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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.

By John Wagner  |  March 5, 2008; 1:00 AM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
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O'Malley thought we could tax our way out of an economic downturn, now a recession, with increases in computer, sales and income tax increases. The computer taxes will drive out the geeks, dumbing down Maryland. The 20% increase in the regressive sales tax while Delaware has no sales tax will drive beach people to Delaware. The income tax increase will seize the Pelosi rebate checks.

And if you think O'Malley is unpopular, wait will folks find out that these tax increases passed the State Senate 24-23 and that their State Senator voted for it like Senator Rob Garagiola did. Then see how unpopular that State Senate vote is!

Watch what happens in Montgomery County where Leggett and the Council are going to give us a great big property tax hike on top of the above. They are trying to push Don Praisner in the special election because he is a sure vote for property tax hikes in the special election in Council District 4. Praisner reminds of not a grandfather figure, but of a great grandfather figure. Mark Fennel, of Citizens Against Government Waste, a slow-growth man who is married to and parents with a Latin American immigrant is by far a better candidate.

With our 2008 ballot question increasing the number of votes on the council needed to exceed the charter property tax limit from 7 to 9 likely to pass, Fennel would disrupt the plans of Leggett and the Council to exceed the charter property tax limit for the next three years.

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | March 5, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Valid point about taxes, but its not the man, its the situation. We hate tax increases, but do we like deficits or a bankrupt state better? Even worse, a degraded quality of life in MD? Tough call.

He's is another angle, with a 37% approval rating, O'Malley is almost twice as popular as President Bush. Now, while that may not be saying much...there is something to consider. For a guy who just pushed a tax increase, why are O'Malley's approval rating not lower than that. His team, may be viewing 37% as a mild victory considering the tax increase and the overall public dissatisfaction with Bush (19%) and Congress (30%). Just an alternaitve viewpoint.

O'Malley needs to keep working hard and learn from his mistakes. MD is counting on him - at least until the next guy gets in the hotseat.

Posted by: Donny | March 5, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Blacks and liberal groups are plotting to challenge Martin O'Malley during the primary.Can't believe, One Term Governor!

Posted by: George | March 5, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Donny, you've been making excuses for O'Malley for months now and judging by his popularity numbers your target audience isn't getting the message.

I, on the other hand, just received my BGE bill in the mail today. It's too bad empty rhetoric doesn't pay the bills. Otherwise, we'd all be millionaires in the state of Maryland.

Posted by: O'one-termer | March 5, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Got my bill to. Thanks Erlich!

Posted by: Donny | March 5, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Like I said Donny, polls suggest that Marylanders are no longer buying the "Everything is Ehrlich's fault" excuse. When the state is in even worse fiscal shape in 2010 (and it will be on top of O'Malley's tax grab) Ehrlich will be moving back into the Governor's mansion.

Posted by: O'one-termer | March 5, 2008 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Well, Good luck with that Erlich campaign...though I really don't see it being realistic. The MD GOP is sererely weakened and I really think they will need a candidate more in the Ron Paul outline (he seems to have a lot of MD supporters - not sure). I think Erlich will be looking for a new career actually...and nothing against him personally - just think he was a very poor fit for Gov. of MD.

I think he should only be faulted for mistakes during his term in office and his budget cycles. He had his shot in the hot seat and was beaten by O'Malley. I hope O'Malley can do significantly better.

Again, his poll satisfaction numbers are still almost double the President's. Not great - just much better than the President's. His number's should rise only if his performance improves...though I cannot imagine the conditions where the MD GOP would actually admit (publicly or in blog-world) O'Malley succeeding at anything.

Posted by: Donny | March 6, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

OK, now I'm interested. Where are you, "Erlich for 2010" supporters?

Posted by: Donny | March 8, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Ehrlich was the right man for the job here in MD, its just that everyone else (Democrats) held back everything that Ehrlich tried to do to better the state.

MD will never be the state it can be as long as a majority of its residents keep that same blind leading the blind mentality. Voting for a Democrat just because you think they are the party looking out for you, but ask yourself, what have they done for you lately?

We need a complete flush of Dem elected officials so that we can have a complete turnaround with full Republican control so that our state may prosper much the day the city of New York did when a Republican took over (Rudy).

O' Malley was a bad mayor, so its no surprise he makes for a bad Gov.

Posted by: Boomer | March 26, 2008 10:12 PM | Report abuse

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