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October 7, 2010

Poll shows exec race tightening in Howard

A Howard County poll taken for a Republican candidate late last month shows incumbent County Executive Ken Ulman, a Democrat, with an eight point lead over Republican challenger Trent Kittleman, a sign, pollster Patrick Gonzales said, that the national uptick in Republican voting combined with a decline in Democrats is changing the dynamics from 2006.

The poll taken from September 22 to 27 using 381 voters, showed Ulman with 49 percent to Kittleman's 41 percent, with 10 percent undecided. Gonzales said the dynamics this year are working against Democrats, given that their turnout in last month's primary was down 19 percent in Howard compared with 2006, while 26% more Republicans voted this year compared to four years ago.

Ulman's campaign said he had a similar poll done August 30 to September 1 with 400 voters that showed him with a 62 percent margin over Kittleman's 29%.

Len Lazarick of first reported the new figures this morning.

Kittleman, a former Ehrlich administration transportation official running a lightly funded, grassroots campaign, has never been elected to public office, but that may be an advantage this year, she believes.

"I was delighted to hear the numbers," she said Thursday morning. the poll shows Ulman leading in the three county council districts that include Columbia, but trailing in two others covering the western county and Ellicott City/ Elkridge.

-Larry Carson

Posted by Andy Rosen at 9:11 AM | | Comments (14)


Ulman is a crook and beholden to building developers. Howard County needs a leader.

Look carefully at the geographic distribution of the sample. 25% of the sample lives in Dist 5, the only Republican controlled council district. Over 47% of those polled lived in either Dist 1 or 5, the two most conservative. Also note, the 2 more Democratic Districts, 2 and 3, made up only 32% of the sample. Finally, Dist 2 and 3 showed the highest margin for Ulman, and the highest population of undecideds. When you adjust the results giving each district 20% weight, Ulman has 49.98 to Kittleman's 39.48. When you break down the undecideds according to the vote averages for their repsective council districts, conservatively, Ulman's lead expands to 55.12 % to Kittleman's 44.46 %. Then remember this was a poll paid for by the GOP slate.

Ah, there's truth lies and statistics. Even if you add the margin of error in, that puts Ulman up by 13%, totally do-able for Trent to surpass him by the time November rolls around. I think Ulman is sneaky, deceptive, and manipulative.

New blood is DESPERATELY needed and I think Trent is the answer.

Kittleman is not new blood--she is the widow of a long time politician and the stepmother of another, and is a former high-level political appointee herself. She is not change, but rather a return to the past.

Ken Ulman has been a true leader in this community and state over the past 4 years and he will be reelected.

Looking carefully at the method the poll was conducted shows a bias towards the Republican districts in Howard County. Picking likely voters from districts that skew towards Republican candidates will naturally show a preference for those candidates. A wider look at the count at-large reveals a more respresentative result--a widespread preference for Ken Ulman. Statistics can be manipulated, and it sure seems that way in the Gonzales poll.

Ken Ulman has been a strong leader for ALL of Howard County, including fiscal responsibility, focus on public education, and increasing police and fire presence throughout the community. Under Mr. Ulman's leadership, Howard County is one of the top ranked places to live in the United States. Leadership like that deserves four more years.

New blood? Really? What specifics has Trent exactly given in any of her public appearances to suggest that Howard County doesn't have solid leadership in place? I don't think an Ehrlich appointee is exactly new blood. Ulman has the back of Howard Countians, and we definitely have his.

Anyone who believes this poll should have their head examined.Everyone knows that Gonzales is a Republican pollster.That's why the districts polled are all conservative districts.

Executive Ulman's record speaks for itself: safe neighborhoods, the best education system in the state, a quality of life that is recognized nationally. You can't make this stuff up - it's solid proof that Ulman is an outstanding leader and the people who live in Howard County know it. I'm confident the polls will prove this overwhelmingly come election day.

How exactly does a race get "tighter" when the sample does not even refelct the make-up of Howard County? 48% of HoCo are Dems, 30% are Republicans... so when you pick a 40% sample of Republicans, of course you're gonna get these bogus numbers. There's no way Republican turn-out will be this high.

Executive Ulman is well-known and widely respected throughout the county. He is the new blood that we needed four years ago, and he's exactly the person we need to keep in office to make sure Howard County stays on top.

It must be a slow news day because manipulated polls should not be news.

Anyone can manipulate a polling sample in order to fit a larger thesis that Gonzales, the pollster, is desprately trying to make: Republican turnout will exceed 40%. I'd suggest taking a longer look at HoCo. Our schools are number one in the state. Our neighborhoods are safe. We have beautiful parks. Two independent magazines, like Ulman is fond of saying, have declared Howard County one of the best places to live. Howard Countians know this, and they know they'd be crazy not to vote again for the man that made it all possible: Executive Ulman.

Manipulated poll or not, Ulman will come out on top, and we will continue to live in one of the best places to live in the country.

I don't care what any poll matter who conducted it. Kittleman gets my vote.

Kittleman is the needed re-freshened leader Howard County needs at a time and era of Democratic demise! Her son-in-law Allan has represented District 9 better than most jurisdictions get in their elected officials, not to mention his leadership as the Minority Leader in the Maryland State Senate.

This new "poll" is just so ridiculous. I read a commenter on another blog saying that there isn't a highly compelling case for change, and I'd agree. Howard County's economy and quality of life is largely different than the reality that the rest of America faces, that's for sure.

Howard Countians know that Ulman has served them well and gone above and beyond to make our quality of life the envy of the nation. They won't be dumb enough to vote against their best interests, no matter how you skew the numbers.

Keep the 150 year old one party state going; we are unique among all states in this country.

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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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