The Maryland Poll: January 2004 Pre-Legislative Survey
Potomac Incorporated has completed its latest installment of The Maryland Poll, conducted regularly for The (Baltimore) Sun. This survey of 1,200 likely voters in Maryland was conducted January 2-5, 2004, and carries a maximum margin of sampling error of ± 2.8% at the 95% confidence level.
Among the poll’s findings are these:
w The state’s budget shortfall has rocketed into second position on the voters’ list of top state concerns, just behind education.
w For the first time in recent years, a majority of voters appear ready to accept new taxes as part of a budget solution.
w A broad-based sales tax increase would be the most favored remedy, if new taxes became necessary. If the new tax revenue were tied to Thornton, support reaches an impressive two-thirds of likely voters.
w Marylanders continue to exhibit a strong commitment to the environment.
w Slots are supported by a thin majority of likely voters, but only if the machines are confined to tracks or remote facilities. Meanwhile, a large majority of voters in no way want slots proceeds to end up in the hands of track owners.
w Gov. Ehrlich continues to enjoy strong personal popularity, but he receives lower ratings when particular job responsibilities are considered.
w If the general election for president were held today, President Bush would narrowly lose the state to Dr. Howard Dean.
w Dean meanwhile appears poised to win the Maryland Democratic presidential primary, with Gen. Wesley Clark running second. A large number of Democrats remain undecided.
w Two-thirds continue to worry about a terrorist attack happening locally, and a plurality of voters think President Bush is losing the war on terrorism.