Nonpartisan Poll Shows Comfortable Lead for Kittleman in Howard County

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman (R) has opened up a comfortable lead over his Democratic challenger, according to an independent poll released Friday. The survey, conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy, found Kittleman was the choice of 53 percent of voters, while Howard County Councilman Calvin Ball (D) got 37 percent. The remaining 10 percent of voters were undecided. The poll of 625 likely voters, taken Monday through Wednesday, had a 4-point margin of error.  Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman  In a majority Democratic county, Ball racked up 56 percent of Democratic votes in the Mason-Dixon poll, compared to 33 percent for Kittleman. The incumbent had overwhelming support from Republicans (90 percent to 6 percent) and held a 55 percent to 29 percent lead among independents. “Ball is simply not gaining the margins he needs among core Democratic groups to win,” the pollsters wrote in a memo. “Among African-American voters, he is only ahead by 69%-24%. His lead among young voters (18-34 years old) is a mere 46%-44% and he trails among women by 50%-38%.” Ball was also clinging to narrow leads in the county’s two Democratic council district, trailed Kittleman in the county’s “swing” 3rd District by 15 points, and was far behind in the two heavily Republican districts. “The primary reasons for Kittleman’s success are his personal popularity (60% favorable name recognition) and the perception that he is doing a good job running the county government (63% job approval rating),” the pollsters wrote. Kittleman was also better known to the poll respondents than Ball. In addition to his 60 percent favorable rating, Kittleman’s unfavorable rating was just 15 percent. Twenty-one percent of voters who recognized his name had a neutral opinion, and only 4 percent did not recognize his name. Ball had a 36 percent favorable rating compared to a 19 percent unfavorable rating. Twenty-three percent of voters had a neutral opinion, while 22 percent did not recognize his name at all. [email protected]

Josh Kurtz
Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.

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