While Harry Kelley was pressing his new suits last week, another candidate for governor, Republican Robert Pascal, was blowing steam over a new poll released by Gov. Harry Hughes' campaign staff. The poll, which showed the incumbent light years ahead of Pascal and all other challengers, featured a series of unusual questions which Pascal claims (a) rendered the results meaningless and (b) showed that Harry Hughes is not the quiet, positive and apolitical fellow he so often appears to be. Before the respondents were asked who they preferred among the candidates, their opinions were solicited on such questions as:
Are you more or less likely to vote for someone who . . .
. . . had been county executive for eight years in a county where crime went up?
. . . led the fight to move former Gov. Marvin Mandel to a Maryland work-release program?
. . . made $215,000 and paid $25,000 in taxes?
. . . wouldn't release his 1979 or 1980 tax returns?
And so on.
The questions never named Pascal as the candidate who had done all those thing, but the inference was clear.
Hughes' campaign folks had hoped that the series of negative questions would remain their secret, but they inadvertently were released to a reporter.