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Posted at 12:01 AM ET, 01/25/2011

O'Malley numbers up in new poll; majority supports same-sex marriage

By John Wagner

A new statewide poll finds Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's job approval rating higher than it's ever been and includes some encouraging news for advocates of same-sex marriage.

Fifty-eight percent of Maryland voters approve of the way O'Malley (D) is handling his job, while 30 percent disapprove and 13 percent are not sure, according to the poll by Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies. The approval figure is the highest for O'Malley in a Gonzales poll since he became governor in 2007.

O'Malley's previous high-water mark was 52 percent in March 2007, shortly after taking office. By March 2008, the percentage of those approving had dropped to 37 percent in the wake of a special session in which lawmakers passed multiple tax increases proposed by O'Malley.

"The highly successful campaign O'Malley waged in the fall has him well-positioned to lead during this current legislative session," Gonzales says in the poll results, referring to O'Malley's Nov. 2 victory over former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) by more than 14 percentage points.

The poll also includes good numbers for advocates of same-sex marriage, a high-profile issue this legislative session.

In the poll, 51 percent of voters say they would favor a law in Maryland allowing same-sex couples to marry, while 44 percent opposed such a law and 5 percent gave no response.

If the legislature passes a same-sex marriage bill, it is likely to be petitioned to the ballot for a statewide vote in 2012.

The poll also found 56 percent of voters favoring the death penalty in Maryland, while 36 percent oppose it, with 8 percent giving no response.

Asked another way, however, the results are more encouraging for advocates of repealing the death penalty.

When asked if they believe that the sentence of life without the possibility of parole is an acceptable substitute, 60 percent say it is, while 33 percent say it is not and 7 percent have no opinion.

On another hot-button issue, 45 percent of Maryland voters say that gun control laws should be made stricter, while 24 percent say they should be less strict and 26 percent say they should be kept as they are now.

The Gonzales poll of 802 registered voters who vote regularly was conducted Jan. 13 to Jan. 19. It is said to have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

By John Wagner  | January 25, 2011; 12:01 AM ET
Categories:  Governor, John Wagner, Same-Sex Marriage  
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Comments

Ninoshka Santana
I am so glad that people are realizing that they need to treat everyone equal. Now that people are more for gay marriage then maybe it will be okay and make it legal for them. I also think that if others see what they are doing then maybe they will make it legal in other places also. I really wish that it was this ay every where else and no one will discriminate when it comes to letting homosexual couples get married. They need to be happy to and spend there life with someone that they love.

Posted by: santananinoshka | January 26, 2011 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Ninoshka Santana
I am so glad that people are realizing that they need to treat everyone equal. Now that people are more for gay marriage then maybe it will be okay and make it legal for them. I also think that if others see what they are doing then maybe they will make it legal in other places also. I really wish that it was this ay every where else and no one will discriminate when it comes to letting homosexual couples get married. They need to be happy to and spend there life with someone that they love.

Posted by: santananinoshka | January 26, 2011 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Ninoshka Santana
I am so glad that people are realizing that they need to treat everyone equal. Now that people are more for gay marriage then maybe it will be okay and make it legal for them. I also think that if others see what they are doing then maybe they will make it legal in other places also. I really wish that it was this ay every where else and no one will discriminate when it comes to letting homosexual couples get married. They need to be happy to and spend there life with someone that they love.

Posted by: santananinoshka | January 26, 2011 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Ninoshka Santana
I am so glad that people are realizing that they need to treat everyone equal. Now that people are more for gay marriage then maybe it will be okay and make it legal for them. I also think that if others see what they are doing then maybe they will make it legal in other places also. I really wish that it was this ay every where else and no one will discriminate when it comes to letting homosexual couples get married. They need to be happy to and spend there life with someone that they love.

Posted by: santananinoshka | January 26, 2011 8:56 AM | Report abuse

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