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Sun poll roundup: What voters say they want

Over the past few days, we've published results of a poll conducted for us by Annapolis-based OpinionWorks. The pollster assessed the mood of 798 likely voters in telephone interviews from Oct. 15-20. The margin of error on statewide questions is 3.5 percent. For Question A, the sample was 422 and margin of error 4.8 percent.

Tomorrow, Sun pollster Steve Raabe will participate in a live chat on this blog.

Congressional Race: Dead even, 40 percent for Andy Harris, 40 percent for Frank Kratovil

Colleague Paul West reported this afternoon that the contest for Maryland's easternmost Congressional seat remains intense. He writes:

The same candidates fought to a near draw two years ago. In the latest poll, each man was favored by 40 percent of likely voters.

This year, with control of Congress in play, Maryland's easternmost district features one of the most closely watched, and expensive, House races in the country. Both sides have subjected voters to a heavy dose of negative advertising that has shaped opinions about the candidates.

Constitutional Convention: Voters are divided, 37 against, 34 percent for, 29 percent unsure

In a story this morning, Sun colleague Jessica Anderson reminds voters that they can choose whether to call a Constitutional convention. She writes:

To call a convention, a majority of the people who vote in the fall election — not just on the ballot question, but everyone voting for anything — must approve. Then, perhaps in a special election, four citizens from each of Maryland's 47 state legislative districts would be elected as representatives.

Slots at Arundel Mills: Voters are divided, 47 percent for, 45 against, 8 percent undecided

In a story this morning, The Sun's Nicole Fuller quotes the pollster calling the findings "a toss-up." She writes:

Baltimore-based Cordish Cos., which has a license to build the slots parlor at the mall, is lobbying heavily for the zoning measure, while the Maryland Jockey Club and related interests are fighting against it, hoping to steer the project to the Laurel Park race course.

The ballot question addresses only the zoning issue, and its rejection would not mean that the slots project automatically goes to the racetrack.

More results follow.

Governor's Race: 52 percent support O'Malley, 38 percent Ehrlich, 10 percent undecided or refused

Sun colleague Annie Linskey and I wrote Sunday about the governor's race findings, which show that Gov. Martin O'Malley seems to have solidified his Democratic base while challenger former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. struggles to capitalize on voter anger propelling Republicans in other parts of the country.

We also wrote about how O'Malley is viewed more favorably now than he was in our last poll, conducted in January 2008. At the same time, the percentage of respondents who have a favorable view of Ehrlich has decreased -- a change that some attribute to O'Malley's relentless advertising this election year.

The Economy: Two-thirds worry about finances, one-quarter fret every day

Sun colleague Gus Sentementes wrote Saturday about voters' top issue this year: the economy. But as he noted in the story, the pollster found that views of the economy differ by political affiliation. He wrote:

Three in 10 Democrats surveyed said the economy is getting better, and the same proportion said it was getting worse. But among Republicans, just 4 percent said things were improving, while 66 percent said economic conditions were declining.

New License Plates: Voters like 'em -- by 2-to1 margin (if they've noticed)

The Sun's Michael Dresser and Jessica Anderson kicked off our poll coverage Friday by reporting that Marylanders seem to like the new license plates:

State residents who have both noticed and cared about the star-spangled design like it better than the plain-vanilla version that preceded it as Maryland's standard-issue plate, according to a new poll by The Baltimore Sun.

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