ANNAPOLIS — Marylanders have a higher view of President Donald Trump than they have of Congress as a whole.
According to a Goucher Poll released Thursday, 29 percent of Maryland adults polled approve of how Trump is handling his job as president. That compares with 21 percent who approve of the way Congress is doing its job.
Unsurprisingly, there is a large rift in the president’s approval rating based on party. Eighty-eight percent of registered Democrats disapprove of Trump, while 22 percent of registered Republicans disapprove. Independents fall in the middle, with 56 percent disapproving of the president’s job performance, about a month into his term.
“President Trump’s approval ratings in Maryland — a state he lost by 25 points in November — reflect his difficulties garnering support outside of his core base,” said Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher College, which conducts the poll. “At the same time, the majority of Republicans in Maryland approve of the job he is doing. However, in a solid blue state, that isn’t enough to put his approval ratings above water.”
When it comes to rating Congress, there is also a party-line division, but not as wide.
While 83 percent of Democrats disapprove of Congress’ job performance, 54 percent of Republicans feel the same. Again, independents fall in the middle, with 69 percent disapproving.
The question has been asked four times since October 2013. Congress earned its highest approval rating this time around.
The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
The poll also explored the approval ratings of Maryland’s U.S. senators.
While Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, both Democrats, attracted nearly identical levels of approval and disapproval among registered voters, the senior senator’s approval rating edged out the freshman’s.
Forty-five percent of registered voters in the poll approved of Cardin’s job performance and 21 percent disapprove; 34 percent said they didn’t know one way or the other. About 53 percent of registered Democrats and 36 percent of registered Republicans approved of Cardin’s performance.
When it comes to Van Hollen, 44 percent of voters approved of his job performance and 19 percent disapproved. Fifty-nine percent of Democrats approved of his job performance, compared with 28 percent of Republicans.
Van Hollen won election to the Senate in November. Cardin is up for re-election in 2018.
At the start of the Maryland Board of Public Works meeting this week, Gov. Larry Hogan took a moment to address his bill that would require the General Assembly to live broadcast their House and Senate floor sessions.
“Unfortunately, the Maryland Legislature continues to resist that kind of openness and lags behind the rest of the country,” Hogan said Wednesday.
At the time, a bill hearing had not yet been set in the House of Delegates. Shortly after the meeting, a hearing was scheduled for March 14. A Senate hearing is scheduled for next week.
The governor joked about adding an amendment in light of comments on the floor this month by Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr.
The comments — addressing the state’s loss of federal transportation funds after a Metro safety oversight deadline was missed — included a couple of choice words for a state transportation official.
“There’s millions of dollars we’re losing right now because some a--hole, pardon my French, sat on his a--, pardon my French,” Miller said.
Hogan joked that such comments should not cause lawmakers to fear live streaming and offered another solution.
“There may be some concern from last week the President Miller’s recent use of profane language on the floor. ... But we’re willing to amend the bill to include, like, a seven-second delay ... and perhaps add one of those ‘viewer discretion advised’ labels and maybe we’ll warn that watching the Legislature may not be suitable for younger viewers,” Hogan said.
Top of the class — but in the minority
According to at least one measure, Maryland is neither red nor blue. Not even purple.
We’re deep emerald green.
The Maryland League of Conservation Voters unveiled its 2016 National Environmental Scorecard on Thursday. It shows that Maryland’s congressional delegation votes with the group’s priorities at a greater rate than most other states in the Union do.
The national average for voting on LCV priorities is 43 percent in the U.S. House and 50 percent in the U.S. Senate.
Despite the zero score from Maryland’s lone Republican representative, Andy Harris from the 1st District, Maryland’s aggregate score is much higher.
In fact, for 2016, several of the state’s delegation members received 100 percent scores: Cardin and Reps. John P. Sarbanes (D-3rd), John K. Delaney (D-6th), Elijah E. Cummings (D-7th) and Van Hollen (D-8th). The remaining Democrats all had scores of 92 percent or higher.
The scorecard is based on lawmakers’ votes on 38 measures in the House and 17 in the Senate.
The league concluded that the U.S. House is the most anti-environmental in the 40-year history of its scorecard. The average House Republican score for 2016 was 5 percent, while the average House Democrat score was 94 percent.
Talk of the Town
County Executive Jan Gardner (D) is hosting a town hall meeting at Winchester Hall on Thursday.
The meeting will be held in the building’s third-floor meeting room and will start at 7 p.m.
Gardner said residents can attend the meeting to discuss anything important to them on any subject, program, problem or issue.