Gonzales Research, one of the few polling organizations out there that does statewide polling in Maryland, released a new poll this week. It is no surprise that Maryland, being a rather reliable Democratic state, tends to give Barack Obama and Martin O'Malley decent ob approval ratings. However, the poll highlights two issues that one would think would have strong support in a Democratic-leaning state are actually much more split than one may believe if just looking at the party registration of the state. Those two issues are Same-Sex Marriage and the so-called "Dream Act".
Same Sex Marriage is one of those issues that splits both parties in different ways. In the most recent poll, Democrats support "Same Sex Marriage" by a 62%-33% while Republican oppose it by a 76%-22% margin. I can tell you from first-hand experience that Republicans in Howard County are not monolithic in opposition to Same-Sex Marriage and many a debate has ensued over the issue. A large chunk of the opposition among Democrats comes from African-Americans, who oppose Same-Sex Marriage by a 60%-33% margin. The other thing of note is support for Same-Sex Marriage has dipped slightly in the past year. Here is a table for Gonzales Research's three most recent polls:
Same-Sex Marriage - Maryland
|Date||Jan 2012||Sept 2011||Jan 2011|
One other thing of note is the intensity of those in support and opposed to Same-Sex Marriage is relatively equal (34% strongly in support and 37% strongly in opposition).
The other issue that splits Maryland is the so called "Dream Act" which was asked to voters in the following manner by Gonzales Research:
Children of immigrants who are not in the state legally should be given the opportunity to receive Maryland in-state college tuition rates if they have graduated from a Maryland high school and their parents can prove they have filed Maryland state tax returns for the past 3 years?
This issue was not polled in January 2011, but did get polled and it shows that the state is still pretty much split between support and opposition in general.
|"Dream Act" - Maryland|
|Date||Jan 2012||Sept 2011|
What is somewhat interesting is that the "strong opposition" to the "Dream Act" is appreciably higher than the "strong support" for the "Dream Act" (37% versus 21% respectively. Also, "strong support" for the "Dream Act" has actually dropped since September 2011 from 30% to 21% now. Unlike Same Sex Marriage, which has yet to pass in Maryland, the "Dream Act" did pass but is currently expected to go to a referendum and this is where that intensity factor could be the difference when it comes to voters.
The results for the January 2012 poll can be found here. This poll was done January 9-15 among 808 registered voters with a +/-3.5% margin of error.
The results for the September 2011 poll can be found here. This poll was done September 19-27 among 805 registered voters with a +/-3.5% margin of error.
The results for the January 2011 poll can be found here. This poll was done January 13-19 among 802 registered voters with a +/-3.5% margin of error.