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O'Malley's Approval Rating Rises

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) has seen a rebound in his job approval numbers while support for a key initiative of his, the legalization of slot-machine gambling, has slipped some, according to a new poll.

Forty-five percent of likely voters approve of the job O'Malley is doing, while 35 percent disapprove and 20 percent have no opinion in a poll by Gonzales Research & Marketing.

Those are much better numbers than March, when O'Malley seemed to still be suffering from a special session of the legislature last year in which taxes were raised by nearly $1.4 billion. O'Malley's job approval rating has climbed by 8 percentage points since March, while the percentage who disapprove has fallen by 13 points. He has benefited from better ratings from fellow Democrats and from independents.

Support for passage of a November referendum on slots, meanwhile, has slipped 5 percentage points since Gonzales last tested the question in January. The new poll shows 49 percent in favor of the referendum and 43 percent opposed - a margin that underscores the importance of the remaining weeks before Nov. 4.

The poll also found Barack Obama (D) with a comfortable lead in the presidential race over John McCain (R) in Maryland, 52 percent to 38 percent, with 10 percent undecided. That is about the same margin by which John F. Kerry (D) defeated George W. Bush (R) in Maryland in 2004.

By Anne Bartlett  |  September 9, 2008; 10:42 AM ET
Categories:  John Wagner , Slots  
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And what exactly has he done that would result in an uptick in his approval ratings? That's right, ZIPPY! Oh, how quickly we forget.

Posted by: Island 1 | September 9, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Gov. O'malley orchestrated the labor day massacre of Ocean City by allowing his Transportation department to do Bridge inspections over the holiday weekend. The local paper advised avoiding the bridge entirely. This lead to massive back-ups and tens of hours of delays. OC businesses must have a good 4th and Labor day to survive. O'malley paid them back for not supporting SLOTS! This governor is a 2 bit bum. Why do Dems still try to support this guy! Oh, and when is someone going to push the building of another Bay Bridge!

Posted by: ESJay | September 9, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

O'Malley has displayed guts in making tough and often unpopular decisions during a time when our national economy is falling into the toilet. Economically, there is no good news ahead. The Feds just took over Fannie and Freddie, banks are failing and the U.S. Dollar has dropped to half its value against the Eurp since 2001.

O'Malley's challenge will be to keep Maryland's quality of life at the great level Marylanders have enjoyed. It won't come cheap. Inflation is already eating away our revenue. Remember, state govenments do NOT get discounts...their money does not magically stretch. That being said...the focus should be on cutting the fat and NOT cutting essential services or education. We all know I think the cuts should begin with the $3,200,000,000 ICC toll road.

Posted by: Donny | September 9, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse


When has O'Malley EVER demonstrated leadership! Get a grip, did he REally do anything noteworthy as mayor of Murderville Baltimore..? HHmm? Or, let us look at the Baltimore City public schools.. totally improvements, no guts, he should get out of the way, just as we forced that useless Wayne Gilchrest out of office...Only, we need some better Senators while we are at it!

Donny: please defend...


Posted by: ESJay | September 9, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

The man is not a leader, period. He's created a mess of unprecedented proportions in this state. On the heels of one of the largest tax increases in this nation's history being shoved down our throats the state is now facing a potential $1 billion deficit (or as our clueless leaders like to spin it, a revenue shortfall). And no, this one isn't "structural" like the one he created out of the surplus left him by the previous administration. It's a fact that the top 10% of federal tax filers in this country pay 73% of all federal taxes collected, whereas the bottom 50% pay no taxes and in many cases receive "credits" (i.e., handouts) back from the federal government. As Maryland was just recently declared the wealthiest state per capita in the nation I strongly suspect those federal ratios fairly represent the Maryland tax situation. So Marty, I wish you much luck when the top 10% of earners in MD take up residence in surrounding states. I dare anyone to name one city, state or country that has taxed its way to prosperity. It's time for a change at the top... and that includes Mssrs. Bush and Miller getting booted out of Annapolis as well.

Posted by: Scott Keck | September 9, 2008 11:42 PM | Report abuse

This poll clearly shows that the citizens of Maryland have confidence in the leadership of Governor O'Malley and that he is winning over the doubters. He's making the tough decisions to deal with the mess left by his predecessor and the Bush/Cheney recession. History will show him to be one of the great governors of Maryland.

Posted by: Crabby | September 10, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Crabby: please respond...

Please give my one "mess" O'Malley has dealt with..making "tough decisions". The Gov. of MD has shown zip, nada, zilch as a leader, he even has all the votes he needs for whatever he wants and still.. useless.. The doubters of Martin dominate! He should lower taxes to raise revenue! But, somewhere over the rainbow his and his like believe we can tax our way to prosperity; just not going to happen.. Major businesses do not want to do business in this State..too much %rap to deal with!

Posted by: ESJay | September 10, 2008 6:49 PM | Report abuse

There is no question that O'Malley has shown great leadership in creating one maryland. Taken tough decision, sometime unpopular to stay on the side of fairness and all of his actions in governance is above politics. I think in last 21 months he has moved Maryland leaps year ahead of his predecessors

Posted by: AH | September 11, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse


The mess being dealt with now was left behind by a failed governor who refused to solve the fundamentals of the budget crisis. Ehrlich's budget were out of control - way above spending affordability. He left a $1.7 billion annual deficit while he grew the size of state spending by 30%. That despite the fact that he hiked taxes by $3 billion, stole from every trust fund he could find and borrowed billions more for captial projects that had previous been paid for as you go.

That and he lied about leaving a surplus - he spent that cash already - setting it aside to balance his next budget which he knew was out of balance otherwise because of his spending spree.

Blame Ehrlich? Why not - he did what he did and he left what he left, a mess.

Posted by: Enjoy | September 11, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Enjoy: What you say is astounding! Do you believe that 1 republican, four year governor, in 30 years, with a state legislature dominated by out of touch liberals is to blame for years and years of overspending and waste! How would you defend Glendening? Did he forget to take his meds? Let us look at Maryland State debt, since O'Malley has been in office our debt has RISEN 7.5%. This even on the heals of a 20% sales tax increase! Moreover, we are now going to exceed our state debt limit; so now what, the liberal legislature will have to just go back and up our limit! This increase in debt is due to overspending and over-regulation keeping industry from making MD it's home .. what tough choice has Martin made? HHMMM? Please explain..

Posted by: ESJay | September 11, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

esjay...apologies for not responding quicker. O'Malley is a leader and he beat Erlich handily....unless you take the point of view that Erlich beat himself by poor performance. I think he has kept a clear head when the national economy went under and he has kept the high Maryland quality of life high. If life was not good, you and I would have moved long ago.

I do not ever expect the MD GOP to acknowledge anything positive about a Democrat Governor who ousted a GOP governor. However, I do have this POV. Erlich pushed hard w/help from W. Bush to get the $3,200,000,000 ICC toll road fast-tracked and funded. O'Malley is saddled with a boondoggle and a lot of broken ground with tax hikes and a budget shortfall. I am waiting to see if he is up to the challenge of cancelling this three billion dollar ICC boondoggle ... it will take political skill and courage.

We will see. In my book - no elected official gets a free pass, because of party affiliation or what have you. I grade O'Malley higher than Erlich thus far...but that does not say much. O'Malley has challenges to tackle. If he cannot, his grade with voters like myself will falter.


Posted by: Donny | September 12, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Donny: I am completely in support of the fact it is 10 years too late..! Furthermore we need another Bay Bridge, let private industry build it, like the VA Bay Bridge tunnel, charge $10 each way, it will pay for itself. It is clear you do not have to travel in this state you will not leave. I have had the opportunity and privilege to live in many parts of this country, we need more roads! We need a new outer beltway! I am for growth, growth, growth. The ICC is just a start.

Posted by: ESJay | September 12, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

ESJay or are you known as "Richie Rich"? I am also in support of all those roads and bridges you want long as YOU pay for them.

It a little callous and unrealistic to saddle the rest of us taxpayers with these items...we just had out taxes hiked!

Posted by: Donny | September 15, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

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