By Len Lazarick
Two-thirds of all voters (67%) in a new poll taken last week approve of the job Gov. Larry Hogan is doing and only 19% disapprove, a higher approval rating than ever achieved by either of his two predecessors.
Three out of five voters (60%) believe Maryland is headed in the right direction, while 22% say the state is headed on the wrong track, with 18% giving no answer. (Full poll results here.)
Veteran pollster Patrick Gonzales called the rating “extremely impressive.” He compared it with Republican Gov. Bob Ehrlich’s “high-water mark” during his four-year term of 57% approval in August 2003, with 30% disapproving.
Gov. Martin O’Malley highest rating in his eight years in office was 58% in January 2011, shortly after his re-election in a rematch with Ehrlich, and 30% disapproved.
Hogan gets particularly high marks from Republicans (94%) and independents (78%). Almost half of Democrats (49%) approve of the job he is doing.
Hogan also does well with men, women and whites. Only among African Americans does he fall short, with 40% of blacks approving of the job he’s doing, and 38% disapproving.
Slightly higher than previous polling
In previous polling, Hogan had 58% approval in an October Goucher College poll, a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll in October had him at 61%, and a November Baltimore Sun poll gave him 63% approval.
The latest poll numbers confirm the general impression at the State House that the new governor is very popular as he celebrates his first year in office and a successful battle with cancer. This could give him leverage with the legislature.
However, the high numbers also show Democrats that they need to do a more effective job driving his approval rating down, since their persistent attacks of his withholding $68 million in education funding have not worked.
The poll was taken Jan. 11-16, contacting 819 registered voters by both landline and cell phone. The margin of error is 3.5%, meaning that there is a 95% probability that the figures would fall within this range if all voters were surveyed.
One of the reasons I voted for Hogan was I believe the man truly cares about people who are NOT happy with what he is doing, and would make efforts to address such criticism. My hope was that could lead to a better future in our State, that has constantly been screwed over by political gridlock. Less than a year after this poll, Maryland is on the verge of bipartisan criminal justice and police reform, his approval rating among minority voters has substantially increased, and last I read his approval rating was the highest in the nation. Some people were unhappy with the education funding and so he met them half way…I think that’s fair. Extreme liberals and extreme conservatives are never happy with anything except conformity, and they disprove of anything that doesn’t fit their model world. Personally, I’ll vote for candidates of any political party if I believe their dedication to the people is greater than their dedication to a political machine. YMMV.
I find the line “the high numbers also show Democrats that they need to do a more effective job driving his approval rating down” quite disturbing! It’s this constant bickering and petty arguing that gets in the way of government leadership for the people of the state. If they spent half their time (both Dem & Rep) working on the issues instead of trying to demolish the image of the other side, imagine what could be accomplished. Politics in general is just so disgusting and down right dirty these days!