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  •   Governor's Numbers Improve in New Poll

    Gov. Parris N. Glendening
    Gov. Parris Glendening
    By Tom Stuckey
    Associated Press Writer
    Wednesday, April 8, 1998

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. – A new poll gives Gov. Parris Glendening his best approval rating ever, but the poll also shows half of Marylanders think he is motivated by political interests instead of whatís good for Maryland.

    In a poll conducted for Maryland media clients by Mason-Dixon Political/Media Research Inc., 41 percent of those polled rated Glendeningís performance as excellent or good.

    That continued a slow but steady climb from a low point of 24 percent in a poll taken in September 1996. During that same time, the percentage of voters saying the governor was doing a poor job declined from 34 percent to 19 percent.

    Mason-Dixon polled 803 voters over a four day period beginning April 2. The company said the poll has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

    While Glendening could take some comfort from his better numbers, Del Ali, senior vice president of Mason-Dixon, said the response to another question is not good news for Glendening.

    Asked about the governorís motives in preparing his 1998 legislative program, 50 percent said he was motivated by political interests. Only 13 percent said he was motivated by the best interests of the state, and 28 percent said both played a role in his decisions.

    "You could ask that about most incumbent governors around the country, and youíd see a majority saying both," Ali said.

    "Voters see everything he does as political for himself. He doesnít get credit for the good things in the state," he said.

    "Thatís clear by the job performance rating," Ali said. "Heís going up, but heís still pretty low."

    Asked about Glendeningís legislative agenda, which includes a combination of additional spending and additional income tax cuts this year, 60 percent approved, 27 percent disapproved and 13 percent were not sure.

    But when asked if they wanted less spending and deeper tax cuts, 48 percent said yes, 42 percent said no and 10 percent were not sure.

    "Itís nice to know that Marylanders support the agenda thatís actually getting accomplished in this session," said Peter Hamm, spokesman for Glendeningís re-election campaign.

    "As for polls, itís really too early to think about them too much. The poll that matters is the poll on election day," he said.

    © Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

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