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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:

Continue reading "Gonzales: Deeps splits on in-state tuition; same-sex marriage " »

Posted by Annie Linskey at 12:05 AM | | Comments (2)
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October 26, 2010

Sun Poll chat with Steve Raabe of OpinionWorks

Have questions about The Baltimore Sun's new poll? OpinionWorks President Steve Raabe will participate in a live chat at noon today. You can click the widget below to join the chat then, or, if you can't make it, click in and submit a question.

Raabe has been a pollster for 25 years and founded Annapolis-based OpinionWorks in 2001.





Sun poll methodology

The Baltimore Sun telephone survey of 798 likely voters was conducted Oct. 15-20. The Sun's pollster, OpinionWorks of Annapolis, used a Maryland Board of Elections database to identify registered voters with a history of voting in gubernatorial elections or who had registered to vote since the last election, and obtained survey results from those who ranked themselves seven or higher on 1-to-10 scale of their likelihood to vote.

The Sun's sample was designed to approximate the racial, gender, geographic, partisan and age breakdown of the state's voting population as a whole, based on turnout patterns averaged over the last four Maryland general elections. Results were weighted to reflect a higher-than-average Republican turnout this year, and slightly lower African-American participation than in recent elections. The margin of error for questions that reflect the entire sample is 3.5 percentage points, which means that in 95 times out of 100, the actual answer obtained by surveying every Maryland voter would be within 3.5 percentage points of the answer obtained by using the sample. For questions about Anne Arundel voters and slots, the sample size was 422 voters, with an error rate of 4.8 percentage points.

Posted by Carla Correa at 11:57 AM | | Comments (0)
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October 25, 2010

Sun poll roundup: What voters say they want

Over the past few days, we've published results of a poll conducted for us by Annapolis-based OpinionWorks. The pollster assessed the mood of 798 likely voters in telephone interviews from Oct. 15-20. The margin of error on statewide questions is 3.5 percent. For Question A, the sample was 422 and margin of error 4.8 percent.

Tomorrow, Sun pollster Steve Raabe will participate in a live chat on this blog.

Congressional Race: Dead even, 40 percent for Andy Harris, 40 percent for Frank Kratovil

Colleague Paul West reported this afternoon that the contest for Maryland's easternmost Congressional seat remains intense. He writes:

The same candidates fought to a near draw two years ago. In the latest poll, each man was favored by 40 percent of likely voters.

This year, with control of Congress in play, Maryland's easternmost district features one of the most closely watched, and expensive, House races in the country. Both sides have subjected voters to a heavy dose of negative advertising that has shaped opinions about the candidates.

Constitutional Convention: Voters are divided, 37 against, 34 percent for, 29 percent unsure

In a story this morning, Sun colleague Jessica Anderson reminds voters that they can choose whether to call a Constitutional convention. She writes:

To call a convention, a majority of the people who vote in the fall election — not just on the ballot question, but everyone voting for anything — must approve. Then, perhaps in a special election, four citizens from each of Maryland's 47 state legislative districts would be elected as representatives.

Slots at Arundel Mills: Voters are divided, 47 percent for, 45 against, 8 percent undecided

In a story this morning, The Sun's Nicole Fuller quotes the pollster calling the findings "a toss-up." She writes:

Baltimore-based Cordish Cos., which has a license to build the slots parlor at the mall, is lobbying heavily for the zoning measure, while the Maryland Jockey Club and related interests are fighting against it, hoping to steer the project to the Laurel Park race course.

The ballot question addresses only the zoning issue, and its rejection would not mean that the slots project automatically goes to the racetrack.

More results follow.

Continue reading "Sun poll roundup: What voters say they want" »

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 2:25 PM | | Comments (0)
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Sun pollster to take questions tomorrow

Got questions about The Baltimore Sun's new poll? OpinionWorks President Steve Raabe will participate in a live chat at noon Tuesday on this blog.

If you can't make it but would like to submit a question, please comment on this post. You can also leave a question tomorrow morning, in advance of the chat. Raabe has been a pollster for 25 years and founded Annapolis-based OpinionWorks in 2001. 

Sun poll methodology

The Baltimore Sun telephone survey of 798 likely voters was conducted Oct. 15-20. The Sun's pollster, OpinionWorks of Annapolis, used a Maryland Board of Elections database to identify registered voters with a history of voting in gubernatorial elections or who had registered to vote since the last election, and obtained survey results from those who ranked themselves seven or higher on 1-to-10 scale of their likelihood to vote.

The Sun's sample was designed to approximate the racial, gender, geographic, partisan and age breakdown of the state's voting population as a whole, based on turnout patterns averaged over the last four Maryland general elections. Results were weighted to reflect a higher-than-average Republican turnout this year, and slightly lower African-American participation than in recent elections. The margin of error for questions that reflect the entire sample is 3.5 percentage points, which means that in 95 times out of 100, the actual answer obtained by surveying every Maryland voter would be within 3.5 percentage points of the answer obtained by using the sample. For questions about Anne Arundel voters and slots, the sample size was 422 voters, with an error rate of 4.8 percentage points.

 

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 12:45 PM | | Comments (3)
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October 23, 2010

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."

Continue reading "Ehrlich, O'Malley campaigns react to Sun poll" »

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October 19, 2010

O'Malley and Ehrlich to resked Friday radio debate

One of the two radio debates between the state's two gubernatorial contenders is off the table - for now at least.

The Post's John Wagner reports that the debate planned in the Washington suburbs at WTOP radio was canceled because both candidates want to attend the funeral of Betty Peebles a co-founder of an important Prince George's County megachurch.

A spokesman for Republican former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich said their camp "hopes" to reschedule and is "working" to do so. Rick Abbruzzese, with Team O'Malley, said they are "continuing to work" with the station and Ehrlich's campaign to find reschedule. With the election about two weeks away, the timing might be hard.

Ehrlich and Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley with still face off at 8 a.m. Thursday at Baltimore's WOLB radio station.
Posted by Annie Linskey at 6:43 PM | | Comments (2)
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RGA getting jumpy in MD?

With three recent polls showing Gov. Martin O'Malley ahead of opponent Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.-- there's some evidence that the Republican Governors Association is pulling up some Maryland stakes and moving elsewhere.

The organization cut at least one ad buy that supported Ehrlich, a former MD governor, in expensive D.C. market, but the group is still committed in Baltimore. A poll released today by Patrick Gonzales shows O'Malley with a commanding 40 point lead in the D.C. suburbs.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a member of the RGA's executive committee, called late Monday after getting wind that The Sun was writing a story and said nothing should be read into week by week fluctuations with RGA ad buys. Early voting starts in Maryland this week.

He said the group, which just reported raising $31 million in three months, remains committed to Ehrlich and thinks he can win.

Most of this year's 37 governor's races are considered competitive and the RGA is also putting money into large and expensive states like California, Florida and Texas.
Posted by Annie Linskey at 8:02 AM | | Comments (2)
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New poll: O'Malley five points ahead of Ehrlich

Maryland pollster Patrick Gonzales Tuesday issued a new survey of the gubernatorial election showing a five point spread between Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley and his GOP opponent former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr..

Gonzales' poll reports the race at 47-42 with four percent voting for a third party candidate and six percent undecided. The survey shows that most (72 percent) of the state's Democrats have fallen in line with O'Malley, a trend O'Malley's campaign manager Tom Russell has long predicted. The state's unaffiliated voters are more likely to support Ehrlich.

There is a 3.5 percent margin for error and likely voters were interviewed via phone from Oct. 11 to Oct. 16, a week that included two televised debates between Ehrlich and O'Malley.

The new report shows O'Malley better off than he was in July, when Gonzales had O'Malley up by three points. Other recent polls have predicted a wider gap between the two candidates: The Washington Post put the race at 11 points and Rasmussen Reports recently measured it at 8. Each survey made different assumptions about turnout.

The analysis includes a helpful geographical breakdown, which shows Ehrlich up by eight points in the Baltimore suburbs, a margin that Gonzales says is "not enough" to overcome O'Malley's 40 point advantage in the Washington suburbs. O'Malley has a nine point lead among women -- a group that both camps have tried to court in recent weeks.


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Posted by Annie Linskey at 12:05 AM | | Comments (60)
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October 5, 2010

Second poll out showing O'Malley momentum

A just-released Rasmussen Reports poll shows Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley with an eight-point advantage over Republican former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a lead that comes after months of polls by the firm that had the race in a dead heat.

The results prompted Rasmussen, which some consider a Republican-friendly firm, to reclassify the governor's race from "toss-up" to "leans Democratic." Other groups, including The Cook Political Report, still regard the race as a toss-up.

It's the second poll out in the past week to show O'Malley gaining momentum as the governor's race enters its final month. A Washington Post poll published Sept. 29 gave O'Malley an 11-point advantage over Ehrlich among likely voters. An earlier poll by the newspaper had the candidates tied among likely voters.

Continue reading "Second poll out showing O'Malley momentum" »

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 2:19 PM | | Comments (30)
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October 1, 2010

Cook Political Report moves MD race to 'toss up'

National political analyst Charlie Cook disregarded a recent Washington Post poll giving Gov. Martin O'Malley an 11 point advantage among likely voters in his rematch with former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich and yesterday moved the contest from "leans Democrat" to "toss up."

In his Sept. 30 report, Cook stresses that both candidates have said the race will be close, both the RGA and the DGA have poured money into the state, and that this year O'Malley has the "political winds blowing in his face."

"It looks increasingly like the race will end up being a single-digit contest," Cook wrote.

It could also be that Cook is hedging his bets, as he's nearly emptied out all of his other categories and has piled 17 other governor's races in the toss up category. That also shows there's considerable competition for national money.

The report hardly represents a consensus view: Real Clear Politics has Maryland in the leans Democrat column, showing that the last three polls put O'Malley ahead by various margins. RCP guesses that O'Malley has a +5.7 advantage over Ehrlich.

Still, some Maryland prognosticators are scratching their heads about the Post's poll, with Todd Eberly, the interim director at St. Mary's College's Center for the Study of Democracy hypothesizing that the paper's pollster overstated likely turnout. (Eberly e-mailed to say he just chatted with the Post's pollster Jon Cohen and the conversation that confirmed his belief that the survey was flawed. Eberly says The Post overestimated Democratic turnout in their model by assuming it would match 2008 numbers and understated GOP turnout by assuming it would be weaker than 2008. "Not likely," Eberly says of those assumptions.)

It is also worth noting, as The Sun's Andy Green did on his Second Opinion blog, that the Post didn't veer from the methodology used for their May poll which showed 47-47 split among likely voters, meaning at the very least the trend line is one Ehrlich will want to turn around if he hopes to win.
Posted by Annie Linskey at 8:30 AM | | Comments (12)
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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.

Continue reading "Poll: O'Malley pads lead against Ehrlich " »

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September 13, 2010

Palin to record robo-call for Murphy

Perhaps refusing to be upstaged by her former partner on the presidential stage, Sarah Palin recorded a robo-call for conservative gubernatorial hopeful Brian Murphy. The call will go out today, said Murphy spokeswoman Karla Graham.

Roughly 260,000 likely Republican voters will get the call from the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, Graham says. We'll update when we get a copy of the script ... which is forthcoming according to the campaign.

Sen. John McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, earlier today endorsed Murphy's opponent, Republican former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. (Yes, yes, likely well after Palin recorded her call.)

It still just begs the question: Could Maryland, at the last minute, become the battleground of some kind of pent up proxy war between McCain and Palin? Any former staffers with dirt to air, do drop us a line.
Posted by Annie Linskey at 3:57 PM | | Comments (3)
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September 3, 2010

Ehrlich going up on TV

Gubernatorial candidate Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. made his first TV buy this week. The Republican former governor will pour $91K into television advertisements on WBAL-TV starting Sunday and is spending $62K for ads on WJZ. His ads on both stations go for at least two weeks -- until Sept. 19, the station confirms.

Typically candidates buying in the Baltimore market will put up ads on all four major stations -- though were waiting to hear from FOX45 and ABC2.

Ehrlich spokesman Andy Barth would not comment on the content of the ads. "We prefer not to discuss media strategies, purchase, etc," he said in an email.

The ads will run during news programs, and will be Ehrlich's will be his first paid spots on television -- typically the medium candidates spend most of their money. The purchase raises the question of Why Now? Campaigns often heat up after Labor Day, though many had thought the Ehrlich team would wait until after the September 14 primary to start spending money on TV since he does not appear to be threatened by Republican challenger Brian Murphy.

It will also be interesting to see if Ehrlich will run positive ads like the ones O'Malley has had up throughout the summer -- or if he'll jump out of the gate attacking the incumbent governor. O'Malley's ads feature business owners and executives praising the governor's handling of jobs and the economy.

Baltimore area viewers will be blanketed. Other candidates buying time include Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia Jessamy and her opponent Gregg Bernstein; U.S. Rep. Frank M. Kratovil Jr. and his challenger state Sen. Andrew P. Harris; Joe Bartenfelder v. Kevin Kamenetz, who are vying for the Democratic nod in the Baltimore County Executive's race.

Even longtime Congressman CA Dutch Ruppersberger will be challenged on air - his primary opponent Raymond Atkins bought time.


Posted by Annie Linskey at 9:09 AM | | Comments (25)
Categories: Horserace, Political ads
        

August 27, 2010

Ehrlich to get a labor endorsement

Republican former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich is poised to pick up a union endorsement next week: The Maryland Classified Employees Association sent out an email to say they'll support his candidacy.

Most of the other labor groups are siding with Gov. Martin O'Malley, a democrat. And MCEA, or at least a faction of it, supported O’Malley in 2006 (see portion of Sun story after the jump.)

This time the group’s leadership is angry that O’Malley supported legislation requiring state employees to pay dues to the union that is in charge of collective bargaining -- whether the employees are members of it or not.

“If people don’t want to be a member of a union you should not have to pay a fee,” said MCEA Executive Director David Boschert, a former Republican delegate. MCEA, has about 10,000 members including an number of correctional officers, but is not a union designated to do any collective bargaining.

Continue reading "Ehrlich to get a labor endorsement" »

Posted by Annie Linskey at 3:12 PM | | Comments (1)
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August 24, 2010

O'Malley edges Ehrlich in poll; Murphy low show

Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley is posting a slight lead over Republican former Gov Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. in a poll out this morning.

The OpinionWorks survey, conducted for Center Maryland, shows O'Malley garnering 47 percent of the vote and Ehrlich 41, with about a 4 percentage-point margin of error. The pollster also asked about the Republican primary -- the first time the question was posed to voters and the results made public.

Brian Murphy, a Montgomery County investor and political newcomer who landed Sarah Palin's endorsement, would win 13 percent of the vote to Ehrlich's commanding 75 percent. The primary poll questions, the results of which were released yesterday, had an 8.5-percentage-point margin of error. 

Continue reading "O'Malley edges Ehrlich in poll; Murphy low show" »

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 8:38 AM | | Comments (39)
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August 19, 2010

Latest poll: O'Malley, Ehrlich 'essentially tied'

Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley and Republican former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. remain “essentially tied” according to results of a Rasmussen Reports poll released Thursday.

The statewide telephone survey of 750 likely voters conducted Tuesday shows O’Malley with 45 percent support and Ehrlich with 44 percent. For the third straight month, the difference fell well within the 4 percent margin of error.

In the first independent survey to be released since former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin endorsed businessman Brian Murphy for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, 3 percent said they supported what Rasmussen identified as “some other candidate.” The survey results do not name Murphy or any other candidate.

When taking into account “leaners” – defined by Rasmussen as respondents who initially indicate no preference for either of the candidates but say in a follow-up question they are leaning towards one of them – O’Malley and Ehrlich are tied with 47 percent support.

According to Rasmussen, the numbers without leaners are generally more significant early in a campaign; later the numbers with leaners matter more. Rasmussen continues to rate the race a toss-up.

Other findings, after the jump.

Continue reading "Latest poll: O'Malley, Ehrlich 'essentially tied'" »

Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 11:00 AM | | Comments (16)
        

August 9, 2010

On the waterfront, a generational clash

Baltimore Sun colleague Annie Linskey -- a former City Hall reporter who now covers state government -- opens her roundup of Baltimore's legislative races with one of the few competitive contests in the city. She describes it is as a clash of generations:

Dodging raindrops Thursday night, the incumbent senator sped from door to door in a South Baltimore neighborhood.

"I'm George Della," he said at one door. "Keep me in mind on election day." Then he was off to the next.

A few miles south in Westport his young upstart of an opponent, Bill Ferguson, was leading a group of supporters in the same activity.

"We've had the same senator for 27 years," he said. "I don't think he's pushing hard enough."

In a city where most incumbents face little or no opposition at the polls, the contest in Baltimore's 46th district is shaping up to be the most dynamic legislative race. Della and Ferguson each embody a different force tugging at the gentrifying district, an area that encompasses the entire waterfront from Curtis Bay to Dundalk.

Della, 67, is the old-school pol who started his public career as a Baltimore City councilman, winning a Senate seat the year Ferguson was born. When he knocks on a door, Della often knows the current occupants — and sometimes the families that lived there before.

Ferguson, 27, is a Teach for America import from Rockville with bundles of energy who is using social media to spread his message of school reform. He moved to Baltimore five years ago, though his campaign stresses that he's a "fifth-generation Marylander."

Read more about Della, Ferguson and Baltimore's other legislative hopefuls at baltimoresun.com.

Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 5:00 AM | | Comments (1)
        

July 27, 2010

Gonzales poll shows statistical tie in governor's race

* updated with campaign responses 

A new Gonzales poll shows a dead heat between Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley and Republican former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. in the fall governor's race.

O'Malley would capture 45 percent of the vote, and Ehrlich 42 percent, with a 3.5 percentage-point margin of error, the poll shows.

In a summer of robo-polls, the Annapolis-based Gonzales Marketing and Research Strategies conducted live telephone interviews from July 13-21 of 807 registered voters "who are likely to vote." It is the firm's second governor's race poll this year. One conducted in January showed O'Malley with a larger advantage in a then-theoretical matchup with Ehrlich -- 48 percent to 39 percent.  

"The race for governor as of late July is really close," pollster Patrick Gonzales writes in a release about today's survey.  "Incumbent Governor O'Malley has a slight lead in our poll, but it's clear that either candidate could win in November."

Continue reading "Gonzales poll shows statistical tie in governor's race" »

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 7:00 AM | | Comments (37)
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July 19, 2010

Poll feud has Maryland ties

Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley pans the onslaught of automated survey in the Maryland governor's race as "Republican robo-polls." Republicans have a skeptical view of a Democratic automated pollster. And political analysts have only haltingly begun using such pollsters in their reports, calling the work dubious at best.

In short, there's not a lot of love for automated polls, although as The Sun reported this morning, we'll be seeing lots of them this year.

But it's worth noting that the most explosive polling controversy of the moment does not involve a fly-by-night "robo-poll" operation. Or any automated pollster. Rather, at the center is a traditional live-interview firm with a 10-year history, an experienced pollster and, until recently, a solid reputatation.

Continue reading "Poll feud has Maryland ties" »

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 11:00 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Candidate Watch 2010, Horserace
        

July 13, 2010

Mikulski has 25-point lead over next challenger

Speaking of polls, a new survey by Rasmussen Reports indicates Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski appears to have little to worry about at this stage of her bid for a fifth term.

The telephone poll of 500 likely voters in Maryland conducted July 8 showed Mikulski with a 25 point lead over Queen Anne’s County Commissioner Eric Wargotz, perhaps her best-known Republican challenger. Fifty-eight percent planned to vote for Mikulski, 33 percent for Wargotz and 2 percent for some other candidate. Seven percent were undecided.

The margin is similar to that in February, Rasmussen’s only previous report on the Maryland Senate race, when Mikulski had a 54-33 advantage over a generic Republican candidate.

To go with the solid support of the state’s Democratic majority, Mikulski enjoys a 53-28 edge among voters not affiliated with either major party, according to the July survey.

Continue reading "Mikulski has 25-point lead over next challenger" »

Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 5:14 PM | | Comments (14)
        

Poll du jour: O'Malley, Ehrlich in statistical tie

Out today is the first Public Policy Polling survey on the Maryland governor's race -- a matchup that seems to be attracting attention from pollsters right and left. The survey of 569 Maryland voters shows Gov. Martin O'Malley leading former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich 45 percent to 42.

With a 4 percentage-point margin of error, they're statistically tied, as other recent polls have shown. Public Policy says the poll shows that Ehrlich is more strongly supported by his Republican party than O'Malley is by his Democrats. From the company's press release:

In the horse race 87% of Republicans support the former Governor while only 66% of Democrats support the current Governor. Republicans are united for Ehrlich and against O’Malley, while the Democrats are more fractured in their support.

In such a close race the undecided voters will play an important role. 12% of Maryland voters have yet to choose sides.

“The race is close. But with the clear support of his Republican base Ehrlich is off to a strong start,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “Most of the undecided voters are Democrats, gaining their support will be key to O’Malley’s success.”

Continue reading "Poll du jour: O'Malley, Ehrlich in statistical tie" »

Posted by Julie Bykowicz at 1:20 PM | | Comments (14)
Categories: Candidate Watch 2010, Horserace
        

July 12, 2010

Poll: Slight gain for Ehrlich in neck-and-neck race

The latest Rasmussen Reports survey in the Maryland governor's race is out on Monday, and shows Republican Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. in a statistical tie with Democratic incumbent Martin O'Malley. The survey of 500 "likely voters" shows Ehrlich ahead of O'Malley, 47 percent to 46 percent. With a 4.5 percentage point margin of error, the results mean that the two candidates remain in a statistical dead heat.

Rasmussen Reports polling -- conducted through automated telephone questionnaires -- tends to favor Republican candidates, longtime pollsters agree.

According to the Rasmussen analysis:

"As expected, the rematch of the 2006 race has been close from the start and has been getting even closer as time goes on. In February, O’Malley led 49% to 43%, but by April it was a closer 47% to 44%. The two were tied last month with 45% apiece.

Still, Ehrlich faces an uphill struggle to reclaim the office he held from 2003 to 2007 in a state that trends strongly Democratic. But Marylanders, like voters nationwide, remain pessimistic about the economy.

Just 11% of Maryland voters rate the economy as good, while 44% view it as bad. Thirty-five percent (35%) say the economy is getting better; 42% say it’s getting worse. While bleak, these assessments are a bit more positive than the national view."

Continue reading "Poll: Slight gain for Ehrlich in neck-and-neck race" »

Posted by David Nitkin at 10:51 AM | | Comments (26)
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June 21, 2010

Early voting: Which side benefits?

Two years after Marylanders approved early voting, voters this fall may cast ballots at any time during the week leading up to Election Day.

As Baltimore Sun colleague Annie Linskey writes, the state's major parties are divided over which side stands to gain from the change.

Democrats, who enjoy a 2-1 edge over Republicans in voter registration in Maryland, see the expanded window giving them more opportunity to get the party faithful to the polls.

But Republicans say relying on registration will backfire this year. They say the rules will make it easier for angry Marylanders to cast their votes to send the majority party packing.

One thing, Linskey writes, seems certain: The campaigns will have far more information about who has been to their polling place and who has not during the course of the voting period, opening the door to a prolonged and closely targeted get-out-the-vote effort that could mean days of phone calls to Maryland households.

Read the rest of the story at baltimoresun.com.

Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 12:12 PM | | Comments (1)
        

June 11, 2010

New poll has Ehrlich, O'Malley in dead heat

A new Rasmussen poll says the state's gubernatorial race is tied with 45 percent supporting Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley and 45 percent favoring his likely Republican challenger in November, former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

Five percent of those questioned were undecided and five percent say they support a different candidate, according to the poll. The poll surveyed 500 likely voters, which has a 4.5 percent margin for error. It is generally viewed as a conservative poll.

A February Rasmussen poll showed likely voters favoring O'Malley, 49 to 43. The gap tightened to 47-43 in an April. The significance of these polls is always difficult to gauge - though it will undoubtedly help with fundraising. Already Ehrlich sent out a blast email seeking $45 donations.

O'Malley campaign spokesman Rick Abbruzzese said their camp has always been expecting a close race, but cast some doubt on the veracity of the numbers. "The methodology raises some questions," he said. The phone surveys are automated, unlike polls politicians typically bankroll for their own campaigns.

Continue reading "New poll has Ehrlich, O'Malley in dead heat" »

Posted by Annie Linskey at 8:36 AM | | Comments (19)
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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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