Donald Trump’s controversial reign as president so far doesn’t appear to be pulling Gov. Larry Hogan down. Nearly two-thirds of broadly blue Maryland’s voters approve of their Republican governor’s job in office, according to the newest Goucher Poll.
Hogan’s newest approval rating of 63 percent matches his results from 12 months ago, though it does show a seven-point drop from September 2016. And yet, unlike his presidential counterpart, Hogan is enjoying majority support from all parties, with approval ratings of 91 percent among Republicans, 61 percent among independents and 52 percent among Democrats.
In a polling face-off with the Democratic-controlled General Assembly that Hogan has recently criticized, the governor emerged victorious. Just 42 percent of Marylanders say they approve of the job done so far by the General Assembly, and a higher share of voters say Hogan has better policies for economic growth (36 percent) than the Maryland Democrats (27 percent).
Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher College, which published the poll last night just after midnight, suggested the Democratic-controlled General Assembly has recently had “a larger share of the media network” to share its viewpoints, which could drive down Hogan’s approval ratings.
“Perhaps the decline in approval may be because some of the Democrats are able to message their policy positions,” Kromer said.
With a re-election year approaching for the governor, Hogan appears to be surviving any negative association with Trump causing a commotion in the White House. Fifty-seven percent of voters say they’re leaning toward Hogan or will definitely vote for him in 2018. As for the attention he’s paid so far toward Trump, about a third of voters say they feel Hogan spends “about the right amount of time” addressing Trump’s executive actions; a slightly higher share of voters say he’s not giving Trump’s executive actions enough attention.
Kromer said the poll doesn’t suggest there has been “too much of an immediate Trump drag.” The governor’s unwillingness to comment on the president publicly also hasn’t factored too much into his overall approval ratings, she said, pointing to those nearly equal shares of voters who say he’s either spending the right amount or not enough time talking about Trump.
Marylanders remain high on their support for marijuana legalization (58 percent), similar to the last two years. Most (73 percent) also support reforming the process by which the state sets voting district lines by placing control in the hands of independent commissions rather than elected officials.
On two business-specific issues -– paid sick leave and minimum wage -– voters sided with the employee. Eighty percent say they support requiring businesses with 15 or more workers to offer paid sick leave to employees, and 60 percent support raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Legislators are currently considering a bill in Annapolis that would restrict individual jurisdictions like Baltimore City from raising their minimum wages beyond what the state requires. According to the Goucher Poll, 63 percent of voters support letting localities set their own minimum wages. They likely aren’t big fans of that proposal.