Polls in Maryland

The Washington Post conducted a poll in Maryland. In short: It will be very, very blue:

A strong Democratic tide in Maryland threatens to swamp Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.’s reelection bid and bolsters the party’s efforts to retain control of an important U.S. Senate seat, according to a new Washington Post poll.

Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley (D) held a 10 percentage point lead over Ehrlich, and Democratic Senate nominee Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin had a similar advantage over Republican Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele among likely voters in the Post poll, which was conducted last Sunday through Thursday. The leads were well beyond the survey’s three percentage point margin of error.

The poll of 1,000 voters showed that the state’s overwhelmingly Democratic electorate is highly disturbed about national issues — extremely critical of President Bush, more upset about the war in Iraq than voters in the rest of the country and eager to shift power in Washington from the Republican Party.

Those strong feelings are a heavy weight for Ehrlich and Steele, who four years ago claimed the state’s top offices for the GOP for the first time in nearly 40 years and have tried to foster a Republican resurgence in the state.

Take a look at the entire poll (just scroll down when you arrive at the WaPo).

Author: michaelvdg

17 Comments

  1. The Washington Post also offers a brief daily update of the races for Congress and Senate.

    Link HERE.

  2. Maryland is a blue state because three counties (Montgomery, Prince Georges, and the City of Baltimore(counts as a county) are overwhelmingly blue. The rest of the state actually tends Republican. That is why the Democrats in 2000 move the congressional districts around so that most of the districts got a piece of Baltimore.

    Two of the three counties are the most poorly run counties in the State of Maryland. Prince Georges county, a suburban county with a huge number of government employees, has public schools are perform below the level of rural Garret County or Cecil County.
    When Kurt Schmoke was major he tried to send his children to a Baltimore public schools but quickly abandoned the idea.

    Also, Maryland is 30% black and getting “blacker.” That means that any Democrat running for state wide office has over half the votes needed just because he has a “D” next to his name.

    Give the current Demographic trends a few more years in Maryland and probablility that a Republican can win state wide office will be virtually mil. Then Maryland will be just like its neighbor, the District of Columbia.

  3. Steele is doing a push poll in Maryland right now. Go to TPM, it is the first entry at the top right now. Pretty pathetic if you ask me. Glad I’m not in Maryland.

  4. superdestroyer,
    Do you know why PG County Schools are so bad? It’s because of TRIM, an anti-tax measure passed by the last generation of white majority residents in places like Bowie who didn’t to raise taxes to pay for black people. Now that PG is majority black, and quite wealthy to boot, there has been an effort to either repeal TRIM or work around it. Either way, the structure of PG County Public Schools resembles that of a rural 1950s district and not a 21st century wealthy suburb. Here’s a discussion of these issues in PG County. It’s a few years old, but the issues are relevant today.

    According to this poll, support for repealing TRIM is there, but not great. However, if voters knew that repealing TRIM could help improve their schools, they might vote to get rid of it.

    Surely corruption is an endemic issue in PG and Baltimore. But that’s because of old-school machines. Montgomery is very Democratic and largely non-machine based. And even in PG, Donna Edwards primary run against Al Wynn suggests that the county might be willing to jettison the machine. That doesn’t mean Republicans will replace them. Just better Democrats.

    Another thing to consider is that heavily GOP districts in western Maryland are becoming slightly less Republican as the Washington suburbs move west. Roscoe Bartlett is facing his biggest challenge yet.

    Eastern Shore MD is still strongly Republican, and will remain so. But it has very few people. Did you know that in the 19th century Maryland’s constitution required half the state Senate to come from the Eastern Shore?

  5. test

  6. Maybe Maryland has something to do with Dick Armey worrying about 1994 Republicans? If I reacall Newt had a famous specch saying everyone was welcome in the Republican Party that made someone angry. Later, if I remember right Maryland flew its falg upside down and I don’t think it was Newt’s fault.

    I’d like to see how Dick explains Valerie(Air Force) Plame’s and Sarah (Harvard/NPR) Chaye’s government service journeys. These seem to have been alot more expensive to Americans than those in the pase and both have bordered on treason. Maybe this is the difference between the old and new schools and where people get confused.

  7. Superdestroyer- as a Maryland resident, I can tell you that you are way off the mark. Yes, Maryland is a blue state, but many Democrats are moderates, and will cross over if the Republican is also a moderate, and is superior to the Democratic candidate. An example of this is the 2002 Republican gubernatorial victory of Ehrlich over Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. As registered Democrats outnumbered Republicans 2:1, it would have been impossible for Ehrlich to defeat the incumbent Lt. Governor, without significant support from Democrats. Many Democrats perceived Ehrlich to be a much stronger candidate, and were willing to cast aside party affiliation.

    In this election both Steele, a conservative Republican and Ehrlich, a moderate Republican are running strong races (within about 5 points of the front-runner). This is despite strong ties to a national Republican party and a president that are extremely unpopular in Maryland. So I think your assertion that a Republican candidate will be unable to win in the near future because of the growing black population is off the mark. BTW, a lot of black voters who normally vote Democratic will be voting for Steele, because they are frustrated with the lack of black Democratic candidates for major office.

  8. BTW, Superdestroyer—you are correct that 2 out of the 3 Democratic counties in Maryland have poor schools, but neglected to mention that the third, and most populous, Montgomery has top-rated schools that consistently outperform schools in Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore. These schools are multicultural, having large numbers of hispanic, black and asian students—but they score at the top on national tests, regardless.

  9. Kim, you should know that a partisan only looks to facts that support their arguments. (I’m talking about both sides partisans)

  10. It’s worth pointing out that a few days ago the Post editors (somewhat surprisingly) endorsed Ehrlich for a second term. I don’t know if this poll fully reflects whatever effect that might have. At the very least, I think the endorsement reflects the perception that O’Malley is too Baltimore-centric, and support in the DC suburbs might lag behind what you’d expect for a Democrat.

  11. Ehrlich have family in florida?

  12. Kim,

    You are correct about the schools in Montgomery County. However, if you look up the test scores, blacks and Hispanics in Montgomery are well below the scores of whites and Asians. On the SAT test (using the old 1600 point standard) blacks in Montgomery score about 100 points better than blacks in PG county but about 250 points less than white students and about 275 below Asian students.

    I would argue that Montgomery county whites and asian do so well because there are so few blue collar whites living in Montgomery County that the white scores are basically the scores of white collar, college educated students throuth out the United States.

  13. Actually, the performance gap is narrowing due to continuous effort to make progress towards those goals. I actually would argue that the reason Montomery Cty’s scores are so high, is that they support the use of their tax money for education, unlike other counties which contain large white populations in Southern Maryland and on the Eastern Shore. They are the envy of the state.

    Both PG and Baltimore City contain large pockets of crime and poverty, which affect how much those areas can spend per pupil.

  14. Nick, another thing to consider as a possible motive for the Post supporting Ehrlich is the blatant corruption in O’Malley’s mayoral tenure. They like to keep it quiet (for obvious reasons) but there have been several news stories featuring prominent public officials showing how O’Malley fudges crime numbers in Baltimore City to make him look like a success. There are documented cases of obvious murders (2 bullets to the back of the skull, for instance) being written up as “accidental deaths” because the killer wasn’t immediately caught. And even with the fudged numbers, Baltimore still has the 2nd highest per capita murder rate in the country.

    I’ve lived in Maryland (in and around Baltimore) for 15 years and I vote Democratic about 90% of the time. But I’ll take Ehrlich any day over slime like O’Malley, regardless of party affiliation.

  15. Kim: I actually would argue that the reason Montomery Cty’s scores are so high, is that they support the use of their tax money for education…

    That’s good, what percentage of taxes go to Education? In Davis County Utah, over 50% of my property taxes goes to eduction, but we don’t get the same performance as you guys are.

    It would be interesting to see the money per pupil comparing the two counties.

  16. Rambie- not sure of the exact percentage- I live in a different county- but its over half. I do know that any successful candidate in Mtgy county has to make dedication to improving educational standards their number one priority, as opposed to Southern Md, where low taxes are the priority. Property taxes and housing are sky-high in Montgomery, but people who move there do so for quality-of-life issues- the most important being education.

    morgan- I voted for Ehrlich in 2002-as the Democratic candidate was so weak, but will be voting for O’Malley this election. Ehrlich has gotten a D+ from environmental groups, was against raising the minimum wage, and filled the Public Service Commission that oversees the utility companies with industry execs, and pro-business politicians. He has taken money from Abramoff, and spent his first 3 years trying to force slot machines on Marylanders.

    Also, it annoys me that he moved his right hand man, Joseph Steffen into state offices so that he could mark Democratic employees for firing. Hundreds were fired with no warning and replaced by Republicans, just because of their affiliation-not job performance. Finally, Steffen went online and circulated unsubstantiated rumors about O’malley’s marital fidelity. Maybe he hoped the issue would take off the way it did with Bill Clinton. The incident caused an uproar, and Ehrlich did fire Steffen-but still it stinks of dirty tricks.

  17. Superdestroyer: “You are correct about the schools in Montgomery County. However, if you look up the test scores, blacks and Hispanics in Montgomery are well below the scores of whites and Asians.”

    Using standardized tests like the SATs in your comparisons is a flawed basis for analysis. There have been countless studies that have shown that people of different races and of similar levels of education nationwide perform very differently on standardized tests: particularly that African-Americans and Latinos typically do worse than Caucasians and Asians, so your assumption that somehow this is indicative of some specific trend in certain counties in Maryland is short-sighted. In other words whatever is causing this disparity is not a local issue but a national one.

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