counting of mail-in ballots. A Montgomery Circuit judge suspended a state law to allow mail-in ballots to be counted immediately.

READ MORE: Dan Cox files motion to block counting of mail-in ballots early

Professor Michael Hammer of the University of Maryland says many voters now see mail-in ballots as their preferred way to vote.

"The pandemic I think really changed people’s views because they saw that it can work effectively, and they were able to trust in the system," says Hammer. "There were a lot of doubts cast about mail-in ballots and all of the concerns I think were dealt with very well."

READ MORE: Maryland Governor Race: Dan Cox calls out Wes Moore over autobiography inaccuracies

A spokesperson for the Moore campaign tells FOX 5 they "have the momentum but we can't take our foot off the gas." FOX 5 has not yet heard from the Cox campaign.