Gov. Larry Hogan

Gov. Larry Hogan

ANNAPOLIS — Despite Democratic hand-wringing over how to respond to President Donald Trump’s policies, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan remains popular in deep-blue Maryland.

A majority of state residents — 57 percent — are leaning toward or definitely planning to vote to re-elect the governor in 2018, according to a new Goucher Poll released Monday.

The poll also shows that 65 percent of registered voters approve of Hogan’s job so far, including 52 percent of Democrats.

Gov. Larry Hogan’s approval rating remains high in the state, even as Maryland’s Democrats overwhelmingly disapprove of Trump. An earlier release from Goucher last week showed that Trump has a 64 percent disapproval rating overall in the state, with 88 percent of Democrats disapproving of the president’s job so far.

The poll shows that Hogan may be able to overcome a “Trump effect,” even as Democratic leaders in the General Assembly have tried to tie the governor to the Republican administration in Washington.

“Although there have been direct efforts to attach Governor Hogan to President Trump and the majority of Maryland voters say that their views toward President Trump will influence their vote in 2018, the governor remains largely unaffected by national politics,” said Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher College. “He continues to earn high approval ratings and the majority of Maryland voters are at least leaning toward giving Governor Hogan another term in office.”

But some voters do say that their views toward Trump will influence their votes in 2018. Fifty-five percent of all voters who are “somewhat, very or extremely interested” in the upcoming election say Trump will play a role in how they cast their ballots. Thirty-one percent of that same group say Trump will influence their vote “not at all.”

About 33 percent of those polled said Hogan spends too little time addressing national politics and Trump’s policies, while 39 percent said he is spending the right amount of time. On the same question, voters said Maryland’s Democrats are spending too little time responding to national politics and Trump’s policies.

The General Assembly — where Democrats hold two-thirds of the seats — has an approval rating of 42 percent overall, with 50 percent of Democrats and 30 percent of Republicans approving.

Maryland voters also favor Hogan’s economic policies (38 percent support) over those of Maryland Democrats (27 percent).

Other state issues

The Goucher Poll also explored voters’ attitudes on several topics that are the focus of legislation this General Assembly session.

The greatest support on a range of state issues was support for paid sick leave policies. Eight-two percent of all voters say the state should pass a law that would require businesses to give paid sick time to employees, compared with just 16 percent who oppose the policies. Support was stronger for legislation that would apply to larger businesses with 50 or more employees, compared with legislation that would include businesses with fewer employees, 15 or more.

Independent congressional redistricting also continues to enjoy widespread support. According to the poll, 75 percent of voters support an independent commission to draw district lines, compared with 19 percent who would support elected officials making those decisions.

A majority of Maryland voters — 60 percent — would prioritize transportation funding for roads and highways over public transit. The same percentage support increasing the state’s minimum wage to $15.

Fifty-seven percent of voters support making the use of marijuana legal in Maryland.

About 37 percent of voters polled support a fracking ban, while 41 percent oppose it.

The poll was conducted between Feb. 18 and 21, and polled 776 Maryland residents.

Follow Danielle E. Gaines on Twitter: @danielleegaines.

Danielle E. Gaines covers politics and government in Frederick County, splitting her time between Winchester Hall and The State House. Having grown up in Illinois, she lived in New York and California before settling in Maryland.

(15) comments

des21

Dare I think it? Hogan vs. Pence for the GOP nomination in 2020? I am pretty sure "the Donald" will tire of the Presidency by then and realize that he is hemorrhaging money by continuing to serve. Most of us were sick of him when he declared as a candidate so, by 2020, that should be about 95% of the nation!

Hogan vs. Pence would truly give the GOP a choice of where it wanted to go- a moderate coastal politician who had shown a willingness and ability to work with the other side or a doctrinaire middle-American Evangelical who had not.

I'm still a Kasich fan fundamentally but the fact that he dropped out of the '16 race the day after Cruz quit- when it was finally just him against Trump- left me bitterly disappointed. I didn't understand that then and I still don't now. I have no use for political Hamlets.

Run Larry run!

des21

PS- and even if Hogan wins the nomination and republicans fret, the Democrats appear poised to nominate Elizabeth Warren so, just like with Hilary, all republicans and right-leaning independents (you know, most of America) will have no where else to go.

Now if the knew DNC chairman is successful at recapturing fly-over America the Democrats will win. Given his background (he's never been outside the DC Beltway!) I kind of doubt that!

hayduke2

Interesting numbers and info http://www.gallup.com/poll/188096/democratic-republican-identification-near-historical-lows.aspx

Ellenatodd

After Trump's win, polls carry less meaning. Respectfully, people lie and misstate their opinion depending on who is asking the question and how it's being asked.

hayduke2

Polls were wrong but I don't think they were off that much. HRC did win the popular vote.

jerseygrl42

He has done a terrific job, what a difference from omalley the phony

DickD

The poll was taken Feb. 18 and 21, Never mind the parties, what age, what areas, etc. Were any cell phones called? Most likely not. What hours were the calls made, probably daytime to about 7 p.m. So, we are looking at mostly older people and those not working. This poll is meaningless.

Hogan will have a tough time of it, in a Democrat state, especially aft err withholding money from the public schools and giving money, as vouchers, for public schools. And lets not forget his boondoggle trip to Japan and plan to buy trains from them, while nixing the subway into Baltimore.

b1sellers

My biggest complaint with him is the way he wants to take public education. I'm not crazy that he won't state his position with trump either. It seems cowardly to me.

hayduke2

He does seem to have an issue with public education.

tonyc51

" Despite Democratic hand-wringing over how to respond to President Donald Trump’s policies," While the democrats fiddle, attempting to tie Hogan to Trump, Hogan keeps his eye on his elected purpose, to lead Maryland away from the divisive politics of both the country and the state and to do positive things for the state. That alone, if he did nothing else, makes him a success.

hayduke2

As I read this, I tried to think of one thing that Hogan has done to make me have a positive attitude. Honestly, I can't put a finger on any major thing( some minor things, sure but....) - maybe that's why his popularity is still in the positive range.

tonyc51

Hay, the biggest thing that he has accomplished in a blue state as is Maryland is to prove that a person who governs from the center regardless of political party will be viewed positively by the majority of the people. As with most things in life success is sometimes measured by what has not occurred as much as what has.

hayduke2

Makes sense but I am leery of his stance on education. I also think he has some work to do on making sure funds designed to go toward infrastructure maintenance and improvement and education go where they are supposed to.

nbouqu1

the positive poll numbers are a result of the bump he got with the whole cancer diagnosis thing. Come the election, it will drop like a stone

des21

You are delusional![beam]

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