Friday, April 23, 2010

New Poll Confirms that Ehrlich/O'Malley Rematch will be Competitive

A new poll from Rasmussen confirms what I have argued for months - a gubernatorial rematch between former governor Bob Ehrlich and current governor Martin O'Malley would be very competitive. The poll finds that in a General Election Match up Martin O'Malley (D) would receive 47% to Bob Ehrlich's (R) 44% - that's a statistical tie. Undecideds were at 7%. Since the last Rasmussen poll in late February (before Ehrlich entered the race), Governor O'Malley's support has fallen by 2 points, Ehrlich's is up by 1 point and the share of Undecideds has increased by 2 points.

The poll continues a troubling trend for O'Malley in that he cannot seem to reach 50% support in a state where 56% of voters are registered Democrats and they outnumber Republicans by a 2-to-1 margin. Perhaps equally troubling for O'Malley, Ehrlich has a 56% favorability rating - that's a good place for a defeated Republican governor to be in a Democratic state.

There are two bright spots for O'Malley 1) his approval rating has hit 50% for the first time in three years, and 2) President Obama has a 59% approval rating in the state. Both should work to O'Malley's advantage in turning out the party faithful - provided that each holds through November.

Much more on the Ehrlich/O'Malley race can be found here, here, here, and here....

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

St. Mary's College of Maryland to Host 2010 Legislative Session Wrap-Up

On Monday, April 26th from 3:30-5:00PM, St. Mary's College of Maryland will hosts it's Annual Legislative Wrap-Up and Discussion of Highlights of Maryland's 2010 Legislative Session.

St. Mary's County Delegates John Bohanan, Anthony O'Donnell, and John Wood, Jr. will offer their impressions of the 2010 session and then take audience questions.

What happened in Annapolis this year? Find out how the state is tackling budget issues, tuition costs and environmental problems in Maryland. The discussion will provide an opportunity for St. Mary’s College students and community members to hear directly from legislators about the highlights of the 2010 Maryland legislative session.

Delegate John Bohanan represents district 29B in the Maryland House of Delegates. He is chairman of the House Spending Affordability Committee as well as the deputy majority whip. He is also a member of the House Appropriations Committee and its pensions oversight, its capital budget and its public safety & administration subcommittees.

Delegate Anthony O’Donnell represents district 29C in the Maryland House of Delegates. He has served as the Minority Leader of the House since 2007. He is a member of the Environmental Matters Committee and the Joint Legislative Work Group to Study State, County and Municipal Fiscal Relationships.

Delegate John Wood, Jr. represents district 29A in the Maryland House of Delegates. He is a member of the Appropriations Committee and its Public Safety & Administration Subcommittee, as well as the Legislative Policy Committee.

The meeting will be open to the public.

3:30-5:00 pm Glendening Annex

For more information please call the Center for the Study of Democracy at 240-895-4215.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pew Poll Points to Major Shake-Up in 2010 Midterms

Anyone who doubts the potential for a political earthquake come November needs to read the latest release from Pew.
"Rather than an activist government to deal with the nation's top problems, the public now wants government reformed and growing numbers want its power curtailed. With the exception of greater regulation of major financial institutions, there is less of an appetite for government solutions to the nation's problems -- including more government control over the economy"
The survey finds that trust and confidence in government has fallen to historic lows. A growing number of Republicans and Independents are expressing outright anger toward the federal government and those expressing anger are highly motivated to vote and intend to vote GOP.
"Overall, independent voters slightly favor the GOP candidate in their district by a 41%-to-34% margin, but those who are highly dissatisfied with government favor the Republican candidate by an overwhelming 66%-to-13% margin. "
One especially troubling sign for President Obama is the rising number of Americans who say they want the government to provide fewer, not more services. And although voters welcome the regulation of financial institutions, they reject greater regulation of the economy. That cannot be a welcome finding as Democrats continue to try and generate support for the recently passed health reform package and are preparing to unveil climate legislation.

As a final note, Republican and Republican-leaning Independents express far greater intent to vote come November than do Democrats and Democrat-leaning Independents. Republicans enjoy a 12 point advantage over Democrats in intention to vote and Republican leaning Independents have a 18 point advantage.  If these numbers hold come November, Barack Obama will be facing a Republican House and quite possibly a Republican Senate next year.

As it stands now, 2010 has the potential to be a wave election that will surpass 2006 and 2008 and rival 1958, 1974, and 1994. Even the latest forecast from the Rothenberg Political Report indicates that of the 79 House seats currently in play, 68 are held by Democrats - that number exceeds the total seats gained by Democrats in the 2006 and 2008 elections.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday Morning Food for Thought: Will Bush Be the Next Truman?

Will Bush Be the Next Truman? Mark McKinnon thinks it's a question worth considering:

Truman holds the dubious distinction of achieving the lowest in-office job approval of 22 percent, edging out Nixon at 24 percent and Bush at 25 percent.

And yet, time and history have been kind to Truman. In the 2009 C-Span Historians Presidential Leadership Survey, the top four slots go to, no surprise: Lincoln, Washington, Franklin Roosevelt and Teddy Roosevelt. And No. 5? Truman. Today George W. Bush sits at 36, while his father comes in at 18.

Will time be as kind to Bush? There are some early indicators that his resurrection may well be under way. The media, notoriously tough on Bush, have already started turning their coverage around. Newsweek recently ran a cover story on Iraq headlined “Mission Accomplished.” And 60 Minutes, which arguably tried to take down the Bush presidency with Dan Rather’s bogus National Guard story, broadcast an Easter Sunday segment praising Bush for his implementation of HIV/AIDS treatment programs in Africa that are now credited for saving millions of lives across that continent.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Senate Majority for Republicans? It's Not Out Of The Question.

The latest Gallup poll finds a record-low 28% of American voters say most members of Congress deserve to be re-elected. The previous low was 29% in October 1992. According to Gallup, "The same poll finds 49% of voters, a near-record low, saying their own member of Congress deserves to be re-elected. This marks only the second time since Gallup began asking this question in 1992 that the figure has dipped below 50%, and the first on the doorstep of a midterm election."

The latest round-up of 2010 Senate races at RealClearPolitics.Com finds that Republicans would gain 7 seats in the Senate if the election were held today - bringing the balance of power to 52 Democrats and 48 Republicans. These projections are based on poll averages in contested states. A close examination of that polling data reveals that a 51 seat majority for Republicans is not out of reach. At present, California, Wisconsin, and Illinois are projected to remain in democratic hands - but the most recent polls in Wisconsin and Illinois show Republicans in the lead and the race is tied in California.

Last year at this time pundits were predicting that Democrats would likely add to their margin in the US Senate, about 7 months ago they began to estimate losses of maybe 2 seats, now the estimate is roughly 7 seats - but the trend is clear and a Republican Senate is no longer out of the question come January 2011. Democrats need to find some way to change the dynamic of the 2010 midterms, but with the latest CBS News poll showing that the public is opposed to the recently passed health reform law by a margin of 53% to 32% it is unclear to me how they will accomplish that goal.