Biden leads big in new Maryland poll, but voters split on in-person voting

This content was republished with permission from WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today.

Former vice president Joe Biden is positioned to secure the largest margin of victory for a presidential candidate in Maryland since 1964, according to a new Goucher Poll.

Sixty-one percent of likely voters reached by the poll said they would elect Biden if the election were held today; 30% would vote for President Trump.

“Given the political demographics of the state, it’s never been a question of whether the Biden-Harris ticket would carry Maryland, but rather by how much,” Mileah Kromer, director of the poll. “If this gap in voter preferences widens just slightly on Election Day, it would result in the largest margin of victor in Maryland for a presidential candidate since President Lyndon B. Johnson defeated Barry Goldwater.”

The margin in that race was 31 points.

Five percent of those reached by the Goucher Poll either didn’t know or refused to say which candidate they support.

The poll was conducted from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4 and surveyed 1,002 Maryland adults, 776 of which were likely voters. The poll had a 3.5-point margin of error.

In 2020, Kromer said Maryland’s electorate is highly motivated to go to the polls.

Among likely voters, Trump had an approval rating of 32%. Sixty-seven percent of those polled disapproved of the way Trump is handling his job as president.

California Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, had the highest approval rating of all White House candidates among Marylanders:

  • 61% view Harris favorably, 35% view her unfavorably;
  • 60% view Biden favorably, 39% view him unfavorably; and
  • 35% view Vice President Mike Pence favorably, 63% view him unfavorably.

“Democrats have consistently disliked the president from the second that he won …and he’s had a single digit approval rating among Democrats,” Kromer said. “So Democrats are motivated to get to vote him out ― even in a state like Maryland that’s not going to really play a role in the Electoral College.”

Among 918 registered voters, 86% said they are extremely or very interested in the 2020 election.

“Our numbers suggest we’re going to have an elevated turnout rate, that it’s going to bump up from 2016. And that’s no wonder. …You’ve had Democrats working diligently over the last four years to try to organize to get Trump out of there,” Kromer said.

Likely voters are evenly divided on whether they plan to vote by mail or in person this November.

Fifty-one percent of 776 likely voters said they plan to vote in person; 48% were planning to cast a ballot by mail or using a ballot drop box.

The poll showed an ideological divide on voting preference. Thirty-nine percent of Democratic likely voters said they would vote by mail-in ballot, while 72% of Republican likely voters intend to vote in person.

More than 1.3 million Marylanders have requested mail-in ballots for the presidential election as of Wednesday.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters and republished with permission. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today.

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