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At the Starting Gate

Governor

It's a new year, it's the start of an intense political year in Maryland, and so, an ideal time to get a sense of where Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. stands with voters. One way to judge that is with polls. So we were pleased to see that Gonzales Research, an Annapolis-based independent polling firm that tracks state politics, will be releasing it's latest polling numbers tomorrow. With permission of firm president Pat Gonzales, we're going to give you some of the highlights now.

First, the governor seems to have recovered somewhat from the slide in popularity he was experiencing last fall, when Gonzales put his approval ratings under 50 percent for the first time since he was elected. (He was at 49 percent approving of how he was doing his job, with 42 percent disapproving). In tomorrow's poll, he's back up at 53 percent, which is within the range of where he's been during the rest of his tenure.

Pat tells us what we already suspect: This is good news for the governor. "He’s where he has to be to get reelected," Gonzales says.

Still, the governor seems to be having continuing trouble appealing to women voters. Ehrlich's advisers have recognized this problem in the past, but apparently have not yet figured out how to resolve it. In this latest survey, 60 percent of men approved of Ehrlich's performance, while only 46 percent of women are happy with the job he's doing.

Of course, the campaign season is just getting underway, so consider these numbers just a point of departure.
The pollster didn't ask this time how Ehrlich matched up against the two Democrats seeking to knock him off. A Baltimore Sun poll last fall showed the governor trailing both Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley and Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan.

By  |  January 9, 2006; 10:00 PM ET
Categories:  Governor  
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