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Poll Shows Ehrlich, O'Malley Tied

A new statewide poll shows Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and his Democratic opponent, Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, tied in the race for governor, each with 41 percent of the vote.

The poll of 500 registered voters contacted Aug. 1 and 2 found that 15 percent of voters were undecided in the governor's race. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percent. The poll comes as Ehrlich, who has been trailing the mayor in most statewide polls, has launched an aggressive advertising campaign in the Baltimore television market.

Aides to O'Malley were quick to point out that the poll, conducted for the MD & DC Credit Union Association, was done by the same firm Ehrlich uses for his internal surveys, Public Opinion Strategies.

Michael Beall, CEO of the credit union association, says his group conducts a poll every year to gauge the perception and involvement in credit unions. The group added questions on several political races this year but did not include anything he would consider leading questions that would skew the results for any candidates, he said..

In the Democratic primary for an open U.S. Senate seat, the poll showed Rep. Ben Cardin leading his former congressman Kweisi Mfume by 31 percent to 25 percent. Dennis Rasmussen, a former Baltimore County executive, picked up 6 percent of the vote and Montgomery County businessman Josh Rales had 4 percent.

In general election match ups, Cardin would defeat the Republican frontrunner, Lt. Gov. Michael Steele by a margin of 43 to 35 percent. Steele, however, was leading Mfume, 40 to 39 percent, a statistical dead heat. All are running to fill the open seat now held by Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes

The credit union group also conducted a poll of 300 likely Democrats in the 3rd Congressional District, where there is a fierce contest for the nomination to replace Cardin. Leading the pack was the senator's son, John Sarbanes who drew support from 34%, followed by Peter Beilenson with 16%; state Sen. Paula Hollinger with 14%; and Andy Barth with 11%. Other candidates polled between 1-3%.

The district includes parts of Anne Arundel, Howard and Baltimore counties, as well as parts of the city of Baltimore. That poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.6 percent.

By Phyllis Jordan  |  August 11, 2006; 2:37 PM ET
 
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Comments

Perhaps a crummy poll, but I'll take it nonetheless. In other good news, the early voting law has been struck down. There will still be fraud, but not uber-fraud.

Posted by: Brandon | August 11, 2006 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Why waste time and space with irrelevant polls. Only one counts.

Posted by: voter | August 11, 2006 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Fraud is no more likely with early voting than on normal election days, Brandon. The only difference is that actual working people find it a lot easier to vote on a Saturday than a Tuesday. But the Republican Party wouldn't want them voting, huh?

And as for the poll, it trends so much more conservatively in all areas than every previous poll that I really doubt its authenticity. O'Malley was beating Ehrlich, now they're tied. Mfume was beating Cardin, now Cardin's winning. Unless the voters of Maryland suddenly shifted to the right while I was asleep last night, the poll is skewed.

Posted by: E | August 12, 2006 9:01 AM | Report abuse

"Fraud is no more likely with early voting than on normal election days, Brandon."

Tell that to the house pets and dead people that'll have an extra week to magically appear in overwhelmingly Democratic precincts in Baltimore and PG.

"The only difference is that actual working people find it a lot easier to vote on a Saturday than a Tuesday. But the Republican Party wouldn't want them voting, huh?"

Yeah, because Republicans just sit on their ass at home watching CNBC and soap operas while Democrats work two 8-hour shifts every day. For the minute number of "working people" who really can't find 20 minutes to vote: absentee ballots.

Posted by: Brandon | August 13, 2006 12:51 AM | Report abuse

word on the street is that the MD teachers union did a poll recently which also had the race tied. Has anyone at the post been able to verify if in fact that is the case - obviously I would understand they would be hesitant to release favorable numbers for ehrlich since they have endorsed O'Malley, but it does provide more validity for these results.

Posted by: more evidence | August 13, 2006 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Brandon,

I'm a Republican "working person" who spends about 2 1/2 hours commuting every day. I'll still find time to vote on a Tuesday.

You're correct in that exit polling of any early votes would only determine just how hard the Democrats would have to push to load busses with pets and corpses, while offering each a sandwich to vote Democrat. That is the only reason Dems want early voting. They've hidden under the cloak of "for the working people" long enough. It's time people exposed them for what they really are-desperate to regain autocratic control of the State House.

Before the invention of the automobile, voters still put down their axes and shovels, got on their horses or walked to polling places. Why are "working people" of today any different?

Posted by: BG from PG | August 13, 2006 11:48 AM | Report abuse

"Tell that to the house pets and dead people that'll have an extra week to magically appear in overwhelmingly Democratic precincts in Baltimore and PG."

... or to Democratic voters in Florida in 2000 or Ohio in 2004 who were systematically disenfranchised by Republicans. Fraud isn't a party issue, its a 'lets stop anyone who's doing it regardless of party' issue.

"Yeah, because Republicans just sit on their ass at home watching CNBC and soap operas while Democrats work two 8-hour shifts every day."

I don't care whether they're Republican or Democrat, a lot of people work long hours, a lot of people work 2 or 3 jobs to get by. So yeah, it's difficult for them to vote on a Tuesday, and early voting makes it easier for them to go to the polls. And a lot of people don't trust the mailed absentee voting. There's something more real about showing up in person to vote.

Look, if you have a beef with voter fraud, fine. Take on voter fraud. But expanding the right to vote, expanding people's ability to vote, is not fraud.

And just in case you guys really believe your own rhetoric, take a look at: http://www.electionline.org/Default.aspx?tabid=474.

It lists all the states with early voting or early/absentee voting combination laws, including Republican strongholds like Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Texas, and Utah.

Posted by: E | August 13, 2006 10:17 PM | Report abuse

every state that has early voting also requires showing ID - Maryland is the only one that does not. I could walk into my polling place, announce myself as Phyllis Jordan, they check the rolls and see that I am registered and I am able to vote because I don't have to show ID. I can do this over and over for 5 days in every county around the state.

The courts did not rule whether early voting was a good or bad thing, they ruled that Maryland's constitution lays out specifically a day to vote - it was amended 25 years ago or so to include absentee ballots. If the legislature wanted to institute early vote, they can, but they needed to do it as a constitutional amendment (as they did with absentee ballots) rather than a legislative statute. That's all.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2006 6:51 AM | Report abuse

"...or to Democratic voters in Florida in 2000 or Ohio in 2004 who were systematically disenfranchised by Republicans."

Can you name ONE of them, E? No, didn't think so! The only "disenfranchised" votes in Florida 2000 were members of the military who had their absentee ballots challenged by the Sore/Loserman campaign.

And perhaps you've forgotten the 2004 election exit polls which showed Kerry ahead through most of the day until all of the working people got out of work and began voting overwhelmingly for the GOP.

Holding onto these fictions is only one reason why the Democrat Party is sliding toward the Abyss. Make room, you Whigs and Tories! The donkeys are coming to join you in history's dustbin.

Posted by: Rufus | August 14, 2006 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Isn't it a convenivent coincidence that Maryland Democrats didn't discover the virtues of "expanding" the right to vote for the hapless "working people" until their one-party hegemony came under threat?

Posted by: Brandon | August 14, 2006 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I came from Texas, where early voting is allowed. I am a big fan of early voting and I am a strong conservative Republican. However, we do have requirements for voter registration cards, and if that isn't being required for Maryland, then I think the larger issue is the need for voter certification than opening up the polls more. Handle the fraud problems before you open up the polls to more of it. But something tells me that Democrats are afraid of a photo ID, and what it might mean for their one party state.

Posted by: George | August 14, 2006 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Rufus says

"And perhaps you've forgotten the 2004 election exit polls which showed Kerry ahead through most of the day until all of the working people got out of work and began voting overwhelmingly for the GOP."

Is it Rufus or Dufus?

Posted by: LE | August 14, 2006 4:06 PM | Report abuse

LE,

It sounds like Rufus has a valid point. Why not challenge him intellectually rather than calling him names? But I guess you can't on that point, can you?

Posted by: BG from PG | August 14, 2006 8:27 PM | Report abuse

O'Malley is going to win this one walking away. This poll is fiction.

Posted by: Reality Check | August 14, 2006 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Okay, then require photo ID. I have no problem with that. But you don't see Ehrlich out there saying that. Because, in the end, what Ehrlich is worried about is that an increased turnout in Maryland will mean more Democratic votes for O'Malley.

And Rufus, you're honestly telling me you think there were no irregularities in Florida? People were cut wholesale from the rolls there simply because they had the same name as someone who had been convicted of a felony. Now, I know of at least two people who have the exact same name as me, and I wouldn't like to lose my right to vote because one of them committed a crime.

But there was a larger point to that, Rufus, which, infused with your vitriol, you seem to have missed. Fraud has been around almost as long as elections. If you all want to end voting fraud, I'm with you. But acting like any change in the voting laws by the Democratic assembly is an attempt at fraud is flat-out partisan. My point is - don't try to hide behind a banner of truth and justice when all you're really interested in is getting Ehrlich re-elected.

Oh, and anonymous, I encourage you to go to the polls and try to check in as Phyllis Jordan. It'll be fun to see you get arrested. Phyllis lives in DC.

Posted by: E | August 14, 2006 9:10 PM | Report abuse

If the poll showing Ehrlich now dead even with O'Malley is "fiction" as some on this blog have suggested, then why on earth doesn't the Washington Post article offer up any critique of the poll or come out and question its validity? If O'Malley has lost his lead in the polls in just a matter of a couple of months, isn't this is very ominous sign for him come November? I think that even Kathleeen Kennedy Townsend was beating Ehrlich by 22 points in the Summer before she ended up losing in November. O'Malley now appears to be doing worse than Townsend did at roughly the same points in their respective campaigns.

Posted by: robert | August 14, 2006 9:44 PM | Report abuse

"Is it Rufus or Dufus?"

The name is Rufus, LE. Don't be such a doofus (or at least learn to spell it, you publik skool graduate). But I guess that's all you've got is name-calling.

"And Rufus, you're honestly telling me you think there were no irregularities in Florida? People were cut wholesale from the rolls there simply because they had the same name as someone who had been convicted of a felony."

There was no systematic disenfranchisment of voters in Florida 2000 OTHER THAN the military absentee ballots targetted by Gore campaign lawyers.

Disagree? List the names of the folks mistaken for felons. It should be part of the public record.

Posted by: Rufus | August 15, 2006 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Rufus,

Wow, you missed the point again. I feel like I'm debating a brick wall. I'm not enough of an expert to be able to name individual disenfranchised voters in Florida. Although I could turn it around and ask you to prove that no voters were disenfranchised, and you would just as much be relying on blank assertion. Because this isn't, after all, a court of law.

And I could just as well ask you to name one person in Maryland who plans to commit fraud using the early voting. And my guess is, you'd have no answer. It's a poor excuse for debate to resort to "oh yeah, prove it" every time someone makes a point.

But LE was utterly out of line.

Posted by: E | August 15, 2006 8:16 AM | Report abuse

"Although I could turn it around and ask you to prove that no voters were disenfranchised, and you would just as much be relying on blank assertion."

Actually, you can't proved a negative, that's one of the basic rules of logic.

The fact is that no proof of any voter being denied their rights in Florida 2000 has ever been substantiated (other than the military voters by the Gore campaign). So long as both of us agree that your claims to the contrary are unsubstantiated, I guess we're OK.

"And I could just as well ask you to name one person in Maryland who plans to commit fraud using the early voting."

And you'd be asking me to see the future. If I could do that, I'd be picking winning Powerball numbers. First you want me to prove a negative then you want me to predict the future? I guess that's the sort of detatchment from reality that it takes to be on the Left.

Posted by: Rufus | August 15, 2006 10:32 AM | Report abuse

"It's a poor excuse for debate to resort to 'oh yeah, prove it' every time someone makes a point."

It is the only option when someone uses "points" that are utter fabrications.

Posted by: Rufus | August 15, 2006 10:38 AM | Report abuse

If I were a Democrat (thanks be to God that I am not) I would be suspicious of the media-induced confidence that the 'Republicans are going down'. We have heard this in 2000, 2002 and 2004 and you got your butts kicked every time. You should be able to distinguish the media reality from what actually happens on election day.

Posted by: Joel | August 15, 2006 12:46 PM | Report abuse

The only question is how long will O'Malley's coattails be?

Posted by: Marylander | August 15, 2006 1:51 PM | Report abuse

"O'Malley is going to win this one walking away. This poll is fiction."

Ehrlich's job approval is at 55%. Only 36% disapprove. As far as I can tell, he has pretty consistently maintained approval ratings of 50% or higher. Despite the best efforts of the legislature and the Sun to destroy Ehrlich, the Democrats and Independents that elected him in 2002 don't appear to perceive that he has done anything to betray their support. Clearly, O'Malley will have to do something more than say, "Hello, I'm the Democrat!" It will be interesting to see what that something is.

Posted by: Brandon | August 15, 2006 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, and I love to see all the signs similar to "John Doe for Office, DEMOCRAT". Lefties are real particular about their elected officials, aren't they?

Posted by: BG from PG | August 15, 2006 9:53 PM | Report abuse

OH GREAT!!!

So now O'Malley endorses a plan to get more city kids through school by allowing them to learn only 60% of what they should learn.

YEAH!!! That will really raise the literacy level in the city...

He should change his signs to

O'Malley /Brown
Leadership that has Failed--But vote for me anyhow because I am cute!!!

Posted by: Doug | August 16, 2006 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Majority of citizens no longer participate in the voting process. They realize the voting system is rigged. In America, officeholders claim to represent the will of the people when they receive a minority of the public's support. Even during the height of the Cold War, they held elections in the USSR.

Posted by: Joe | August 16, 2006 6:56 PM | Report abuse

So Joe longs for the good ol' days in the USSR. Well, at least we know who's supporting O'Malley.

Posted by: Rufus | August 17, 2006 9:08 AM | Report abuse

How about a national holiday on Election Day? We can dip voters' fingers in purple ink (or maybe green) to make sure no one votes twice. If posters (from both sides) believe in Democracy, they would want everyone to vote.

Posted by: Ivegotanidea | August 17, 2006 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Tell that to Ehrlich who has spent over $100 million dollars of taxpayer money first switching to electronic voting and then complaining that it wasn't as good as he originally led Marylanders to believe. It the same system that was employed in Ohio maybe he should be writing articles for Rolling Stone like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and hanging out with liberal bloggers. Why not more time to vote? Of course voter suppression in a overwhelmingly Democratic state makes sense.
First he lets Constellation Energy rob the state blind and then he blows more cash replacing the systems the he originally said were foolproof. He should pay the money back to the voters. Hey Bob where's the $100 million? Sounds like the only things that were fools were the voters.

Posted by: Beltway Greg | August 17, 2006 12:47 PM | Report abuse

"First he lets Constellation Energy rob the state blind and then he blows more cash replacing the systems the he originally said were foolproof."

If he found there were questions about their reliability after the fact, it seems that replacing them was the best decision.

Or would you prefer to be able to whine about them after Michael Steele is elected?

Posted by: Rufus | August 18, 2006 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Michael Steele is a nice guy but shouldn't be running for anything. His ads are ridiculous. He has never held elected office on his own. He's Maryland's version of John Edwards. Mr. Populist: I'm going to Washington and fix the mess forgetting to mention that I've practically stuck my tongue down the throat of the Bush administration to get all the cash that I possibly can. Actually, considering his recent appearance with rap/clothing impressario Russell Simmons, this may be all about ambition.

Posted by: Beltway Greg WQMR 101.1 | August 31, 2006 1:54 AM | Report abuse

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