October 20, 2010

Slots vote close in Anne Arundel, poll finds, but Leopold is way ahead

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Anne Arundel County voters are closely divided on whether to put the state’s largest slots casino at the Arundel Mills mall, with 48% supporting ballot Question A to approve zoning for the site and 45% opposed, according to a new poll. Another 7% were undecided.

The results are within the 5 point margin of error for the poll of 405 likely Anne Arundel County voters conducted last week by Gonzales Research and Marketing Strategies of Annapolis.

According to the analysis by pollster Patrick Gonzales: “The key finding here is that, two weeks before the election, Question A is being propped up by registered Democrats in the county, as a majority of Republicans and independents are against it. Proponents of slots at Arundel Mills will likely need to flip some of these voters by November 2nd.”

The poll also found that voters are overwhelmingly supporting the reelection bid of Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold. The Republican incumbent is 30 points ahead of Democratic challenger Joanna Conti, with 57% supporting Leopold, 28% supporting Conti, 5% backing Green Party candidate Mike Shay, and 10% undecided.

“Leopold runs extremely well among Democrats in Anne Arundel County,” Gonzales said, getting the support of 41% of Democrats.  Leopold also gets the support of 48% of women voters, despite the sexual harassment lawsuit that has been filed against him. Thirty-four percent of women said they will vote for Conti.

The poll also found that many voters are continuing to support Alison Asti for Circuit Court judge against the two sitting judges appointed by Gov. Martin O’Malley. According to the poll, Asti got 30% of the vote, Judge Laura Kiessling received 29%, and Judge Ronald Jarashow was chosen by 24%. However, 44% of the voters surveyed said they were undecided and supported none of the candidates.

“With 44% of the electorate completely undecided, this contest will be decided in the next two weeks,” Gonzales said.

The full results of the poll, including demographic breakdowns, are attached at the bottom of this page.

–Len Lazarick