Well, technically Bob Ehrlich is ahead by a point, but it’s really a tie:
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Maryland finds Ehrlich with 47% support to O’Malley’s 46%. Two percent (2%) prefer some other candidate, and five percent (5%) remain undecided.
As expected, the rematch of the 2006 race has been close from the start and has been getting even closer as time goes on. In February, O’Malley led 49% to 43%, but by April it was a closer 47% to 44%. The two were tied last month with 45% apiece.
As usual, it’s the economy that’s killing O’Malley* in this poll: voters aren’t happy about health care/immigration, either. And then there’s this:
Ehrlich currently claims 87% of the state’s GOP vote and 22% of Maryland Democrats, while O’Malley earns just 71% support in his own party. Voters not affiliated with either major party prefer the Republican by 15 points.
That’s a problem that will probably correct itself – somewhat – as the election draws nearer, but it’s also part of a national trend: the Democrats are losing independent voters everywhere. And getting them back means reversing course on policies that… do not please the Democratic party’s base so much as they grudgingly appease them. Squaring that particular circle is thankfully not my problem, although it is a personal source of amusement…
*He’s a sitting Democratic governor in a Blue State. He shouldn’t be this low in the polls, particularly since Rasmussen has him at a 50% approval rating.