Poll shows Obama, O'Malley approval remains strong

January 23, 2013|By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun

Maryland's predominantly Democratic voters continue to approve of the jobs being done by President Barack Obama and Gov. Martin O'Malley, according to a new poll released today.

Two months after his re-election, Obama's job approval stands at 64 percent in the state, while only 35 percent disapprove, according to a survey by Gonzales Research. That represents a 9-point jump from the president's 55 percent approval rating in the state the previous January.

O'Malley maintained a 54 percent to 41 percent approval rating, largely because of the overwhelming support of women (61 percent) and African-American voters (76 percent).

The Gonzales poll became the second this month to show strong support for an assault weapons ban, as proposed by O'Malley. The margin of approval was 58 percent to 40 percent, slightly narrower than one released by OpinionWorks the previous week.

Like the previous poll, the Gonzales survey showed that Maryland voters narrowly support the death penalty, though by a shrinking margin. This month, voters expressed approval of capital punishment by 49 percent to 44 percent. The 5-point margin compares with a 20-point margin two years ago. O'Malley is supporting a repeal of the death penalty.

While the Gonzales poll's overall result on the death penalty is close to that of OpinionWorks, it differs on how it reaches that conclusion. Gonzales' survey showed strong opposition to the death penalty among black voters and heavy approval among whites. OpinionWorks showed little difference between the races.

Unlike OpinionWorks, Gonzales asked whether Marylanders considered life without the possibility of parole an acceptable substitute for the death penalty. Voters said they did by a margin of 61 percent to 33 percent. Supporters of repeal have proposed that life without parole take the place of capital punishment.

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