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Gonzales poll: Most Marylanders support state’s coronavirus restrictions

A clear majority of Marylanders support the state’s restrictions on businesses and gatherings meant to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic, according to a new poll.

In a survey conducted by Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies from May 19 to May 23, about 63% of respondents said they believed the restrictions “have been about right.” About 22% said they believed the restrictions had “gone too far,” and 15% said the state has not “gone far enough.”

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The poll of 810 registered voters has a margin of error of 3.5%.

As the pandemic spread into Maryland in March, Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, shut down schools and businesses, put restrictions on gatherings and issued a stay-at-home order. Hogan also ordered residents to wear masks inside businesses and on public transportation. This month, Hogan began a phased-in reopening of the state, sparking debate among residents regarding the wisdom of the move.

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“Up to this point, Marylanders are generally in sync with the actions taken by government to try to contain the virus,” pollster Patrick Gonzales concluded after his recent survey.

Through Memorial Day, more than 47,000 Marylanders have been infected and more than 2,000 people have died in the state due to COVID-19.

In the poll, 64% of respondents said they believed stay-at-home measures “have been worth it” to protect public health, while 22% say the measures “have caused more harm than good" by harming businesses and causing people to lose their jobs.

Hogan, who has been among the most popular governors in the country throughout his term, continued to earn high approval ratings. According to the poll, 78% of respondents approve of Hogan’s job performance, while 18% disapprove.

“Governor Larry Hogan has benefited from unease toward the coronavirus and its increased infection potential in Maryland, boosting his approval rating 8 points in the past 3 months,” Gonzales wrote.

The GOP governor is now more popular with Democrats than Republicans, according to the poll. By party, 82% of Democrats, 74% of independents and 71% of Republicans approve of the job Hogan is doing, Gonzales found.

Gonzales also tested the likely presidential race match-up between Republican President Donald Trump and his presumptive Democratic Party challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden.

In heavily Democratic Maryland, 59% say they would vote for Biden if the election were held today, while 35% say they’d vote for Trump.

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