By Len Lazarick
Gov. Larry Hogan enters his new term with universal high approval from every sector of Maryland — blacks, whites, Republicans, Democrats, men, women, rural and suburban — according to the latest Gonzales Maryland Poll. All groups approve by 70% or more.
President Donald Trump, on the other hand, continues to have high disapproval from almost two-thirds of Maryland voters. Half of them favor beginning impeachment proceedings.
On issues facing the new legislature, slightly less than half of Marylanders (48%) favor the state approving sports betting. But an overwhelming majority of even those who support betting on pro sports want the issue decided by voters on the ballot, not by lawmakers.
A wider majority of Marylanders (58%) support the recreational use of marijuana, with two-thirds of voters under 55 year favoring legalization.
Here are the full results of the poll taken by Gonzales Research and Media Services between Dec. 28 and Jan. 4 interviewing 809 regular Maryland voters by land-line and cell phone. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
On Thursday afternoon, MarylandReporter.com will release results of the question it sponsored in the Gonzales poll on raising the Maryland minimum wage to $15.
Hogan and Trump
Statewide, 77% of voters approve of the job Hogan is doing (48% “strongly approve”), while only 18% disapprove. Seventy percent of Democrats, 86% of Republicans, and 88% of independents approve of the job Hogan is doing as governor.
Linked to Hogan’s high approval, 67% of voters think that things in Maryland are moving in the right direction, while only 20% say that things in the state are on the wrong track.
Now that that the Democrats have gained control of the U.S. House of Representatives, the poll asked voters if they approve or disapprove of the House beginning the impeachment process against President Trump.
Statewide, 50% approve of Democrats the House beginning the impeachment process against Trump (39% “strongly approve” and 11% “somewhat approve”), while 44% disapprove of House Democrats attempting to impeach the president (38% “strongly disapprove” and 4% “somewhat disapprove”).
Most Republicans (87%) opposed impeachment, as did a majority of people over 55. A majority of younger voters approved beginning the process of impeaching Trump, as did three out of four African-Americans (73%).
Forty-nine percent of Maryland voters favor making sports betting legal in Maryland (22% “strongly favor” and 27% “somewhat favor”), while 36% oppose sports betting (22% “strongly oppose” and 14% “somewhat oppose”), and 15% offer no opinion on sports betting.
Gender and age are the two compelling demographics on legalizing sports betting in the state. 57% of men favor having sports betting legalized in the state, while 45% of women oppose it; 57% of voters under the age of 55 favor sports betting being legalized in the state, while 48% of voters 55 and older oppose it.
Regardless of one’s position on sports gambling in Maryland, nearly everyone wants the issue decided by voters, not lawmakers in Annapolis. Statewide, 83% say the issue of sports betting should be put to referendum to let Maryland voters decide, while only 12% think that lawmakers should decide whether or not to make sports betting legal.
Statewide, 58% favor making the sale of marijuana legal for recreational purposes (41% “strongly favor” and 17% “somewhat favor”), while 38% oppose legalizing recreational marijuana (28% “strongly oppose” and 10% “somewhat oppose”), with 4% providing no opinion.
Even more so than gambling, age is the driving force on weed, 69% of voters under the age of 55 favor recreational marijuana, while 48% of voters 55 and older oppose it.
The poll did not ask whether the issue should be put on the ballot.