- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
O’Malley approval rating sinks after Maryland gas-tax increase
Governor gets lowest marks since 2011
Maryland voters support controversial initiatives passed by the General Assembly this year ending the death penalty and imposing strict new gun laws, but poll results released Wednesday show voters holding Gov. Martin O'Malley accountable for an unpopular increase in the gas tax.
The Democratic governor had a 48 percent approval rating in September — his lowest rating in three years, according to the Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies poll. The figure was down from 54 percent in January. Forty-eight percent of respondents said they disapproved of his job performance.
Mr. O'Malley had maintained an approval rating of more than 50 percent since January 2011, when 58 percent of voters backed him. The last time Mr. O'Malley’s approval rating dropped below 50 percent was in October 2010, just before he won re-election against Republican Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.
The lowest approval rating for Mr. O'Malley was in March 2008, when he only gathered a 37 percent approval rating.
“The biggest hit he took was after the special session in 2007. They increased sales tax by a penny,” pollster Patrick Gonzales said.
Looking at what he considered the two biggest issues of this year’s General Assembly session — gun control and repeal of the death penalty — Mr. Gonzales said people who approved of the initiatives appeared to be supporters of Mr. O'Malley. But a vast and bipartisan majority of respondents, 76 percent, disapproved of the increase in the state’s gas tax.
“Whenever you raise taxes you create problems for yourself, even in Maryland,” Mr. Gonzales said. “It sort of appears obvious to me that he paid a price on that one.”
The bill signed by Mr. O'Malley increased the gas tax 4 cents this year, to 27.5 cents per gallon. The tax will increase to 43.5 cents per gallon when fully implemented in 2016. Lawmakers also tied the tax to the rate of inflation, meaning future increases will occur automatically as is done in 16 other states.
About 58 percent of respondents said they approved new gun-control measures, while roughly 49 percent of voters surveyed said they supported a new law abolishing the death penalty in the state.
Among other findings in the poll, early numbers showed that Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown was ahead in next year’s race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, with 40.7 percent support from polled voters, compared to 21.1 percent for Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, and 5.2 percent for Delegate Heather R Mizeur of Montgomery County.
A third of voters, however, were undecided.
President Obama’s 58 percent approval rating was a 6 percentage point drop from his rating at the beginning of this year.
The poll of 819 likely voters was conducted Oct. 1-14 and had a margin of error of 3.5 percent.
Of the 819 registered Maryland voters surveyed, about 57 percent were Democrats, about 31 percent were Republicans and about 12 percent were independent.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Andrea Noble is a crime and public safety reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Natural gas prices rise for D.C. customers as temperatures drop
- Released from hospital, Marion Barry reflects on his health and political career
- Montgomery County matches homicide total from 2013
- Council member introduces bill to regulate D.C. party promoters
- D.C. Council approves bill decriminalizing marijuana
Latest Blog Entries
Meredith Somers is a Metro reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Lenten season marks big business for seafood sector
- ACU at 50: Strong and looking ahead
- Ready for spring? D.C. cherry blossoms to bloom by mid-April
- MOVIE REVIEW: 'Son of God'
- Experts say immigrants are changing the U.S. religious landscape
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Six Senate seats could hinge on Keystone pipeline
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- 80 people publicly executed across North Korea for films, Bibles
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- SAUERBREY: Taxing Marylanders until they flee
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again