Gov. Larry Hogan made the annoucement at a press conference Wednesday afternoon on Ocean City's boardwalk.

The popularity of Gov. Larry Hogan continues to soar.

Seventy-one percent of registered voters in the state — including 63 percent of Democrats and 88 percent of Republicans — approve of the job he is doing, according to a recent poll.


The poll was conducted by Annapolis-based OpinionWorks, which shared its findings with The Baltimore Sun in advance of their release Tuesday.

Hogan's support has grown by eight points since a Baltimore Sun/University of Baltimore survey in November, and it eclipses the ratings his predecessor, Democrat Martin O'Malley, received during his eight years in office.

"It's not a honeymoon, and it's not sympathy because of cancer," said Todd Eberly, a political scientist at St. Mary's College. "These are sustained numbers."

Hogan was elected in 2014 and battled non-Hodgkin's lymphoma last year.

Republicans are already gearing up to defend Hogan when he comes up for re-election in 2018, and several Democrats have started jockeying to challenge him. The race will have far-reaching consequences: The next governor will have a hand in redrawing congressional and legislative district boundaries in 2021.

Hogan's only potential soft spot is in the heavily Democratic Washington suburbs. Twenty-eight percent of respondents in Montgomery County and 24 percent of those in Prince George's County said they are not sure about Hogan's performance.

His approval rating in Baltimore— a bastion of Democratic politics — is 72 percent.

OpinionWorks interviewed 754 likely voters in Maryland about the presidential and Senate contests. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

OpinionWorks has surveyed voters for The Baltimore Sun in the past, but conducted this poll independently.

The poll showed support for democratic candidates for president and senate. Read more on the poll here.