The first iteration of the bi-annual Goucher Poll concluded last week and the results were released over the course of the last several days. The poll, which is conducted out of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center by Dr. Mileah Kromer, asked Maryland residents for their opinions on a variety of statewide and national issues, from September 14th-18th. As the poll of record in Maryland, the results were picked up by most local news outlets, as well as national ones, including the Washington Post.
This rendition of the poll asked many of its typical questions, such as the approval ratings of President Trump, Governor Hogan as well as other elected officials in the state, and inquiring about resident’s opinions on the direction of the state. Unsurprisingly, President Trump still has an extremely poor approval rating in the heavily Democratic state; only twenty-five percent of residents approve of the job he is doing, while 71 percent disapprove. This is not to suggest that the President does not still have the support of his base, which appears immune to most if not all of the controversy surrounding him; 73 percent of Republicans in the state approve of how the President is handling the job. Governor Larry Hogan still enjoys a great deal of support from Marylanders across the political spectrum with his 62 percent approval rating, which breaks down into 82 percent approval from Republicans and 59 percent among Democrats. His continued support from all areas of the state, combined with the fact that 47 percent of Marylanders see him has a moderate and 57 percent currently hold a positive view of the economic situation in the state, suggest that Governor Hogan has a strong chance of re-election in next year’s gubernatorial race.
Residents were also asked other more controversial questions pertaining to their views on several hot-button issues. Marylanders tend to believe that there is racial discrimination against minorities on the job or at work; 64 percent of respondents said they agree with this claim. However, when broken down along racial lines, the numbers tell a somewhat different story. Only 55 percent of whites agree with this statement, while a more substantial 79 percent of African-Americans said they agreed. When asked about the most recent polarizing topic, removal of Confederate statues and monuments, 49 percent of the state thought they should be removed from public spaces. When answers were examined across race however, the difference was stark; 70 percent of African-Americans believe they should be removed, compared to only 38 percent of whites who feel the same way. One of the more surprising and perhaps unfortunate statewide developments, is that only 38 percent of Marylanders believe people of all races in their communities receive equal treatment by police. This is an 11-point drop in the belief that everyone is treated equally by police since the question was last asked on the poll in February of 2016.
Additionally, Marylanders were surveyed on their opinions about DACA and climate change, issues which they find themselves in strong agreement on. 75 percent of residents support DACA as a policy, and 94 percent believe that climate change is real—59 percent think that it is the result of human activity.
The Goucher Poll, which is administered by student callers and operates using only funding from Goucher College, continues to do the vital work of representing public opinion in Maryland and brings a great deal of positive publicity to our school. The full results of the poll, as well as previous polls can all be found on Goucher’s main website.