O'Malley's Approval Ratings Still Lagging
Gov. Martin O'Malley's job approval numbers have not recovered from last fall's special on the budget, according to a poll released today by Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies.
The poll found that 37 percent approve of the way O'Malley (D) is doing his job as governor while 48 percent disapprove, with 15 percent offering no opinion.
Those numbers are virtually unchanged since January, when multiple polls showed O'Malley taking a hit in public approval following a special session in which lawmakers raised taxes $1.4 billion a year as part of a long-term fix to the state's finances.
A Gonzales poll from March 2007, two months after O'Malley took office, showed 52 percent of voters approving and 21 percent disapproving.
O'Malley spokesman Rick Abbruzzese said the new poll "clearly acknowledges the fear and anxiety our families are feeling about the national economy and foreclosure crisis, and the hard choices we made to protect our schools, freeze college tuition, expand health care, and protect our state's AAA bond rating. We believe that by protecting those priorities, Marylandwill come through this national economic downturn more quickly than other states."
The poll shows O'Malley's performance is viewed very differently among different groups of voters.
Among Democrats, 48 percent approve, while 35 percent disapprove. Among Republicans, 17 percent approve, while 69 percent disapprove.
Among men, 33 percent approve, while 53 percent disapprove. Among women, 41 percent approve, while 43 percent disapprove.
The poll also showed both Democratic presidential candidates, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, leading Republican John McCain in general election matchups -- but Obama with a larger lead.
Obama led McCain, 51 percent to 37 percent. Clinton led McCain, 47 percent to 40 percent.
The telephone poll of 807 registered voters who vote regularlywas conducted between Feb. 23 and March 1 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
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