Obama, health care overhaul popular in Md., not U.S.
Updated, with national poll numbers
Majorities of Maryland voters approve of President Barack Obama's job performance and his health care plan, according to a survey conducted this month by Public Policy Polling.
Obama enjoyed a 56 percent approval rating versus 39 percent disapproval in the telephone poll of 569 Maryland voters from July 10 through 12. Fifty-three percent of Marylanders supported his health care plan, and 39 percent opposed it.
Those numbers stand in contrast to a national poll conducted by the same firm from July 9 through 12, which found 52 percent disapproval for Obama and 53 percent opposition to his health care plan.
Nationally, 45 percent of voters approve of Obama's job performance and 40 percent support his health care plan. Public Policy Polling is headed by Democratic pollster Dean Debnam.
The Maryland survey brought good news for Democratic Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, now seeking a fifth term. Fifty-four percent approve of her job performance, against 32 percent who disapprove.
By contrast, the two Republican challengers named by Public Policy Polling remain largely unknown. Only 18 percent of Maryland voters have formed an opinion about Harford County attorney James Rutledge; the opinion of 13 percent is unfavorable.
Just 10 percent have formed an opinion about Queen Anne's County physician Eric Wargotz; the opinion of 9 percent is unfavorable.
If the election were held now, Mikulski would beat Rutledge 58 percent to 30 percent. She would beat Wargotz 59 percent to 27 percent.