Washington Post Poll

This Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone January 23 to 26, 2012, among a random sample of 1,064 adult Maryland residents, including landline and cell phone-only respondents. The results from the full survey have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York.

*= less than 0.5 percent

1. Do you think things in the state of Maryland are generally going in the right direction, or do you feel things have gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track?

              Right direction   Wrong track   No opinion
1/26/12             47               44            9
1/26/12  RV         47               44            9
10/22/10 RV         46               48            6
9/26/10             40               49           11
5/6/10              39               49           12
10/20/08 RV         31               63            6
10/22/07            46               47            7
10/26/06 LV         57               39            5
6/25/06  RV         44               50            6
1/7/04              57               35            9
10/24/02 LV         42               51            7
10/22/98 RV         54               36           10
6/17/98             53               34           13
12/19/93            33               56           11

2. Generally speaking, how would you rate the overall economy of Maryland: excellent, good, not-so-good or poor?

             --Excellent/Good--    -----Not-so-good/Poor-----      No
             NET   Exc.   Good     NET    Not-so-good    Poor    opinion
1/26/12      47      3     44      52         39          13        1
1/26/12  RV  48      2     45      51         37          14        1
10/22/10 RV  45      2     43      54         40          15        1
9/26/10      40      3     37      59         43          16        2
5/6/10       41      3     38      57         42          15        2 
10/22/07     64      6     58      35         24          10        1 
1/7/04       63      4     59      36         28           8        1 
10/24/02 LV  57      3     54      42         33           9        1
10/22/98 LV  76      8     67      23         18           4        2
6/17/98      75      8     67      23         17           6        3

3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Martin O’Malley is handling his job as governor?

               -------- Approve --------    ------- Disapprove ------    No
               NET   Strongly   Somewhat    NET   Somewhat   Strongly   opin
1/26/12        55       16         39       36       15         21        9  
1/26/12  RV    53       16         37       39       16         23        8  
10/22/10 RV*   55       21         34       36       15         21        9 
9/26/10        57       20         37       33       16         17       11
5/6/10         54       17         37       34       17         17       12
10/20/08 RV    53       14         39       37       16         21       10
10/22/07       53       12         40       36       18         19       11
*“Regardless of how you may vote…”

Compare to:

Bob Ehrlich:
              ---------Approve---------   --------Disapprove-------    No   
              NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET   Somewhat   Strongly   opin. 
10/26/06 LV   55       30         25      42       19         23        3
6/25/06  RV   56       21         36      41       21         20        3
1/7/04   RV   64       23         41      29       17         12        8
1/7/04   All  62       21         42      28       17         11       10    

Parris Glendening:

10/24/02 LV   37        9         29       58       22         37        4
10/22/98 LV   54       16         38       40       21         19        6
6/17/98  LV   55       14         41       36       19         18        9

4. Do you approve or disapprove of the way O’Malley is handling the issue of the state budget and taxes?

               -------- Approve --------    ------- Disapprove ------    No
               NET   Strongly   Somewhat    NET   Somewhat   Strongly   opin
1/26/12        41       11         31       48       19         28       11  
1/26/12  RV    40       11         29       50       19         31       10  
10/22/10 RV    44       NA         NA       46       NA         NA       11
9/26/10  RV    45                           43                           12
5/6/10   RV    46                           40                           14 
10/22/07       40                           49                           10

5. How much would you say O’Malley has accomplished as governor: a lot, a fair amount, some, or not much?

              --- A lot/Fair amt ---     --- Some/Not much ---       No 
              NET   A lot   Fair amt     NET   Some   Not much     opinion
1/26/12       45      9        36        50     29       20           5
1/26/12  RV   44      9        35        51     30       21           5
10/22/10 LV   51     12        39        47     25       22           2 
9/26/10  RV   45     11        34        49     31       19           6 
5/6/10   RV   46      8        38        48     29       20           5
10/22/07*     31      4        26        65     31       33           4
*“in his first year”

Bob Ehrlich:
              ---A Lot/Fair Amount---     ----Some/Not Much----      No
              NET   A lot   Fair amt.     NET   Some   Not much     opin.
6/25/06  RV   48       8       40         51     30       21          2
1/7/04*       50       7       43         45     28       17          4
*"in his first year"

6. Do you approve or disapprove of the way (NAME) is handling his/her job as U.S. Senator?

1/26/12 - Summary table 

                      ------ Approve  -------   ------ Disapprove -----    No   
                      NET  Strongly  Somewhat   NET  Somewhat  Strongly   opin.
a. Ben Cardin         47      15        33      20      10         9       33
b. Barbara Mikulski   65      35        30      20       9        11       15

Trend:

a. Ben Cardin

              ---------Approve---------   --------Disapprove-------    No   
              NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET   Somewhat   Strongly   opin.
1/26/12       47       15         33      20       10          9       33   
1/26/12  RV   47       15         31      20       11          9       33   
5/6/10   RV   48       21         27      21       10         12       31
10/22/07      52       NA         NA      24       NA         NA       24  

b. Barbara Mikulski

              ---------Approve---------   --------Disapprove-------    No   
              NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET   Somewhat   Strongly   opin.
1/26/12       65       35         33      20        9         11       15   
1/26/12  RV   67       38         29      20        8         12       13   
5/6/10   RV   58       37         22      26        8         18       16

Question 7 held for release.

8. Do you approve or disapprove of the way [ITEM] are doing their job?

1/26/12 - Summary table – all adults

                                 Approve   Disapprove   No opinion   
a. The Democrats in Congress        44         53            3
b. The Republicans in Congress      23         74            3

1/26/12 - Summary table – registered voters

                                 Approve   Disapprove   No opinion   
a. The Democrats in Congress        42         54            3
b. The Republicans in Congress      21         76            3

Compare to national:

1/15/12 - Summary table 

                                 Approve   Disapprove   No opinion   
a. The Democrats in Congress        33         62            5
b. The Republicans in Congress      21         75            4

9. I am going to mention four phrases and ask you which one best describes how you feel about the way the federal government works. Do you feel enthusiastic, satisfied but not enthusiastic, dissatisfied but not angry, or angry?

              ----- Positive -------   ----- Negative -----
                    Enthusi-  Satis-         Dissat-            No
              NET   astic     fied     NET   isfied   Angry   opinion
1/26/12       33      3        30      66      46      21        1
1/26/12  RV   32      3        29      67      46      21        1
10/22/10 RV   39      6        33      60      41      19        1
9/26/10  RV   38      4        35      59      42      18        2
5/6/10   RV   45      5        40      53      38      15        2

Compare to national:

11/3/11       20      2        18      80      49      31        *

10. Some people think the government in Washington (is trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and private businesses). Others disagree and think the government (should do more to solve our country's biggest problems). Which of these two views is closer to your own?

          Washington is trying     The government      No
          to do too many things    should do more    opinion
1/26/12           44                      51            5

11. How about the way the state government in Maryland works. Do you feel enthusiastic, satisfied but not enthusiastic, dissatisfied but not angry, or angry about the way the Maryland state government works?

          ----- Positive -------   ----- Negative -----
                Enthusi-  Satis-         Dissat-            No
          NET   astic     fied     NET   isfied   Angry   opinion
1/26/12   54      4        50      43      34       9        3

12. How fair do you think the Maryland state tax system is? Overall, would you say that the tax system is – very fair, moderately fair, not too fair, or not fair at all?

              --------- Fair --------   -------- Not fair --------     No
              NET   Very   Moderately   NET   Not too   Not at all   opinion
1/26/12       56      4        52       43       23         19          2
1/26/12  RV   54      4        50       44       23         21          1
5/6/10   RV   61      8        53       37       23         13          3 
10/22/07 RV   55      5        50       44       28         16          1

13. Thinking about all the Maryland state government does for you – including education, transportation and health care, do you think you get (more) value than what you pay in state taxes, (less) value than what you pay in taxes, or about the right amount?

         Get more value than     Get less value than      About the     No 
        what you pay in taxes   what you pay in taxes   right amount   opin. 
1/26/12          7                       52                   39         3
1/26/12 RV       6                       53                   37         3

Compare to national Washington Post-Kaiser-Harvard:

10/3/10          7                       55                   37         1

14. Thinking about this year’s legislative session in Annapolis, which of the following issues do you want the governor and state legislature to work hardest on: (crime), (the state budget), (the state economy), (public education), (transportation and infrastructure), (same sex marriage), (the environment) or something else?

                      1/26/12  1/26/12 RV
Crime                    9         8
The state budget        16        17
The state economy       32        34
Public education        22        20
Transportation and 
 infrastructure          7         7
Same sex marriage        5         6
The environment          4         4
Something else           4         3
No opinion               1         1

15. As you may know, the state projects a large budget deficit next year. Overall do you think the budget situation is a big problem, somewhat of a problem, not much of a problem or not a problem for the people of Maryland today?

              ----- Problem -----      ----- No Problem -----        No
              NET   Big   Somewhat     NET   Not much   At all     opinion
1/26/12       91    58       33         7        4         3          2
1/26/12   RV  92    59       33         6        3         3          1
5/6/10    RV  95    66       29         5        3         2          1
10/20/08  RV  97    76       21         2        1         1          1
10/22/07*     93    59       34         6        3         3          1
*10/22/07: “the state projects a one point seven billion dollar budget deficit”

16. To help reduce the nation’s budget deficit, would you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose raising income taxes on those with annual incomes of [ITEM] or more?

1/26/12 – summary table*

                          ------ Support ------   ------ Oppose -------    No
                          NET   Strngly   Smwht   NET   Smwht   Strngly   opin.
a. 70-thousand dollars    40      19        21    57      21       35       3
b. 100-thousand dollars   56      35        21    42      17       25       2
c. 250-thousand dollars   73      57        16    25       9       15       2
d. A million dollars      81      70        10    19       8       11       1
*Half sample asked item c, other half sample asked item d. 

17. As the system now works, counties in Maryland determine teacher salaries, but the state covers teacher pensions. Some say half of the retirement costs should be shifted from the state to the counties so the counties consider these obligations when setting salaries. Others say the counties have bad budget situations and it is too important to maintain teacher pensions to make this change. Which comes closer to your own view--that teacher pensions should remain a state priority, or that half the costs should be paid for by counties?

          Teacher pensions should    Half the costs should      No
          remain a state priority   be paid for by counties   opinion
1/26/12              56                        37                7

18. Would you favor or oppose raising Maryland’s gasoline tax by [ITEM], if the money is used for transportation projects such as building roads, traffic management or public transportation?

1/26/12 – summary table*

                       Favor   Oppose   Depends on project (vol.)   No opinion
a. 5 cents a gallon     48       50                1                     1
b. 10 cents a gallon    26       72                1                     1
c. 15 cents a gallon    25       74                *                     1
*Half sample asked item b, other half sample asked item c. 

Trend where available

a and c no trend.

b. 10 cents a gallon

           Favor   Oppose   Depends on project (vol.)   No opinion
1/26/12     26       72                1                     1
10/22/07    37       60                3                     *

19. As you may know, in November 2008, Maryland voters approved slot machine casinos at five locations in the state. Overall, do you think having slot machine casinos in Maryland has been a (good) thing or a (bad) thing for the state?

            Good     Bad                                     No
            thing   thing   Both (vol.)   Neither (vol.)   opinion   
1/26/12      54       27        1               5            12   
9/26/10*     56       31        4               2             7         
* “… and the first facility is scheduled to open next week.”

20. Would you favor or oppose allowing slot-machine gambling at additional locations in Maryland?

              Favor   Oppose   No opinion
1/26/12        51       44          6
1/26/12 RV     51       43          6

Compare to:

              Favor   Oppose   No opinion
6/25/06 RV*    60       36          4
1/7/04         59       38          3
6/18/98**      55       41          3
* “… slot-machine gambling at horse-racing tracks in Maryland.”
** “Some people are discussing a proposal to allow…”

21. What about a location in Prince George’s County, such as Rosecroft Raceway or National Harbor—would you favor or oppose allowing slot-machine gambling there?

             Favor   Oppose   No opinion
1/26/12       57       34          9
1/26/12 RV    59       32          9

22. Would you favor or oppose allowing table games, such as blackjack and roulette at the existing slots casinos in Maryland?

             Favor   Oppose   No opinion
1/26/12       61       34          5
1/26/12 RV    63       32          5

23. On another subject, do you favor or oppose the death penalty for people convicted of murder?

          Favor   Oppose   No opinion
1/26/12    52       43          5
5/6/10     60       32          8
10/22/07   60       35          5

24. (Critics of the death penalty in Maryland say it is not applied fairly in the state and should be repealed). (Supporters say the death penalty should remain an option for those convicted of committing the most terrible crimes). Which view is closer to your own, that Maryland law should allow for the death penalty or should the death penalty be repealed?

          Maryland law should allow     Death penalty        No
            for the death penalty     should be repealed   opinion
1/26/12               57                      40              4

On another subject,

25. One proposal to help meet the state’s renewable energy goals is to fund new off-shore wind-power facilities, which would be paid for by raising monthly utility bills by a couple of dollars for the average Marylander and higher bills for businesses. Would you support or oppose such a plan for wind power in the state?

          Support   Oppose   No opinion
1/26/12     55        42          3

26. One way to pay for better waste-water plants that would help the Chesapeake Bay would be to raise water usage fees on most homeowners. Would you support or oppose such a proposal?

          Support   Oppose   No opinion
1/26/12     46        50          3

27. Which comes closer to your own views – (immigrants today strengthen our country because of their hard work and talents), or (immigrants today are a burden on our country because they take our jobs, housing, and health care)?

            Strengthen     Burden     No opinion
1/26/12         56           36             8
10/22/07        51           42             7

Compare to national Pew Research Center:

3/14/11         45           44            12  

28. A new Maryland law allows certain undocumented immigrants to qualify for in-state college tuition if they graduate from a state high-school and their parents file state income tax returns. Do you support or oppose this law?

          ------ Support ------   ------ Oppose -------    No
          NET   Strngly   Smwht   NET   Smwht   Strngly   opin.
1/26/12   58      33       25     41     12        29       1

29. Changing topics, would you favor or oppose a state law that would allow gay and lesbian couples to get married?

              Favor   Oppose   No opinion
1/26/12        50       44          6
5/6/10         46       44         10 
10/22/07       44       51          5 
6/25/06  RV    42       56          3
1/7/04         35       58          7

30. Which one of the following has had the biggest influence on your thinking on allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally—(a personal experience), (the views of your friends and family), (what you have seen or read in the media), (your religious beliefs), (your education), or something else?

                                        1/26/12
Your religious beliefs                    37
A personal experience                     14
The views of your friends and family      14
Your education                            12
What you have seen or read in the media    4   
Your personal beliefs and opinions (vol)   3
The legal, Constitutional and fairness     2
issue (vol)
All of the above (vol)                     1
Something else                            10 
No opinion                                 4

Question 31 held for release.

32. Turning back to the state, do you think Martin O’Malley would make a good president, or not?

           Yes   No   No opinion
1/26/12    26    59       15
1/26/12 RV 25    61       14

Compare to Virginia 10/12/06 – among likely voters

                Yes    No     No opinion
George Allen    35     56           9
Mark Warner     51     41           8

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