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Monday, July 12, 2010

In Maryland, Poll Finds More Bad News for O'Malley

In a recent radio interview with John Domen I was asked whether all the polling on the Maryland race was telling us anything. The reporter wondered whether it was a forgone conclusion that Democrat Martin O'Malley would win given the Democrat's registration advantage in Maryland (roughly 58% D to 27% R).  I said that the race was anything but a safe bet for O'Malley - in fact I said O'Malley needed to be worried. O'Malley has not polled at 50% or above in any reelection poll and worse yet, every new poll shows former Republican governor Robert Ehrlich in a stronger position.

A new poll from Rasmussen finds Ehrlich edging Gov. O'Malley 47% to 46%. This may not seem like much, but the trend has been clear. In February, O’Malley led 49% to 43%, After Ehrlich announced the race narrowed in April to 47% to 44%. The two were tied last month with 45% apiece. So since February O'Malley has fallen from +6 to -1. Since announcing, Ehrlich has gone from -3 to +1. Simply stated, O'Malley is losing ground and Ehrlich is gaining.

In the Rasmussen survey, Ehrlich wins 87% of the state’s GOP vote and 22% of Maryland Democrats, while O’Malley earns just 71% support in his own party. These numbers essentially mirror the results in a recent poll by Magellan Strategies that I wrote about in a prior post. The Magellan poll showed the candidates tied among Independent voters, but Rasmussen reports that Ehrlich leads by 15 points.

If Ehrlich can win 87% of Republican, roughly a quarter of Democrats, and carry Independent voters by 15% he will be very happy on Election night 2010.

A new poll from Public Policy Polling is expected very soon and will either confirm or confound what other polls have shown. I've written much on the Maryland race and expect to write much more. Stay tuned!