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October 3, 2011

Gonzales: Deeps splits on in-state tuition; same-sex marriage

A new poll out (as of 12:01) Tuesday morning shows that Marylanders are nearly evenly divided on two high-profile issues could be on the 2012 ballot: In-state tuition for illegal immigrants and same-sex marriage.

The poll, released this morning by Gonzales Research & Marketing, shows that only 47 percent of respondents believe that illegal immigrants should be permitted to pay discounted in-state rates at Maryland's colleges and universities. Fifty-one percent disagree with the idea. It's the first public poll of the controversial issue.

The result is within the 3.5 percent margin for error.

Maryland's general assembly this year passed legislation granting in-state tuition to illegal immigrants, but opponents gathered enough signatures to petition the bill to referendum. If the petition withstands a legal challenge, it will be on the 2012 ballot.

The poll also found that Marylanders are split 49 percent to 48 percent on gay marriage, with the slight advantage going to opponents. The result is within the margin for error.

The survey of 805 Marylanders who "vote regularly" was conducted from September 19 through September 27.

Other issues of note include:

- Gambling: Fifty-five percent of Marylanders say they oppose adding more slots machines to the state's gaming program, but 51 percent say they would approve of adding table games like poker or roulette.

- Top concern: Nearly two-thirds of Marylanders said "the economy and jobs" are the most important issues facing the state. That could be a strong argument for the jobs bill that Gov. Martin O'Malley has floated for the upcoming special session. Gonzales found that "concern about the economy spans party lines" noting that 61 percent of Democrats and 66 percent of Republicans cited it as their top concern. Education came in a distant second, with about 10 percent of respondents naming it as the top issue.

- Bad news for President Barack Obama: The polls shows that 49 percent of Marylanders approve of the job that the president is doing. That's his lowest score since taking office in a Gonzales poll. His top numbers came in January 2009, just after he was elected, when 80 percent said they approved of him.

- O'Malley's approval score comes a bit higher than Obama's with 52 percent saying they think he is doing a good job. The score is his second best rate in a Gonzales poll since he took office in 2007.
Posted by Annie Linskey at 12:05 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Horserace


One thing for certain; Had Rosa Park's right to sit in the front of the bus been submitted to popular vote, she'd still be sitting in the rear!

Does the survey imply that the same people are on the same side of each issue?

Perhaps I'm just the statistical outlier but...
This social liberal and financial conservative is vehemently opposed to any accommodation toward illegals for anything short of the bus fare heading south... while at the same time I'm vehemently in support of the ability to fully exercise the rights of citizenship for our gay and lesbian citizens.

I'm also vehemently in support of a woman's right to choose (safe, legal, prompt, rare and FREE!)... but have no compunction whatsoever with the principle of capital punishment when the evidence is clear. (somehow these two issues got coupled in the public debate)

I don't see these as a contradiction in any way whatsoever.

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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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