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Goucher Poll a Reality Check for Maryland Democrats

You may have heard about the Goucher Poll that was released this morning. You’ll notice that Governor Larry Hogan continues to have sky-high approval ratings.

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan remains deeply popular in Democratic Maryland, and his job approval rating appears untouched by national political controversy, a new poll has found.

Hogan’s job approval ratings dipped in the new Goucher Poll released Monday, but pollster Mileah Kromer said the decline since September is cyclical and appears unrelated to Democrats’ repeated attempts to tie Hogan to Republican President Donald J. Trump.

“The governor remains largely unaffected by national politics,” said Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher, which conducted the poll. “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.”

The poll found 63 percent of Marylanders approve of the job Hogan is doing, down seven percentage points from the college’s last poll. Fifty-seven percent said they would either definitely re-elect him in 2018 or were leaning toward voting for him. The poll has 3.5-point margin of error.

I’m going to copy and paste a section of that again, so that Maryland Democrats might be able to understand it.

“The governor remains largely unaffected by national politics,” said Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher, which conducted the poll. “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.”

So to recap:

  • Governor Hogan’s approval rating is still 63%;
  • Political experts note that the dip in the Governor’s approval rating is completely unrelated to President Trump
  • Nearly 60% of Marylanders are likely to vote to re-elect Governor Hogan.

Just so that we all understand that Kromer’s comment was not taking out of context by The Sun, here’s the full quote straight from the Goucher Poll release:

Maryland voters are divided over how much their views toward President Trump will influence how they vote in the 2018 gubernatorial election. Forty-two percent say that their opinion toward President Trump will not influence their vote at all or only a little and 55 percent say their views toward President Trump will influence their vote a lot or some.

“Speculation over a ‘Trump effect’ on Governor Hogan’s approval ratings and reelection efforts has certainly ramped up over the last month. 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. “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.”

So how did the Maryland Democratic Party react to all of this? By completely ignoring the reality of the situation and putting out two ridiculous pieces of media today on the subject.

  • First the Maryland Democratic Party’s new Governor Hogan tracker, who is brand new to Maryland, put out a new video with comments that private-citizen Larry Hogan made back in 2012 regarding defeating Barack Obama in the 2012 election. The tracker doesn’t seem to know that Governor Hogan was a private citizen at the time and not running the state of Maryland.
  • The Maryland Democratic Party posted a misleadingly titled blog post entitled “Ehrlich Redux: Hogan Approval Drops Amid Trump Pressure.” This despite the fact that the numbers in the poll do not show any correlation between Hogan’s numbers and Trump’s numbers and despite the fact that the pollster herself says that the Democratic Party’s conclusion is absolutely incorrect.

The Democrats seem to not be making any mention of the part where 57% of Marylanders want to re-elect the Governor, either. Nor have they noted the irony of the Maryland Democratic Party being excited about the fact that a Republican Governor “only” a 62% approval rating in a state with an alleged supermajority in Democratic voter registrations.

The real number that should scare the Democrats is 42%. Only 42% of Marylanders approve of the work the Maryland General Assembly has done; the General Assembly that is controlled by the Democrats and has been working hard to obfuscate the wildly popular Governor Hogan.

There are some lessons here that a competent political party would learn. A competent party would realize that despite their misguided insistence to the contrary, the incessant attacks on Governor Hogan regarding President Trump are just not working. Secondly, a competent party would realize that the obfuscation by legislative Democrats who refuse to work for Governor Hogan are both fueling voter discontent with Democrats and helping to improve Governor Hogan’s approval rating. Governor Hogan will easily be able to point to the General Assembly as to the reason why he needs another term, and low approval ratings for the General Assembly will serve as a clarion call for voters to consider Republican candidates in 2018.

But that’s what a competent party would do; we’re not talking about a competent party, we’re talking about the Maryland Democratic Party. Since we have seen repeatedly that the Maryland Democratic Party is a dumpster fire that has been in disarray for some time, they have already flatly ignored the results of the poll and doubled-down on a failing strategy.

The Democrats can continue to go down this road of wildly flailing their arms everyday yelling “TRUMP” and hope that it sticks to Governor Hogan. But they will do so only after seeing these Goucher Poll results, reading them, digesting them, and ignoring them. There are reality checks in those poll numbers for the Democrats, but it’s becoming obvious that they are choosing to ignore them.






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