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O'Malley boasts about Washington Post poll results

Aaron C. Davis

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) on Monday was quick to promote favorable portions of a new Washington Post poll that found him leading Republican Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. by 8 percentage points among registered voters, but in a dead heat among those who say they are definitely planning to vote in November.

An early morning posting on O'Malley's Facebook page said "Washington Post poll shows Governor O'Malley leading Ehrlich 49-41 with 58 percent job approval. Voters tell Post that O'Malley understands their problems and can be better trusted on education, the environment and crime."

The governor's message didn't mention that he also starts with less than half of all registered voters leaning his way. Four years ago, O'Malley never polled below 50 percent. And the poll found that Ehrlich has the edge in voter trust on the state budget and taxes, and when it comes to the top issue, the economy, 43 percent trust the former governor to do a better job, to 39 percent for the current one.

At 10 a.m. on WTOP's monthly "Ask the Governor" program, O'Malley cautioned that he doesn't "pay a whole lot of attention" to these polls." But he added with a chuckle, that he was pleased with where things stood.

"As far as the race goes, there was a poll in the Washington Post that showed, were the election held today, we're up by 8 points. But you can't, I don't, this is hard for people to accept, but I don't pay a whole lot of attention to those because they will go up, they will go down. But it's always better to receive a poll [laugh] that says you're up rather than down."

O'Malley then tried to marry the good news about the poll with last month's report that Maryland gained over 35,000 jobs last month.

"That was great news. This [the poll] is good news, on a personal level, but that was great news."

When asked about a critical ad his campaign ran during Ehrlich's Saturday radio program on Baltimore's WBAL radio, O'Malley also hardened his criticism of his predecessor's spending record. O'Malley repeatedly referred to Ehrlich as a "right-wing radio disc jockey."

And he accused Ehrlich of making up fairy tales that he left the state with a surplus. When asked if he was going too far in calling Ehrlich a disc jockey, O'Malley did not back down.

"I was trying to underscore that he's not very serious when he's making up fairy tales," O'Malley said, repeating his claim that Ehrlich has embellished his spending and tax record. "That stuff's okay if you're trying to whip up the right wing... but it's not acceptable if you're a candidate. It's not acceptable to float that you left a surplus when you left a deficit. And I'm going to call him on it every chance that I get."

Later in the program, O'Malley also took swipes at the leadership of the Metro system, saying WMATA has the worst safety record in the country and they "need to improve that record in order to save lives."

O'Malley paused when asked if Metro was safe to ride.

"It is, uh. It is, uh, a system that all of us rely on. When we get into our cars there's a certain amount of risk. There is more risk on the Washington Metro system than there is any other system in the country and it needs to be improved.

"Every part of government has been struggling under budget constraints, that is not a pass for having the worst safety record in the country, please. If you can't do it, get out of the way and we'll get leaders in there that can do it."

By Aaron C. Davis  |  May 10, 2010; 11:15 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections , Aaron C. Davis  | Tags: Baltimore, Martin O'Malley, Maryland, Politics, Robert Ehrlich, Washington Metro, Washington Post  
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O'Malley has good reason to boast.
Crime is down, his ratings are up.
Good job O'Malley!

Posted by: MarilynManson | May 10, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately for O'Malley, that 8 point spread was made up of all the illegal aliens he coddles along with CASA de Maryland. The illegals might be able to vote on the Wa Po online poll but they won't be voting on election day.

Posted by: savethepcbs | May 10, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

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