Ehrlich dismissive of poll showing O'Malley lead
Former Maryland governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) dismissed a new poll Tuesday, suggesting the results should be taken no more seriously than if "a couple of old staffers" of his had published it.
The Center Maryland/OpinionWorks poll showed Ehrlich trailing Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) by 6 percentage points.
Ehrlich was taking issue with Center Maryland, the organization that published the poll on its Web site.
The six founders of Center Maryland, which advertises news presented "straight down the middle," include Steve Kearney, O'Malley's former communications director. Much of the news content on the group's site is pulled from other publications, but Center Maryland was the first to publish the latest poll on the governor's race.
In an interview, Kearney said his organization had not participated in the crafting of the poll and was merely acting as a "media partner" to distribute the results.
That was echoed by Steve Raabe, president of the Annapolis-based, independent polling firm OpinionWorks. Among the firm's clients is The Baltimore Sun.
"We did the poll and essentially found them as an outlet to put the poll out," Raabe said of Center Maryland. "Objectivity is something in which I take pride, so I'm not going to tilt a poll."
The poll showed a somewhat larger O'Malley lead than other recent polls of the governor's race. Raabe said that is largely because his poll defined "likely voters" as both those who say they are certain to vote and those who say they will probably vote in November.
Under more narrow assumptions about turnout, O'Malley's lead is smaller, Raabe said.
"In a sense, this poll is an attempt to look at what's really going to happen in Maryland," he said.
Besides Kearney, Center Maryland's founders include Otis Rolley, who was director of planning when O'Malley was mayor of Baltimore; Damian O'Doherty, a former adviser to Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith (D); Howard Libit, a former Sun editor; Tom Loveland, the owner of an information technology firm; and Martin G. Knott Jr., owner of a HVAC and plumbing service provider. Knott has been appointed by O'Malley to a couple of state boards.
August 24, 2010; 2:10 PM ET
Categories: 2010 Elections , John Wagner
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