Sara Gavin 301-405-1733
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The latest iteration of The Washington Post-University of Maryland Poll shows that 71 percent of Marylanders approve of Larry Hogan’s performance as governor. This continues a trend of increased approval for Hogan, a Republican in a heavily Democratic state. The poll results also show large leads for Democratic candidate Chris Van Hollen in the Senate race, and for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Hogan’s Popularity in a Heavily Democratic State
In contrast to Governor Hogan’s current popularity at this point in his term, former governor Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, had a 53 percent approval rating at the same time during his first administration. The poll indicates that one of the likely reasons for Hogan's continued and sustained popularity is his refusal to support his own party's presidential nominee, Donald Trump. When Marylanders were asked about the governor’s decision to not vote for Trump, 75 percent said they approved of this decision. Furthermore, among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, 61 percent stated that they thought Republican leaders should speak out against Trump when the leaders disagree with his views.
“Governor Hogan’s stance on Donald Trump is consistent with his campaign message, and this stance should bode well for him in a state that is populated heavily by Democrats. Not surprisingly, Democrats and Independents were extremely likely to say that they approved of the governor’s position on Donald Trump. But even those who identify as Republican or leaning toward the Republican Party were more likely to approve of the governor’s position than not. Not only is Governor Hogan insulated from attack from Democrats, he also shouldn’t have to do much damage control among Republicans,” said Associate Professor of Government and Politics Michael Hanmer, research director of UMD’s Center for American Politics and Citizenship (CAPC).
Strong Democratic leads in MD Senate Race, Race for MD’s Electoral College Votes
The poll also indicates that the race for retiring Senator Barbara Mikulski’s seat in Maryland strongly favors the Democratic candidate, Rep. Chris Van Hollen. Fifty-eight percent of likely voters in the state say they would support Van Hollen, compared to 29 percent who support Republican Kathy Szeliga, and 5 percent who support Green Party candidate Margaret Flowers.
“Chris Van Hollen’s current lead in the polls reflects strongly upon his longevity as a politician, his experience and established record as a Congressman, and the backing of the predominantly Democratic base in the state. It also doesn’t hurt that the Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, has strong support among Marylanders. The Senate race also demonstrates that Governor Hogan’s popularity and endorsement has limits for state Republican candidates—especially those who run on a more conservative platform, like Kathy Szeliga,” said Associate Professor of Government and Politics Stella Rouse, director of CAPC.
About the Poll
This sixth iteration of The Washington Post-University of Maryland poll was conducted by telephone Sept. 27–30, among a random sample of 906 adult residents of Maryland.
Interviews were conducted by live interviewers on both conventional and cellular phones; interviews were conducted in English and in Spanish. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points among Marylanders overall and plus or minus 4 points among the sample of 706 likely voters. Sampling, data collection and tabulation were conducted by Abt-SRBI, Inc. of New York, NY.
The University of Maryland and The Washington Post first teamed up to present the poll in October 2014. Polls have focused on Maryland elections, national elections, desired priorities for elected officials and topics of interest to voters including immigration, taxes, education, and healthcare.
The partnership combines the world-class reporting, polling and public engagement resources of The Post with rigorous academic analysis from the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences’ nationally-renowned Department of Government and Politics. The poll is designed to provide academics, students and members of the public with insight into both key races and the issues that matter to Maryland residents.
In addition to its impact as a public education tool, the poll also represents a unique research opportunity for UMD students. Hanmer and Rouse work with students affiliated with the Center on the design of the poll questions and the analysis of its responses.
The poll is directed by Washington Post polling manager Scott Clement, and by UMD alumna Emily Guskin (GVPT ’06), the polling analyst, for The Post, as well as by Hanmer for the University of Maryland.