Maryland Governorís Race Tightens
Potomac Incorporated just completed a statewide telephone survey among 1,200 Maryland voters for The Baltimore Sun and the Gazette Newspapers to gauge opinions on issues and politics in anticipation of the 2002 race for Maryland Governor. The survey was completed by telephone July 17 to 19, 2002, among a random sampling of Maryland registered voters, with a margin of error of +/-2.8% at a 95% confidence level.
Potomac asked voters about a variety of topics including:
∑ Job ratings for President Bush and Governor Parris Glendening
∑ The state of Maryland's economy and voters' own financial situations
∑ Attitudes and opinions on critical issues that may impact the upcoming gubernatorial race
∑ Favorability ratings for key political players
∑ The 2002 contests for Comptroller and Governor
∑ The ongoing impact of September 11 on Maryland residents
Many of the Maryland issues have been surveyed in prior surveys for The Baltimore Sun, and other media outlets. Key attitudes uncovered in the current, July 2002 Maryland Poll are measured against these other surveys.
The July 2002 survey results reveal a constituency that is generally progressive, supportive of President Bush, but closely divided when it comes to choosing Marylandís next governor. Among the most likely voters, the governorís race can be characterized as a dead heat, with Kathleen Kennedy Townsend garnering a 47% base of support to Bob Ehrlichís 44%. For Townsend, this seems to indicate a steady slide from a nearly two-to-one lead just eighteen months ago.
Favorability ratings for both Townsend and Ehrlich have also continued to shift significantly in recent months, with Townsendís favorability decreasing from 66% to 52% since January 2001. In contrast, Ehrlich seems to have gained substantial ground with Marylanders. His favorable ratings have gone from 31% to 47%.
Despite growing concerns about the economy and transportation, education continues to figure prominently as a top state issue in votersí minds. So much so, that a majority (55%) continue to be willing to have their taxes raised to support under-funded schools.