Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is expected to seek reelection this fall, and it’s a six-point race for now if it’s a rematch of 2006.
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in the state finds O’Malley leading his 2006 Republican opponent, Robert Ehrlich, 49 percent to 43 percent. Two percent (2 percent) prefer some other candidate, and five percent (5 percent) are undecided.
In the 2006 contest, O’Malley, then the Democratic mayor of Baltimore, defeated Ehrlich, the first GOP governor in the state since the 1960s, by a 53 percent to 46 percent margin.
Ehrlich, the most prominent Republican mentioned for the race, has given no indication whether he will run again. Given Maryland’s Democratic leanings, however, it would be an uphill battle for him.
Right now, most Maryland voters (53 percent) approve of O’Malley’s performance as governor, with 18 percent who strongly approve. Forty-two percent (42 percent) disapprove of the job he is doing, including 23 percent who strongly disapprove.
Ehrlich and O’Malley run even among male voters, but female voters favor the Democrat by 12 points.
Among voters not affiliated with either major party, Ehrlich leads 52 percent to 36 percent.
Both potential candidates are well known in the state, with less than 10 percent of voters expressing no opinion of them.
Fifty-four percent (54 percent) have a favorable opinion of O’Malley, including 24 percent with a very favorable opinion. Forty percent (40 percent) view him unfavorably, with 21 percent very unfavorable.
Ehrlich is viewed favorably by 55 percent and unfavorably by 36 percent. Those figures include 25 percent very favorable and 18 percent very unfavorable.
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