Gonzales Research &

Marketing Strategies

 

Maryland’s leader in public opinion polling”

 

 

 

Maryland Poll

 

Most Important Issue

Governor’s Contest

President Barack Obama

Senator Barbara Mikulski

Economy

 

January 2010

 

Contact: Laslo Boyd    443-812-4883

 

 

www.gonzalesresearch.com


Methodology

 

 

Patrick E. Gonzales graduated from the University of Baltimore in 1981 with a degree in political science.  He began his career as an analyst with Mason-Dixon Opinion Research and is the former president of Mason-Dixon Campaign Polling and Gonzales/Arscott Research & Communications, Inc. 

 

Mr. Gonzales has polled and analyzed hundreds of elections in Maryland since the mid 1980’s.  Additionally, he and his associates have conducted numerous market research projects and crafted message development programs for businesses and organizations throughout the state.

 

Laslo V. Boyd is a partner of Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies.  Dr. Boyd received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and has over 30 years of experience in higher education, government, and public policy.

 

Hilary Duff Gonzales is Director of Sales and Marketing for Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies.  Mrs. Gonzales has over 20 years experience promoting the state of Maryland, particularly in the tour and travel industry.

 

This survey was conducted by Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies from January 13th through January 17th, 2010.  A total of 816 registered voters in Maryland who are likely to vote in the 2010 general election were interviewed by telephone.  A cross-section of interviews was conducted in each jurisdiction within the state to reflect general election voting patterns.

 

The margin of error (MOE), according to customary statistical standards, is no more than plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.  There is a 95 percent probability that the “true” figures would fall within this range if the entire survey universe were sampled.  The margin for error is higher for any demographic subgroup, such as gender or race.

 

 

 

 


Maryland Statewide Poll Sample Demographics

 

Gender

Race

Region

 

Male         406   (50%)

 

White        599   (73%)

 

Eastern Shore/S Md  111      (13%)

Female      410   (50%)

Black        196   (24%)

Baltimore City             70        (9%)

 

Other/Ref   21 

Baltimore Suburbs     301      (37%)

 

 

Washington Subs      236      (29%)

 

 

Western Maryland      98      (12%)

Party Registration

 

 

Democrat         457   (56%)

 

 

Republican       260   (32%)

 

 

Independent       99   (12%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regional Groupings are as follows:

 

Eastern Shore/ Southern Md

 

Baltimore City

Baltimore Suburbs

Washington Suburbs

Western Maryland

 

Calvert Co.

 

Baltimore City

 

Anne Arundel Co.

 

Montgomery Co.

 

Allegany Co.

Caroline Co.

 

Baltimore Co.

 Prince George’s Co.

Carroll Co.

Cecil Co.

 

Harford Co.

 

Frederick Co.

Charles Co.

 

Howard Co.

 

Garrett Co.

Dorchester Co.

 

 

 

Washington Co.

Kent Co.

 

 

 

 

Queen Anne’s Co.

 

 

 

 

Somerset Co.

 

 

 

 

St. Mary’s Co.

 

 

 

 

Talbot Co.

 

 

 

 

Wicomico Co.

 

 

 

 

Worcester Co.

 

 

 

 

 


Summary

 

Most Important Issue facing State

 

The economy persists as the most important issue for Maryland voters, jumping eleven points since September.  Statewide, 54% of the electorate says that the economy is the most important issue facing the state, while 11% say it’s health care, 10% taxes, 8% the budget deficit, and 7% education. 

 

The “economy” has as the number one issue for Marylanders over the past two years:

 

 

 

 

 

Governor Martin O’Malley Job Approval

 

A plurality of voters continues to approve of Governor Martin O’Malley’s performance in office, but his job rating is lower than an incumbent would prefer 10 months before an election.

 

Statewide, 46% of Maryland voters overall say they approve of the job O’Malley is doing as governor, while 36% disapprove of the job he is doing, with 18% offering  no opinion.

 

By party, 64% of Democrats approve of the job O’Malley is doing as governor and 21% disapprove; while among Republicans, 18% approve of the job O’Malley is doing and 62% disapprove.

 

Among registered independents, 39% of independents approve of the job O’Malley is doing and 35% disapprove.

 

 

O’Malley Job Approval

 

Approve

 

Disapprove

 

No opinion

 

January 2010

 

46%

 

36%

 

18%

September 2009

48%

37%

15%

January 2009

49%

37%

14%

September 2008

45%

35%

20%

March 2008

37%

48%

15%

January 2008

39%

49%

12%

October 2007

46%

31%

23%

March 2007

52%

21%

27%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Governor O’Malley’s lowest job approval ratings came in the aftermath of the November 2007 special session

 
                                                                                                              

Governor Martin O’Malley’s highest job approval rating was recorded during his first legislative session

 
                                                                                                                           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gubernatorial Match-up

 

In an election match-up with former governor Bob Ehrlich, O’Malley garners 48%, while Ehrlich captures 39% and 13% are undecided.

 

The results by party and race:

 

                                                  O’Malley         Ehrlich        Undecided      

 

Democrats                                      73%                 16%                 11%                     

Republicans                                      8%                 81%                 11%                                 

Independents                                  39%                 36%                 25%       

 

White                                             39%                 49%                 12%                                

African-American                           75%                   9%                 16%       

 

The key finding here is Ehrlich’s vote among Democrats.  When he won in 2002, he collected 30% of the Democratic vote.  Any GOP candidate in 2010 will need to draw near Ehrlich’s showing in 2002.

 
                                                                                                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Among those who say the economy is the most important issue facing the state, 45% say they’ll vote for O’Malley, 42% say they’d vote for Ehrlich; among those who say health care is the most important issue, 73% say they’ll vote for O’Malley, 23% say they’d vote for Ehrlich; and among those who say taxes are the most important issue, only 9% say they’ll vote for O’Malley, with 74% saying they’d vote for Ehrlich.

 

 

O’Malley’s 9 point margin today is 2 points less than September.

 

Gubernatorial Match-up

 

O’Malley

 

Ehrlich

 

Undecided

 

January 2010

 

48%

 

39%

 

13%

September 2009

49%

38%

13%

 

 

President Barack Obama Job Approval

 

Statewide, 56% approve of the job Barack Obama is doing as president, 30% disapprove, and 14% offered no opinion.

 

Obama Job Approval

 

Approve

 

Disapprove

 

No opinion

 

January 2010

 

56%

 

30%

 

14%

September 2009

58%

31%

11%

January 2009

80%

11%

9%

 

Approval of the job Obama is doing remains extremely high among Democrats (81%) and African-Americans (86%).

 

 

Senator Barbara Mikulski Job Approval

 

The economic unrest and unease many feel has not had much effect on Marylanders attitude toward 4-term incumbent Senator Barbara Mikulski.

 

Statewide, 64% of voters approve of the job Mikulski is doing as senator, while 23% disapprove.

 

Mikulski Job Approval

 

Approve

 

Disapprove

 

No opinion

 

January 2010

 

64%

 

23%

 

13%

September 2009

67%

22%

11%

October 2004

59%

25%

16%

June 2004

65%

21%

14%

March 2004

62%

23%

15%

 

 

Mikulski has averaged 67% of the vote in her 4 previous elections and she appears headed toward another easy re-election

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Budget Deficit and Economic Conditions

 

We read voters the following question: “Maryland is facing a large budget deficit this year.  Some argue that the deficit is the result of the problems in the overall economy that have led to declining tax revenues.  Others argue that the deficit is the result of too much spending by government.  Which argument more accurately reflects your view?”

 

Statewide, 38% say the deficit is the result of the problems in the overall economy that have led to declining tax revenues, 44% say the deficit is the result of too much spending by government, with18% not sure.

 

Fifty-seven percent of Democrats think the deficit is the result of declining tax revenues, while 71% of Republicans think it’s because of too much spending.  Among independents, 38% say the deficit is the result of declining tax revenues and 46% say it’s because of too much spending.

 

 

Only 7% of Marylanders say that their family’s financial situation is better today than a year ago, while 36% say it’s worse today than a year ago, and 57% say that their family’s financial situation is about the same today as a year ago.

 

The results by race:

                                                     Better             Worse              Same         

 

White                                              7%                  31%                 62%                     

African-American                            6%                  51%                 43%                                

 

 

Marylanders at this point, however, are somewhat optimistic about the next year – 42% think economic conditions in Maryland will be better a year from now, 23% think economic conditions in Maryland will be worse a year from now, and 35% think they’ll be about the same as they are today.

 

Fifty-one percent of Democrats think economic conditions in Maryland will be better a year from now, while 36% of Republicans think they will be worse.

 

Among African-Americans, 60% think economic conditions will be better a year from now.

 

 

 

Airport Security

 

Statewide, 42% think the federal government has done enough to improve airport security, while 53% say the federal government has not done enough.

 

The results by party:

                                                  Done Enough     Not Enough     Not Sure  

 

Democrats                                          44%                   50%                         6%                     

Republicans                                        36%                   63%                   1%                                

Independents                                      48%                   39%                        13%       

 

 

Seventy-eight percent of Marylanders would be willing to undergo longer and more invasive bag checks and passenger searches when flying in order to improve airport and airline security, while 15% would not be willing to experience longer and more intrusive searches.

 

 

 

 


QUESTION:    What do you think is the most important issue facing the state of Maryland today?

 

 

Economy                                              54%

Health care                                           11%   

Taxes                                                   10%   

Budget deficit                                         8%

Education                                               7%    

Crime                                                     4%    

Environment                                           2%

Transportation/Roads                             1%    

Lack of honesty in government    1%    

Abortion/moral issues                             1%    

No answer                                             1%

 


QUESTION:    Do you approve or disapprove of the job Barack Obama is doing as president?

Statewide Results

 

Response

Statewide

 

 

 

Approve

 

56%

Disapprove

30%

No answer

14%

 

 

Party - Barack Obama job performance - approve or disapprove?

 

 

Party

 

Approve

 

Disapprove

No

Answer

 

 

 

 

 

Democrat

 

81%

 

10%

 

9%

Republican

17%

63%

20%

Independent

44%

37%

19%

 

Race – Barack Obama job performance - approve or disapprove?

 

 

Race

 

Approve

 

Disapprove

No

Answer

 

 

 

 

 

White

 

46%

 

39%

 

15%

African- American

 

86%

 

3%

 

11%

 

Gender – Barack Obama job performance - approve or disapprove?

 

 

Gender

 

Approve

 

Disapprove

No

Answer

 

 

 

 

 

Men

 

48%

 

35%

 

17%

Women

64%

25%

11%

 

 

QUESTION:    Do you approve or disapprove of the job Martin O’Malley is doing as governor?

Statewide Results

 

Response

Statewide

 

 

 

Approve

 

46%

Disapprove

36%

No answer

18%

 

 

Party - Martin O’Malley job performance - approve or disapprove?

 

 

Party

 

Approve

 

Disapprove

No

Answer

 

 

 

 

 

Democrat

 

64%

 

21%

 

15%

Republican

18%

62%

20%

Independent

39%

35%

26%

 

Race – Martin O’Malley job performance - approve or disapprove?

 

 

Race

 

Approve

 

Disapprove

No

Answer

 

 

 

 

 

White

 

43%

 

42%

 

15%

African- American

 

54%

 

18%

 

28%

 

Gender – Martin O’Malley job performance - approve or disapprove?

 

 

Gender

 

Approve

 

Disapprove

No

Answer

 

 

 

 

 

Men

 

42%

 

42%

 

16%

Women

50%

30%

20%

 


QUESTION:    Do you approve or disapprove of the job Barbara Mikulski is doing as a United States Senator?

Statewide Results

 

Response

Statewide

 

 

 

Approve

 

64%

Disapprove

23%

No answer

13%

 

 

Party - Barbara Mikulski job performance - approve or disapprove?

 

 

Party

 

Approve

 

Disapprove

No

Answer

 

 

 

 

 

Democrat

 

79%

 

8%

 

13%

Republican

39%

49%

12%

Independent

61%

23%

16%

 

Race – Barbara Mikulski job performance - approve or disapprove?

 

 

Race

 

Approve

 

Disapprove

No

Answer

 

 

 

 

 

White

 

60%

 

28%

 

12%

African- American

 

76%

 

9%

 

15%

 

Gender – Barbara Mikulski job performance - approve or disapprove?

 

 

Gender

 

Approve

 

Disapprove

No

Answer

 

 

 

 

 

Men

 

59%

 

26%

 

15%

Women

69%

20%

11%

 

 

QUESTION:    If the November 2010 general election for governor were held today, for whom would you vote if the candidates were Martin O’Malley, the Democrat and Bob Ehrlich, the Republican?

Statewide Results

 

Response

Statewide

 

 

 

O’Malley

 

48%

Ehrlich

39%

Undecided

13%

 

 

Party – O’Malley vs. Ehrlich match-up?

 

 

Party

 

O’Malley

 

Ehrlich

 

Undecided

 

 

 

 

 

Democrat

 

73%

 

16%

 

11%

Republican

8%

81%

11%

Independent

39%

36%

25%

 

Race – O’Malley vs. Ehrlich match-up?

 

 

Race

 

O’Malley

 

Ehrlich

 

Undecided

 

 

 

 

 

White

 

39%

 

49%

 

12%

African- American

 

75%

 

9%

 

16%

 

Gender – O’Malley vs. Ehrlich match-up?

 

 

Gender

 

O’Malley

 

Ehrlich

 

Undecided

 

 

 

 

 

Men

 

44%

 

42%

 

14%

Women

52%

36%

12%

 


 

Top 3 Most Important Issues by Gubernatorial Vote Cross-tab

                                                                                                    

 

Most Import

Issue

 

O’Malley

 

Ehrlich

 

Undecided

 

 

 

 

 

Economy

 

45%

 

42%

 

13%

 

Health care

 

73%

 

23%

 

4%

 

Taxes

 

9%

 

74%

 

17%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


QUESTION:    Maryland is facing a large budget deficit this year.  Some argue that the deficit is the result of the problems in the overall economy that have led to declining tax revenues.  Others argue that the deficit is the result of too much spending by government.  Which argument more accurately reflects your view?

 

Statewide Results

 

Response

Statewide

 

 

 

Declining tax revenues

 

38%

Too much spending

44%

No answer

18%

 

 

 

Party - Declining tax revenues or too much spending?

 

 

Party

Declining tax Revenues

Too much Spending

No

Answer

 

 

 

 

 

Democrat

 

57%

 

28%

 

15%

Republican

5%

71%

24%

Independent

38%

46%

16%

 


QUESTION:    Do you think the federal government has done enough to improve airport security since 9/11, or not?

Statewide Results

 

Response

Statewide

 

 

Yes

42%

No

53%

No answer

5%

 

Party – Has the federal government has done enough to improve airport security since 9/11, or not?

 

Party

Yes

No

No Answer

 

 

 

 

 

Democrat

 

44%

 

50%

 

6%

Republican

36%

63%

1%

Independent

48%

39%

13%

 

 

QUESTION:    Would you be willing or not willing to experience longer and more intrusive bag checks and passenger searches when flying in order to improve airport and airline security?

Statewide Results

 

Response

Statewide

 

 

Willing

78%

Not willing

15%

No answer

7%

 

Party – Willing or not willing to experience longer and more intrusive bag checks and passenger searches?

 

Party

Willing

Not willing

No Answer

 

 

 

 

 

Democrat

 

81%

 

11%

 

8%

Republican

76%

19%

5%

Independent

69%

23%

8%

 

QUESTION:    How would you describe your family’s financial situation: would you say you’re doing better today than a year ago, worse today than a year ago, or about the same today as a year ago?

 

Statewide Results

 

Response

Statewide

 

 

 

Better

 

7%

Worse

36%

Same

57%

 

 

 

Party – Financial situation compared to a year ago?

 

 

Party

 

Better

 

Worse

 

Same

 

 

 

 

 

Democrat

 

7%

 

38%

 

55%

Republican

8%

30%

62%

Independent

5%

42%

53%

 

 

 

Race – Financial situation compared to a year ago?

 

 

Race

 

Better

 

Worse

 

Same

 

 

 

 

 

White

 

7%

 

31%

 

62%

African- American

 

6%

 

51%

 

43%

 


QUESTION:    Do you think economic conditions in Maryland will be better a year from now, worse a year from now, or about the same as they are today?

 

Statewide Results

 

Response

Statewide

 

 

 

Better

 

42%

Worse

23%

Same

35%

 

 

 

Party – Economic conditions in Maryland a year from now?

 

 

Party

 

Better

 

Worse

 

Same

 

 

 

 

 

Democrat

 

51%

 

16%

 

33%

Republican

28%

36%

36%

Independent

38%

20%

42%

 

 

 

Race – Economic conditions in Maryland a year from now?

 

 

Race

 

Better

 

Worse

 

Same

 

 

 

 

 

White

 

36%

 

26%

 

38%

African- American

 

60%

 

14%

 

26%