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.
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.