Poll: Maryland voters pick crime as their top concern

A poll conducted just before the upcoming Maryland General Assembly session on Wednesday found that voters want lawmakers to focus on crime.

The Gonzalez Maryland Poll asked 838 registered voters, who said that they are likely to vote in the 2020 general election.

According to the survey, 31% of the respondents said that they are most concerned about crime; 16% said education was their main concern; 11% said transportation mattered most; and 9% said taxes deserved more attention.

In a year in which several public officials faced federal corruption charges — including former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh and former Prince George’s County Del. Tawanna Gaines — another 9% of those surveyed said corruption should be the focus of legislators.

Other concerns by respondents include the opioid crisis and health care.

Leadership: the president and the governor

The poll included questions about the performance of President Donald Trump and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.

Trump, who was impeached in December, got a disapproval rating of 61%, while 37% of respondents said they approved of the job Trump is doing. Of those who disapprove of Trump’s performance, 53% strongly disapprove.

Among Maryland Republicans surveyed, Trump’s approval rating is 85%.

Looking at what could happen if the U.S. Senate takes up the articles of impeachment, 50% of those surveyed would approve a vote of removal, while 43% disapprove of removing Trump from office.

Hogan continues to get high marks in the latest survey. The second-term governor gets an approval rating of 75%, with 40% who “strongly approve” of his performance. Just 17% disapprove of the job Hogan is doing.

According to the poll, women and men support Hogan’s performance in equal numbers. So do those younger than 50 years old and those over 50.

Issues

Are things moving in the right direction? Fifty-six percent said that they were, while 33% disagreed and 11% had no opinion.

There have been efforts to decriminalize marijuana use in the state, and 57% support that while 38% oppose decriminalization. There’s a clear age split. Seventy-six percent of those polled who are under 50 years old support decriminalization; 52% of those respondents older than 50 oppose it.

As for the Maryland economy, 56% said it is either excellent or pretty good, with 10% of those calling it excellent and 46% rating it as pretty good. However, 41% said the state economy is fair or poor.

Most of those surveyed (61%) who are under 40 said they feel that things will stay the same; and 31% said they believe things will get worse. Only 6% said they thought economic conditions would improve in the state.

In contrast, those 40 and older are more optimistic that the state economy will improve over the next year — 37% of those between 40 to 49; 27% of those 50 to 59 and 31% of those 60 and older.

Less than 10% of respondents in each group over 40 years old believe that the state economy will get worse, and over 50% of respondents in each over-40 age group believe it will stay the same.

The survey called the difference between the economic perception of those under 40 and those over 40 a “puzzling discovery.”

The poll by Gonzales Research & Media Services was conducted between Dec. 23 and Jan. 4. The poll interviewed respondents over the phone. The Gonzales Maryland Poll has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

Read the full results of the poll below:

Gonzales Maryland Poll Report January 2020 by wtopweb on Scribd

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