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June 11, 2010

New poll has Ehrlich, O'Malley in dead heat

A new Rasmussen poll says the state's gubernatorial race is tied with 45 percent supporting Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley and 45 percent favoring his likely Republican challenger in November, former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

Five percent of those questioned were undecided and five percent say they support a different candidate, according to the poll. The poll surveyed 500 likely voters, which has a 4.5 percent margin for error. It is generally viewed as a conservative poll.

A February Rasmussen poll showed likely voters favoring O'Malley, 49 to 43. The gap tightened to 47-43 in an April. The significance of these polls is always difficult to gauge - though it will undoubtedly help with fundraising. Already Ehrlich sent out a blast email seeking $45 donations.

O'Malley campaign spokesman Rick Abbruzzese said their camp has always been expecting a close race, but cast some doubt on the veracity of the numbers. "The methodology raises some questions," he said. The phone surveys are automated, unlike polls politicians typically bankroll for their own campaigns.

Rasmussen threw in a question about gambling in Maryland - and found that 51 percent support adding table games like blackjack and poker to the state's casinos. Forty percent oppose. O'Malley has said he does not want them but Ehrlich has said in interviews he is "open" to the idea.

Arizona's controversial law empowering local police to check immigration status on people they stop was supported by 66 percent of Marylanders questioned, according to the poll. Twenty-seven percent opposed the measure.

Immigration has yet to emerge in the gubernatorial race, though it is on the table in legislative races. Eastern Baltimore County Del. Patrick McDonough, a Republican, said he will introduce a bill mirroring Arizona's law next session and drawing criticism from a Democratic challenger.
Posted by Annie Linskey at 8:36 AM | | Comments (19)
Categories: Candidate Watch 2010, Horserace, People


The poll shows people fear another tax increase. The poll shows the reality of Legg Mason slowly leaving the state; BP Solar jumping ship; Solo/Sweetheart Cup shutting down; Black & Decker fleeing the state (CT is better for business) and countless other layoffs. The poll shows that people see that Maryland is the 45th worst state for business.If you hate your boss, vote for O'Malley - your boss will leave the state like so many already have.Besides, how are your utility costs? Would have saved some jobs if the Constellation/FPL merger took place -- Constellation was too heavy into the commodities and we saw what happened then. Of course, O'Medler had to be involved - and everything he touches gets screwed up for teh taxpayers.But with a tie, there's hope that people see the errors of a single-party system. O'Money is taking himself out of the picture.

Hopefully this is a sign that the people of MD are finally coming to their senses and realizing the damage Owe'Malley is causing. What baffles my mind is that half of the people in MD still don't see the light. Come on people, get a clue!

The ONLY reason I want Ehrlich to win is so the legislooters in Annapolis will stop doing anything. Just like last time.

It is past time for obama omalley to leave his position. He has shown us what he is all about. It's time for all incumbents to get another JOB, this includes Mckulski too.

Hello ?!?!?!?!
Anyone who knows anything about polling in 2009 knows that "Ras" has a seven to eight point bias toward any Republican candidate. Just go to and read the professional comments.
So, the real number is probably 51-42 (or slightly higher) for OMalley.

And thank you Tim for your biased opinion as well.

How many of you don't want either of these guys. I wish they won't pu the word "neither" on the ballot to see the number!

Tim- I went on your goose chase. I don't think you know anything about pollong either; just what you want the polls to say. Ras is predicting a lot of (R) wins in 2010, maybe a bit overstated, however it correctly predicted a MOM win in 2006 in each of its polls. I am sure you beLIEve in MOM, hope and moving MD forward. So far MOM policies has regressed the MD business climate as the 45th worst business state in the union. I guess when you are starting at the bottom there is nowhere else to go but up. Keep on beLIEving in ur candidate and grasping at any sign that ur candidate has life; I will keep providing the facts.

O'Malley campaign spokesman Rick Abbruzzese said their camp has always been expecting a close race, but cast some doubt on the veracity of the numbers. "The methodology raises some questions.."
Unlike some of the earlier polls listed on, Rasmussen polled only likely voters as opposed to registered voters. Of major polling firms, Rasmussen came closest to calling the 2008 Presidential election accurately.

@ larry & dbalman
What are you talking about? I wasn't presenting my opinion or my preference for either candidate.
Rassmussen is a Republican polling organization, most often quoted by Matt Drudge and Fox News. That's not an opinion or bias, that's a fact.
Nate Silver at just did a great statistical ranking of all the major polling organizations. Maybe you ought to actually read it.
If "Ras" is correct, the Republicans will have 54 Senate seats in November ... that's not going to happen. Maybe you want that to happen, but that doesn't make it so.
Facts are facts... their polling consistently leans 7-8% higher for Republicans than ALL other pollsters. That was the only point I was making.
Exactly who's being biased here ;-)

Tim is absolutely right. You can certainly ignore his point, but if you do so you're ignoring the clear track record.

Not only is Ras a Republican polling outfit, they have a history of issuing badly biased polls well before elections in order to set narratives, then gradually moving into line with all other pollsters (frequently showing huge unexplainable swings to get there) near the elections in order to claim accuracy.

As soon as I saw the headline, I knew this was a Rasmussen poll. It's very much true to form. If I were Ehrlich, I wouldn't take any comfort from this at all.

Rassmussen is not a Republican Polling outfit! They predicted Obama was going to win, and he did! Why is Democrats lie about and demonize a person or organization everytime they hear something they don't like! I'll pray for you, Rassmussen, is generally in line within a few percentage points with Zogby and other polls!

Tim and Kythe - I took the time to look at the Pollster rankings by Nate Silver and...big "misspoke". According to the study, Rasmussen is NOT a Republican pollster (the study id'd 2 Repub and 2 Dem pollsters). They ranked 15th in accuracy. They were MORE accurate than CBS/NYTimes (hmmm) ,CNN/Opinion Research, LA Times, Newsweek, Zogby, etc. ABC/Wash Post came in #2 - I would be intertested to see if they do a similar poll.

Bottom Line- ANY Repub Governor would be hard pressed to accomplish much with the Busch/Miller Iron Curtain in place. Face it, legislators have much more power in our system and we need to boot Busch/Miller as hard as we can. They are the career politicians that have been ruining this state for waaayyyy too long. Just watch the businesses keep kicking us to the curb.

If you like all of the "accomplish,ments" of O Malley then vote for him and the rest of the inbred Dems. But consider:
- MD hasnt seen a penny of slots fees since MD Legislature resisted during the Ehrlich year (the first) when we could have got top dollar
- Money for cleaning up the bay (flush tax)was diverted to balance the budget
- Taxes up up and way, businesses leaving state
- $389 million "hope and change" distribution from Federal budget is used to balance the budget
- State pension and spending do up and up...

How nutty and biased the Sun shows itself by discounting a reputable poll by a reputable polling company that has a pretty good record of accuracy by immediately discounting the poll as "conservative" in the 2nd sentence!

Just unbelievable. And I also noticed The Sun sort of buried the story as well.

And you wonder why The Baltimore Sun is in financial trouble and fewer and fewer people are reading it or regard it is a credible news source?

Here's you sign.

The only thing nuttier is the typical liberal response here from so many people...

Don't like the message, kill the messenger.
That's always the predictable response like clockwork!

And I never discounted the previous poll here that had O'Malley ahead by calling it a "liberal" poll either nor would Sun have said that either.

And of course, if another poll comes out and says the same thing, all of the people commenting will have another excuse and if another poll comes out saying O'Malley's ahead, guess what will happen?

The Sun will of course make it the LEAD STORY for 2-3 days!

The hypocrisy here is just too funny to be believed!

Anonymous is right on the money... We need to stop throwing money away. Best way to do that is to put in some checks/balances. Such checks/balances do not exist in a single-party system such as Maryland. Put Ehrlich (or Murphy) in the state house and the spending will freeze.O'Malley has been running scared from day one of these campaigns. That's why the wussy immediately came out with the mud-slinging. This is the guy that can't manage state finances yet at the same time, lost like 58 MILLION for Baltimore City. LOST. Clearly he was irresponsible to begin with and clearly he has damaged the state in the past 4 years. We deserve better.

Rasmussen is one of the more consistent and accurate pollsters out there. Minor GOP skew (usually overstating the GOP likely voter effect) but far better than pollsters that get a lot of airtime (Zogby, etc.)

Since this is clearly a GOP year, Rasmussen is probably a good bet.

Okay if Ramussen suppose to favor the Republicans. Then that must mean the
Gonzales Polls favor the Dems.

Interesting. Great site, I'll be checking back for more updates! I wonder though if perhaps O'Mally will drop in the polls.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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