O'Malley's own poll puts him up 10 points over Ehrlich
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) holds a 10-point lead over former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) in a hypothetical matchup, according to a survey by O'Malley's pollster that was released by his campaign Friday.
The lead of 51 percent to 41 percent is slightly larger but not out of range of public polls from recent months.
According to a one-page memo from O'Malley's pollster, Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, O'Malley holds leads in Montgomery and Prince George's counties that are larger than in 2006, when O'Malley defeated Ehrlich statewide by 6.5 percentage points.
O'Malley holds a lead of 47 percent to 45 percent among men, and 53 percent to 38 percent among women, according to the memo, which includes no other breakdowns.
The poll of 604 likely voters was conducted between Feb. 10 and 13 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points, according to the memo, which is dated Wednesday.
Ehrlich spokesman Henry Fawell downplayed the significance of the O'Malley poll, saying its public release "is generally something you do when you're worried. ... Our internal polling shows a vastly different landscape."
Ehrlich told The Post in January that a poll conducted for his campaign in December showed him within striking distance of O'Malley. Ehrlich's aides declined to share the poll.
O'Malley campaign manager Tom Russell said his campaign was heartened by its latest poll.
"Assuming former governor Ehrlich actually gets in the race at some point, we're starting out in a strong place," Russell said.
Ehrlich is widely expected to announce late this month that he is seeking a rematch with O'Malley.
Among recent public polling, a Rasmussen Reports survey showed the smallest lead for O'Malley. In that poll, conducted Feb. 23, the current governor lead 49 percent to 43 percent.
A Clarus Research Group poll in November showed O'Malley leading Ehrlich 47 percent to 40 percent but said O'Malley could be vulnerable to a strong challenger if economic and budget difficulties persisted.
On a separate question, that poll also showed that 39 percent of voters said they wanted to see O'Malley re-elected while 48 percent say they would like for someone new to win.
Meanwhile, a January poll by Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies showed O'Malley with a slightly larger lead, 48 percent to 39 percent.
March 5, 2010; 1:28 PM ET
Categories: 2010 Elections , John Wagner
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