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September 29, 2010

Poll: O'Malley pads lead against Ehrlich

* Updated with candidate reaction. * 

A Washington Post poll out this morning shows that Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley has widened his lead over Republican former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., compared to a poll the newspaper conducted earlier this year. O'Malley drew 52 percent of likely voter support to Ehrlich's 41 percent in the new poll.

And the governor appears to be more popular than in any other poll The Post has conducted during his administration, even as Maryland struggles with the fits and starts of an economy that remains fairly weak.

Ehrlich said the poll is "out of whack" with the other polls conducted in the race. "It is light years away," he said.  Meanwhile, O'Malley said he's taking the results the way he takes all poll results: "with a grain of salt."

(More reaction from both candidates and their campaigns below the jump.)

With just under five weeks until Election Day, the governor candidates have kicked their campaigns into high gear, both announcing high-profile supporters yesterday and running a volley of attack ads.

Other recent polls have found a closer margin between the two candidates -- but have also shown O'Malley gaining ground when compared to earlier polls conducted by those same organizations. A Rasmussen Reports poll out Sept. 20 showed O'Malley winning 50 percent of likely voters to Ehrlich's 47 percent. An August Rasmussen poll had them tied at 47 percent.

"Nearly every other poll shows this race statistically tied," Ehrlich spokesman Henry Fawell said in an email this morning. "Just last week, The Post's own Chris Cillizza moved this race from 'leaning Democrat' to 'Toss Up.' Exactly one year ago The Post poll in the Virginia gubernatorial race said Democrat Creigh Deeds was within striking distance (four points). He lost by 18 points one month later. We are very confident that Marylanders want to do better than the massive job losses and record deficits under Martin O'Malley and are embracing Bob Ehrlich's plan to fix the economy." 

O'Malley campaign spokesman Rick Abbruzzese has this to say in an email: “Maryland families know Governor O’Malley is on their side, and he’s working every day to move our state forward.  There have been and will be many polls, but one consistent theme is that voters are hearing Governor O’Malley’s message and he’s well positioned to win in November.” 

After an event this morning in White Marsh, O'Malley said the poll, while favorable to him a "snapshot."

"These snapshots will vary widely" throughout the next five weeks, he said. "It all comes down to turnout," he said -- something he said will be an intense focus for his campaign.

In 2006, O'Malley, then the mayor of Baltimore, toppled the popular Republican governor, winning by a margin of 6.5 percent, or about 117,000 votes. The Sun recently examined how the electorate has changed in the past four years and what each candidate must do to win.

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 12:29 PM | | Comments (50)
Categories: Horserace


The Dem percentage in that poll is higher than Obama turnout. That's pretty absurd.

One issue the polls don't account for are folks like me who don't pick-up the phone when they see a pollster's company on the Caller ID. I simply decline to participate in anybody's or any party's effort to bolster a candidate's image. There was a time when the polls were fair and reasonably accurate, now they simply serve to deceive and/or promote their own agenda.

It just goes to show that O'Malley has done a good job under the horrible conditions caused by the National and State Republicans! Also, Ehrlich was a horrible governor for 4 years - and has not offered one single reason to vote him into office again (other than the lies his commercials espouse)!

I believe the poll numbers. Maryland voters threw out Ehrlich four years ago. What is not to like concerning the job O'Malley has done in four years? So , why would voters want Boobie E. back? Easy, they don't!

"A spokeman for Ehrlich called the survey "wildly off base.""

What else would you expect him to say? That it's clear his candidate's popularity is waning among likely voters and the situation looks increasingly hopeless?

I'm sure there's a "plus or minus" error range in this poll, but at this point I'm expecting (for good or for bad) another 4 years of O'Malley as governor.

People do not want a governor who is extreme like Erhlich. He fired career State employees who had 20 years service because of their party affiliation. He also left a structural deficit in an election year rather than take it on it and make tough choices. This poll is probably correct based on what I have heard people in my world say. More are against Ehrlich than for him thus the difference.

I need to see two things to believe this:
(1) Their voter model (Democrat, Republican and Indy).
(2) Whether this is likely voters or registered voters.

I would guess that O'Malley may be ahead, but there is no way that Ehrlich gets only 41% if the election were today. That along with the partisan nature of the organization that is pushing the poll (Washington Post) raises serious red flags.

Sounds like voters are finally coming to their senses. When you take all the emotion of attack ads out of the equation and focus on the facts, it is a no brainer. Both men have flaws but only one is a crook. PLEASE DO NOT VOTE FOR BOB EHRLICH!!!!!!!

If the polls are correct i guess most marylanders don't mind $2billion hard earned tax $$ every single year going to illegal aliens in md. Illegal aliens who are on welfare because of the "babies for profits" scam that casa and propreak tell illegals its their link into the system of fraud.. Illegal aliens who work state jobs like highways and landscaping projects through "law breaking" subcontractors who hire them. Illegal aliens who bring in their drugs, weapons and gangs who kill our children.. Illegal aliens who have been here many years and still "illegal" instead of becoming productive citizens. Could it be that they enjoy their life of crime*scams* on the citizens of maryland and omalley caters to them by allowing them to vote? Thousands if not more, came to Md to get a md drivers license using fake id's and then handed a voters registration card. Was omalley aware? You bet he was. When the real id act came into play, most of these licenses should of stopped as of july 1, 2009 but Omalley allowed them to have their license til 2015!! Why? Votes people votes. Vote with Caution.

The first poll after Bob Ehrlich snubbed and insulted the tea party voters.

ehrlich's problem is not the bad poll numbers, his problem is that everyone already knows he has nothing to offer besides his patented victimization shtick. considering how badly bush brutalized the american economy, o'malley has done fine and will be reelected easily.

Wow! really the paper has gone this far in making stuff up? Ehrlich wins this one going away folks. They must have polled O'Malley's family for their stats.

Mike D..."O'Malley drew 52 percent of likely voter support to Ehrlich's 41 percent in the new poll." I hope this answer's your 2nd question. As for #1, "This Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone September 22-26, 2010, among a random sample of 1,448 adult residents of Maryland, including 1,196 registered voters and 730 likely voters." Remember that Mryland has a 2:1 Dem to Repub registration. Since it is a WP poll, one need only go to the WP website to get any of the answers you seek.

The voter registration of the sample mimicks the voter registration of the state, around 57D-26R-13I. On election day however, the number drop to around 50D-30R-20I. I won't use VA as an example. Remember last year Deeds closed the gap temporarily when McDonnell's thesis was discovered, so that explains the anomaly. But I will use 2006 as a precedent. The WP had O'Malley +10 last time and he won by 6.5. Based on this poll, I'd say that O'Malley is probably about +7.15 today.

Check out this video about the WP Poll.
It shows that Boobie E is all about supporting the rich in Maryland. Not once in this interview does he even mention the middle class taxpayer. He also never talk about what he will cut form his budget if he cuts the sales tax and the $600 million that tax brings in. Finally. listen carefully to Gov. O'Malley and why he had to raise the sales tax to begin with. Bye Bye Boobie. We threw you out four years ago. Why would we invite you back now? It is the same dilemma as the National races. The Bush years were a disaster for the country. Why would we give them back the keys to the same car they wrecked in the ditch less than 2 years ago? In either case, if the Repubes get back in, the electorate deserves the Hell it will get.

Polls are self serving and absurd. I am on the "Do not call" list and still get these absurd polls. If I answer and it is a poll, I hang up.

They must be polling Baltimore City and PG County. I do not know of a SINGLE person that I work with that will vote for O'Malley. I guess the more educated do not fall for the false ads O'Malley is running tying Ehrlich to BGE and other false issues.

If O'Malley wins this time I do pray he stops lying to me.

Ehrlich has failed to provide any real substance in his campaign, only standard political rhetoric.. like he is going to cut taxes, but provide additional funding to everyone at the same time. It finally caught up to him. He was hoping it would last until November 3. I think he even said he would stop making stuff up on November 3, after the election.

I have to laugh at some of the idiotic comments coming from the O'Malley loyalists. MDR's comment that these poll results just go to show the good job MOM has done are ludicrous. Because a liberal rag like the Washington Post says O'Malley is ahead we're all supposed to take that to mean he's done a good job? Are you friggin kidding me? I'd just like ONE person who's commented on here to tell me something "good" that O'Malley has done while in office? Wake up people. This moron has taken the state of MD to the brink of disaster and you all are too blind to see it.

Dear outtahere:

Those were MEW55's comments, not mine (MDR). Dumba**.......

Ehrlich will lose. It's about the simple fact that the Dems are better organized and outnumber the Republicans 2 to 1. The numbers worked for the GOP only one time in the last 40 years and that was in 2002 when the Dems were disorganized and divided over the horrid KKT. There is no such trouble this year. If Bobby can walk away with 45% of the vote, he should be happy. The GOP should spend more time on winnable races, like Kratovil's seat or trying to take back Ruppersberger's seat.

That "liberal rag" endorsed Bob Ehrlich in 2006. and O'Malley did a good thing when he fired Ken Schisler and the ice dancer.

If O'Malley gets re-elected I will strongly consider leaving the state, just like so many corporations have done who provide jobs.

MEW55: "It just goes to show that O'Malley has done a good job under the horrible conditions caused by the National and State Republicans!"
You are Joking right?
The STATE Republicans can do nothing, the problem in this state was caused COMPLETELY by the state Democrats seeing how they have a filibuster proof majority, and have has it practically forever. Also, I think you seem to forget who controlled the house and Senate the last four years. The national Democrats have caused just as much damage (probably more) to the economy. If you want specifics look back to Barney Frank/Bill Clinton pushing "every man to own a house".
Also, I put no faith into a Washington Post poll. I could make a poll that shows Ehrlich had just as big of a lead. You can't assume that the democratic base is going to be full strength in a midterm election.

Ehrlich will lose. It's about the simple fact that the Dems are better organized and outnumber the Republicans 2 to 1. The numbers worked for the GOP only one time in the last 40 years and that was in 2002 when the Dems were disorganized and divided over the horrid KKT. There is no such trouble this year. If Bobby can walk away with 45% of the vote, he should be happy. The GOP should spend more time on winnable races, like Kratovil's seat or trying to take back Ruppersberger's seat.

Maryland is doomed if MOM wins reelection.
The destruction of the middle class will continue as businesses and retirees continue to flee this bastion of high taxes,high crime and the economic costs of being a sanctuary state for illegals that are passed on to Maryland's
rightful, legal citizens..

Liberal rag like the Washington Post? The paper endorsed Ehrlich last time. The accusations of bias are old hat and not backed up at all by any evidence. Do you think we should also disregard Fox News polls? The hypocrisy of the right is stunning. Here's one thing good that O'Malley's done:

He secured an agreement with Constellation that saves the state $2 Billion in decommissioning costs. Just one of many, but you only asked for one.

As for Ehrlich, he's going to be stuck in the polls until he explains how he's going to pay for what he's promising. I guess that time at Princeton wasn't spent in Math classes.

The only thing O'Malley is committed to "moving forward" is his pal Obama's socialist agenda. Birds of a feather.

I will bite IPFrehley what else has MOM done that is good for Maryland.
Except for oyster replenishment I can't find a dam thing.
And please do not talk about the tuition freeze-If I raised taxes like MOM did in 2007 I too as Governor could freeze tuition.

Ehrlich didn't freeze tutition -he raised them to obscenely high levels become it wasn't a "tax".

Face it GHH, teabaggers like you throw around the word "socialist" when describing the president because our society frowns upon the use of the n-word. Obama won fair and square- deal with it, loser!

I question the gap but the funny thing is BE supports ripping the poll for lack of demographic info but Rasmussen Polls offer almost no info and those are "gospel".

@ From Harford

Yours is probably the only post on here I've seen that actually presents a reasonable hypothesis for why this poll likely means nothing. As you correctly point out, it's one thing for someone to say over the phone that they prefer O'Malley, but it's quite another for those same people to actually go out to the polls and vote for him.

I know the apathy arguement works both ways (many republicans likely won't bother to go to the polls either if they're convinced O'Malley is going to win by a wide margin), but I still think you make a very good point. I'm just not sure how many democrats feel that strongly about O'Malley (in a positive way) or Ehrlich (in a negative way) to actually go to the polls and vote. That being said, I still suspect O'Malley will likely win reelection, but I suspect it may be quite a bit closer than this poll indicates.

@ livewiremd. You get my nod for presenting the most hilariously absurd line of reasoning on here. Let me make sure I got this right: All your drinking buddies at work like Ehrlich, so that proves he's going to win the election. Also, anyone who votes for O'Malley is ignorant and uneducated. Do I got that right? I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that maybe political science wasn't your best subject in school.

Got fee increases, check . . . got ego, check . . . got questionable running mates, check . . . got inability to work with anyone who doesn't agree with you, check . . . got Ehrlich, check.

Ehrlich tossed aside the one group (Tea Party) that is motivated to go vote. He was afraid to debate Brian Murphy. Bob has been pandering and promising spending without cuts.That is why he is down. Doubt he will lose by 11% but OBVIOUSLY there is no big grassroots support to re-hire that failure.

"Maryland voters" didn't vote Ehrlich out of office. Baltimore City, PG County, and Montgomery County voters voted him out. The rest of the state can't overcome all the hand-out eager liberals in those three areas.

Looking good O'Malley. Keep it going. Big Business Bob will be history again in November.

When you have the dead people/felon/CRIMINAL alien vote locked up in MaryLand, you can't lose.


State employees will vote for Ehrlich. Blacks will vote for O'Malley because they don't want to vote against Obama's initiatives. Democrats will vote for O'Malley. Republicans, Independents and Tea Party candidates will vote for Ehrlich.

The race will be very close.

Little Bobby Ehrlich is an imbicile. He got a free ride at Gilman and Princeton then let the tuition at Maryland Colleges go through the roof. He does't say what he will cut to reduce taxes but you better believe his rich Republican friends won't feel any pain. Republicans complain that the democrats are waging class warfare but to quote Warren Buffett "there is already class warfare and the rich are winning.

Let's see - Bob - Mr.Flush Fee. Martin - Mr. 6% sales tax with more fun like a gas tax to come. They both need a shower with Mikes Miller and Busch. they all stink. I move we be annexed into New Jersey or Virginia.

Anonymous who says he/she will leave the state if O'Malley is re-elected. Please let me help you pack. If your level of hate is that profound about an elected official, perhaps you should consider moving to a small uninhabited island where you could govern yourself.
And livewiremd, whose racist comments read, "They must be polling Baltimore City and PG County. I do not know of a SINGLE person that I work with that will vote for O'Malley. I guess the more educated do not fall for the false ads O'Malley is running tying Ehrlich to BGE and other false issues." Wow! I haven't seen that kind of racist language since the 60's. Go crawl back under the white supremacist rock from which you peeked out earlier this morning.

Actually most polls do account for folks who don't pick-up the phone. Its the reason for sampling size, and MoE.

I thionk O'malley will win this comfortably, but not by 11.

O'Malley is the liar? Ehrlich is the one that says he did not raise taxes. He gave the state 3 billion in new taxes and fees. I thought I wanted O'Malley to lose but not after Ehrlich started lying about his record and changing his stance on public transit for the worst.

Obama just endorsed O'Malley. Yes, both are Dems, but to ge the President's endorsement means a lot. I am certain Boonie E. will have something snarky to say. But Boobie, please jog your poor memory and recall that you couldn't get Mama Sarah's endorsement. It says something when the leader of your own party won't endorse you, the former Governor. Sad indeed! I smell a landslide comin'.

Woodie after that MOM landslide can you say tax increase?
After all it is what Annapolis does best to its long suffering overtaxed citizens.

How anyone in this state could vote for O'Malley is beyond me. Bob Ehrlich has put his entire plan out for public consumption. Where's O'Malley's. As soon as Ehrlich released his small business plan one week later O'Malley comes along with his plan. Do you know there are 43 more tax increases on the table as we speak; gym memberships, salons, cell phones. When will it end? We need fiscal responsibility. Look at he coffers when Ehrlich left and look where we are now. Take this State back from the tax and spend O'Malley pundits!

Dave and John, you have the tax/fee candidate confused. It is actually Boobie E. who raised fees. O'Malley explains quite well why he was forced to raise the sales tax by 1¢...he was left a $1.5 BILLION budget deficit by Ehrlich, even after Boobie raised just about every fee possible. The choice is very simple: The State of Maryland is better off after 4 years of O'Malley than after 4 years of Boobie E. Facts are facts. The voters spoke four years ago and sent Boobie and Ken Doll packing from Annapolis. Something tells me that the voters of Baltimore City, Montgomery, Baltimore (Boobie's own home county), Howard, and Charles counties will once again put Martin well over the top. These very populous counties are where Boobie needs to do well, yet his message falls on deaf ears. I wonder why? These well-educated voters know a fraud when they see one. Ehrlich has always been entitled. He won the 2nd Congressional District years ago by a large margin. That demographic loved him as their congressman. But he got greedy and assumed that level of popularity would translate statewide. He beat poor pathetic Kathy Townsend, the WORST Kennedy candidate of all times, in 2002. Once he had to face a real candidate, he went up in flames. Once beaten, he immediately headed for the Board Room and the title of high paid lobbiest. $2.5 million dollars later, he wants back in as Gov. But Martin is even stronger now than four years ago. Boobie mistakenly assumed that the national mood would translate into Repube votes in MD. It's not happening, and with just 30 days to go, the news will just get worse for Boobie and Ken Doll.

Being on the do not call list does not protect people from opinion polls only marketing polls. However most polling organizations have lists they will add you to on request.

@ RavenRob
The counties you mentioned do in fact contain the majority of MD voters. I am always confused by the “candidate B has more counties” arguments. People vote, not counties.

You would be hard pressed to show any voter fraud in Maryland. The myth of the dead or illegal immigrant voter has never yielded any evidence.

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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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