Hogan rides high, Trump sinks low in new Maryland poll

Gov. Larry Hogan continues to soar in a new poll of Maryland voters released Tuesday, while President Donald Trump’s number remain in the dumps.

According to Annapolis-based Opinion Works, a survey taken in late October and early this month shows that 67 percent of Maryland voters approved of the Republican governor’s performance in office, while only 22 percent disapprove. Meanwhile, 63 percent disapprove of the job Trump is doing, with more than half saying they disapprove strongly. Only 34 percent approve.

Hogan’s good news was tempered somewhat as Marylanders signaled they are inclined to elect Democrats to the General Assembly who could keep him in check if he wins re-election. By a margin of 42 percent to 23 percent, voters said they are more likely to vote for Democrats as legislators than Republicans.

Gaining enough seats in the Senate and House of Delegates to break the current Democratic supermajorities is a much-desired goal of Hogan and the Maryland Republican Party.

While Hogan’s approval numbers are sky-high, he falls short of a majority who say they will vote for him for re-election. Voters said they favor Hogan over a generic Democratic challenge by 43 percent to 28 percent margin.

Democrats will choose their nominee from a field of eight in the June 26 primary. The winner then faces the daunting task of consolidating a Democratic base in which 59 percent give Hogan a favorable performance rating. Hogan also enjoys the support of 85 percent of his own party members despite his shunning of Trump in the 2016 election.

Independents in Maryland side with Republicans on Hogan and with Democrats on Trump, with 65 percent approving of the governor and 60 percent disapproving of the president.

OpinionWorks, a nonpartisan firm, found little difference in enthusiasm between Democrats and Republicans. It found that 74 percent of Republicans and 71 percent of Democrats were absolutely certain” to vote. Among independents, however, only 46 percent said they were that sure to vote.

On the survey’s one issue question, voters by a narrow plurality of 45 percent to 43 percent said they could support an expansion of Medicare to cover all Americans — another way of saying universal health care.

OpinionWorks President Steve Raabe said the survey shows a strong constituency for universal health care, if not a majority.

“If this idea ever became a legislative proposal, these results show it would be a vigorous debate on both sides,” Raabe said.

The poll of 850 registered voters has a margin of error of 3.3 percent.

mdresser@baltsun.com

twitter.com/michaeltdresser

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