Poll finds Clinton, Van Hollen with wide leads in Maryland

While Donald Trump has made up ground recently in several battleground states, a new independent poll released Thursday finds the Republican presidential nominee has seen no improvement in deep blue Maryland.

Democrat Hillary Clinton is leading Trump 58 percent to 25 percent in the new Goucher Poll — a slightly larger margin than she had in a poll conducted in the state late month.


The poll also found no movement in the contest to replace retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, with Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen holding a 30-point advantage over Republican Del. Kathy Szeliga.

"The Democrat-to-Republican ratio, coupled with a large percentage of African American voters and populous progressive strongholds continue to give Democratic candidates a significant advantage in presidential election years," Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center, said in a statement.


Maryland hasn't chosen a Republican for president since George H.W. Bush beat Michael Dukakis in 1988. President Barack Obama beat Republican nominee Mitt Romney by 25 points among Maryland voters in 2012.

The poll was, conducted from September 17-20, surveyed 514 likely Maryland voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.

Eighty-two percent of Maryland's likely voters said politics comes up in their everyday conversations "very" or "somewhat" often. Reflecting what some believe is a heightened level of polarization nationwide, most people tend to associate with those of the same political affiliation.

Among Republican voters, 57 percent said they have "some" or "a lot" of Democratic friends. Among Democratic voters, 37 percent said they have "some" or "a lot" of Republican friends.

The poll is the first to ask about Green Party candidate Margaret Flowers in the Senate contest. She received 2 percent, not enough to qualify her to take part in the two broadcast debates scheduled in the contest. Organizers have set candidate participation thresholds at 10 percent for one debate and 15 percent for the other.

Nearly two in 10 voters are undecided in the Senate contest.