A new Washington Post Poll shows a plurality of Marylanders think the state is on the wrong track under Governor Martin O'Malley, and only 49 percent approve of the way he is handling his job as governor.
The poll, a survey of 1,156 registered voters, found that 51 percent rate Maryland's economy as poor or not so good. On the question of handling the state's taxes 56 percent rated O'Malley's job performance as poor/not so good. According to the poll, the two most important issues facing Marylanders are the economy and taxes. Fifty-two percent of Marylanders also disapprove of O'Malley's job balancing the budget.
Marylander's views on the state's economy appear to confirm the low rankings Maryland earns on several business climate indexes. The results regarding the budget and taxes also show that the public is not buying his fairy tale of billions in budget cuts. In fact, O'Malley has increased taxes by $6 billion, and spending has ballooned by $9 billion (a 30 percent increase) since he first took office.
A large plurality of Marylander's, graded O'Malley poorly on school funding, despite billions of dollars in funding to the school system. This suggests a disconnect in either the public's knowledge of how much taxpayers truly spend on education, or the the misconception that more money in to education equals better educated kids out.
O'Malley fared better on other poll questions such as access to healthcare and cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay. However, only 8 percent of Marylanders would like him to be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2016. If O'Malley was the nominee, only 17 percent would definitely vote for him.
The Washington Post found that even for issues that O'Malley sees as a strength of his record, like college tuition, (he has kept tuition at state colleges frozen for most of his time in office) Marylanders do not agree.
Those numbers have not swayed Marylanders such as Stella Greene, 67, who said her grandson recently had to leave the University of Maryland at College Park because he had such a hard time paying tuition. He is now enrolled in a community college in Baltimore.
“I don’t know that it’s O’Malley’s fault,” said Greene, a Democrat who worked as communications manager for an education company before she retired. “But nothing O’Malley has done has made an impression on me.”Capital Insight conducted the poll via telephone for the Washington Post February 21-24, 2013.