One year out from his official bid for re-election, Maryland’s Republican governor appears to be retaining voter support in his blue state.
Two-thirds of Maryland voters say they approve of Larry Hogan’s job performance, according to a new poll from Annapolis-based Opinion Works. Forty-three percent of Marylanders – albeit well than the “incumbent rule” standard of 50 percent – say they’d vote for him again next year, compared to 28 percent who said they’d back an undetermined Democratic challenger.
Unsurprisingly, the results were the opposite for President Donald Trump. Sixty-three percent of Maryland voters said they disapprove of the developer/reality TV star-turned-politician’s job so far in the Oval Office. Along party lines, there’s a pretty clear split: 84 percent of Democrats say they disapprove of his performance, while 75 percent of Republicans approve.
The results for both politicans reaffirm other poll findings from the last year. An October Mason-Dixon Polling survey pegged Hogan’s approval rating at 61 percent; a Goucher Poll from the month before calculated it at 62 percent. In July, Morning Consult reported a more generous statewide approval rating of 68 percent.
Trump, meanwhile, hasn’t shifted his favor among Marylander since taking office. A February Goucher Poll indicated 64 percent of Maryland voters disapproved of his job performance after just one month.
Hogan’s shared party affiliation with Trump hasn’t significantly damaged his chances for re-election next year. The governor has largely steered clear of Trump’s controversies, occasionally stepping forward to criticize him – such as when the White House recommended slashing funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program, or pushed to revoke Obamacare – but otherwise keeping the conversation focused on state-level matters.
No clear contender has emerged to challenge Hogan in 2018. Eight Democrats plus Ralph Jaffe have entered the race. The same September Goucher Poll found Maryland’s Dems gave the highest levels of support to Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker (13 percent) and non-candidate Doug Gansler (11 percent), indicating there’s still no alpha candidate.
If it’s any indication, that same poll found 55 percent of Democrats seek a “more progressive” nominee, while 34 percent want someone “more moderate.” Former NAACP president Ben Jealous and state Sen. Richard Madaleno are both campaigning with progressive agendas.
The Opinion Works poll surveyed 850 registered Maryland voters from Oct. 24 though Nov. 7, with a 3.3 percent margin of error.
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