Ehrlich, O'Malley campaigns react to Sun poll
The Sun just published the findings of its recent poll, showing Gov. Martin O'Malley with a substantial lead over former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.
The headline numbers: The Democratic incumbent has a 14-point advantage over his Republican challenger, 52 to 38. More than half of respondents viewed O'Malley favorably, compared to less than half with a favorable view of Ehrlich.
Both campaigns quickly fired off reaction statements. One from The Maryland Republican Party came in later in the evening.
Ehrlich's team issued "briefing points" questioning the accuracy of the poll, pointing to other recent polls that have shown the candidates to be in a tighter race. "The Sun poll published today is in total conflict with the trend over the past month showing Bob Ehrlich consistently closing the gap with Martin O’Malley," Ehrlich spokesman Andy Barth said in a statement. (Entire Ehrlich and GOP poll reaction after the jump.)
Here's what O'Malley Campaign Manager Tom Russell had to say: "The latest Baltimore Sun poll shows that Maryland families are rejecting Bob Ehrlich's failed policies of the past in favor of Martin O'Malley's plan to move Maryland forward. With Maryland citizens already casting early votes, we fully expect Bob Ehrlich to become increasingly more desperate and negative as he tries to save his 24-year political career. Maryland families know what's at stake in this election -- they don't want to go back."
Ehrlich Briefing Points
* The Sun poll published today is in total conflict with the trend over the past month showing Bob Ehrlich consistently closing the gap with Martin O’Malley.
* A month ago, a Washington Post poll showed Bob Ehrlich down by 11 points. Two weeks ago, a Rasmussen poll showed Bob Ehrlich narrowing O’Malley’s lead to 8 points. Just four days ago, a Gonzales poll showed Bob Ehrlich closing the gap yet again to just five points. After six months of dishonest attack ads from Martin O’Malley – and his failure to propose any new ideas for Maryland – Bob Ehrlich has consistently closed the gap with a concrete plan to get Maryland working again.
* Bob Ehrlich takes clear momentum in to the final 10 days of this campaign.
* Fundraising: Yesterday it was reported that Bob Ehrlich nearly doubled Martin O’Malley in fundraising for the second consecutive reporting period. Not only did Ehrlich raise more money than O’Malley ($2.8 million to $1.6 million), but he also has a sizeable advantage in cash in the bank ($1.7 million to $1.1 million.)
* Economic Stagnation: Maryland’s unemployment rate rose for the second straight month in September to 7.5% as the private sector continues to shed jobs in Maryland. Maryland’s economic woes are in stark contrast with Martin O’Malley’s dishonest campaign rhetoric and reinforce O’Malley’s failure to create one single job in Maryland over the last four years.
* Endorsements: Bob Ehrlich is picking up several endorsements in the closing days of the campaign, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the Maryland Fraternal Order of Police, The Gazette Newspapers, and the Patuxent Newspapers. In its endorsement, The Gazette wrote, “Ehrlich is the best candidate to take on Maryland's unavoidable financial problems, all while maintaining quality schools, investing in vital transportation improvements, protecting basic human and health services and restoring a can-do business climate.”
* Bob Ehrlich is running to bring strong leadership to the governor’s office. His agenda of more jobs, lower taxes, and less spending is exactly what Maryland needs to move past Martin O’Malley’s legacy of record job losses, record deficits, and record tax increases.
From Maryland Republican Party spokesman Ryan Mahoney:
"Today’s poll from the Baltimore Sun runs contrary to every poll from the last month showing Bob Ehrlich closing the gap with Martin O’Malley. It’s difficult for Maryland voters to take seriously, a poll conducted by the same pollster that the O’Malley lackeys at Center Maryland* hired to prop up their former boss earlier this summer. This election is about solutions for making Maryland stronger and Bob Ehrlich has laid out a plan, while Martin O’Malley has run a year long smear campaign to distract from his failed record. Next week on Election Day, Maryland voters will conduct the only poll that matters in this race and I’m confident they will choose Bob Ehrlich and his vision for restoring Maryland’s economy.”
* Here is an earlier blog entry on the OpinionWorks poll released to Center Maryland.