WASHINGTON — Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's support remains strong in blue Maryland despite a recent slip in early primary states, according to a Goucher College poll released Tuesday.
Forty-three percent of likely Democratic voters in Maryland indicated they would support the former secretary of state and first lady if the election was held today — a far better result for her than in New Hampshire, where she trails Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Nationally, about four in 10 Democrats support Clinton, and Sanders has the backing of roughly 25 percent of primary voters, according to an average of polls compiled by the nonpartisan Real Clear Politics.
"She remains really popular" in Maryland, said Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher. "This Sanders surge really needs to be looked at on a state-by-state level."
Former Gov. Martin O'Malley, who also is seeking the Democratic nomination, continues to post underwhelming poll numbers at home. Only 2 percent of Maryland Democratic voters said they would support him — the same share received by former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb.
Vice President Joe Biden, who is expected to announce a decision on whether to run for president in coming days, placed second in the Goucher poll, capturing support from 23 percent of respondents. Eleven percent remain undecided.
Maryland's primary election has historically come so late in the calendar that the state's voters in both parties haven't played a significant role in choosing the nominee. Next year, the state's primary will take place April 26.
First-term Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, meanwhile, is enjoying growing popularity in the state. The poll found 54 percent of those surveyed had a favorable view of Hogan — a whopping 21-point increase from February.
The strong support in a state where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 2 to 1 means the governor has considerable support from voters outside his party. More than half of Democrats said they approve of the job Hogan is doing. And eight in 10 Republicans hold that view.
Hogan took office in January after promising to curb state spending and roll back tax increases approved by his predecessor, O'Malley.
A majority of respondents, 56 percent, said the state is moving in the right direction, an increase of 18 percentage points since the college's survey a year ago.
Two-thirds of those surveyed said they believe police in their community are held accountable for misconduct. Just more than half said they have paid "a lot" of attention to the events surrounding the death of Freddie Gray in April.
The telephone survey, conducted last week, has a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points on the questions regarding Hogan and state policy issues, and a 5.7-percentage point margin for questions on the Democratic presidential contest.