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Gubernatorial and 8th District Races Remain Tight

Ruppersberger Opens up Lead in the 2nd


The latest round of Maryland pre-election polling by Potomac Incorporated shows that two of the three most-closely watched Maryland races remain extremely tight, with Election Day looming just days away.


The Maryland Poll of 869 voters statewide, conducted for The (Baltimore) Sun and The Gazette newspapers, shows Republican Bob Ehrlich picking up ground on his Democratic opponent, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.  Among likely voters, Ehrlich now leads Townsend 48% to 44%, with 8% undecided.  The poll was conducted October 26-28, 2002, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.4%.


Townsend has not made the case that Ehrlich is too conservative for Maryland, with only one-third of voters agreeing with that idea.  Meanwhile, the unpopularity of Townsend’s mentor, incumbent Gov. Parris Glendening, appears to be a significant problem for her campaign, with 51% of likely voters saying that Townsend “would just continue the policies of the Glendening administration…It’s time for a change.”  Glendening’s job approval rating has dropped to 37% in the poll, with 48% of voters disapproving.


Meanwhile in the 8th Congressional District, Republican incumbent Connie Morella seems to have strengthened her position somewhat, posting gains among many key groups and more than doubling the negatives of her opponent, Democratic State Sen. Chris Van Hollen.  The race remains within the margin of error, with Morella at 47% and Van Hollen at 44%, and 9% undecided. 


In suburban Baltimore’s 2nd Congressional District, being vacated by Republican Bob Ehrlich, Baltimore County Executive and Democrat Dutch Ruppersberger has made gains since September, opening up a 49% to 40% lead over former Republican Congresswoman Helen Bentley.


The 8th District sample consisted of 563 likely voters, and the 2nd District 478.  Both district samples carry a maximum possible sampling error of +/- 5.0%.


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