President Donald Trump isn’t making many inroads with residents of mostly blue Maryland after his first month in office, according to the most recent Goucher Poll.
Twenty-nine percent of Marylanders approve of the president’s job since his inauguration, while 64 percent disapprove, according to the first poll representing Maryland voters’ attitudes since he took office. These ratings fall nearly in line with the 2-to-1 voter registration ratio of Democrats to Republicans across the state.
But how about within the parties themselves? According to this poll, 71 percent of registered Republicans approve of his performance, compared to just 29 percent of independents and 7 percent of Democrats.
“Donald Trump is doing very well among Republicans,” said Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher College, in an interview. “But when you start to move outside of that demographic, you see the problems with Democrats and independents.”
Trump’s difficulty garnering support from groups outside his GOP base isn’t isolated to Maryland, she noted. One new poll from Winthrop College in South Carolina, a state that voted for Trump in November, found only 7 percent of African-Americans, a group that leans heavily Democratic, approve of how he’s handling his job as president so far, compared with 77 percent of Republican-registered or –leaning South Carolinians.
On the congressional side, a higher share of Marylanders approve of the performance so far of Sens. Ben Cardin (45 percent) and Chris Van Hollen (44 percent) than disapprove or say they “don’t know.”
“The key thing here – and probably what both Cardin and Van Hollen are happy about – is that they’re ‘above water,’” said Kromer, meaning they have higher ratings of approval than for the other two categories. This is a good sign for Cardin, who’s approaching a re-election year in 2018, she said.
The Goucher Poll released these new figures today just after midnight. The poll surveyed 776 residents of the Old Line State from Feb. 18-21, with a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
Kromer said the next poll, to be released early next week, will cover approval ratings for Gov. Larry Hogan and key statewide issues such as redistricting, marijuana legalization, paid sick leave and minimum wage.
Goucher’s last poll from September 2016 found a remarkably high approval rating (70 percent) for Hogan, a Republican governor reigning over a largely Democratic state.