Despite Hogan’s High Approval, Md. GOP Voters Would Still Pick Trump

President Trump (left) and Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr.

Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. can continue to boast about a high approval rating as he flirts with the American electorate, but even on his home turf in Maryland, likely Republican voters would support President Trump in the party primary, a poll released Thursday morning shows.

The poll from Gonzales Research & Media Services found that 76 percent of Maryland registered and likely voters approve of the job Hogan is doing as governor; just 39 percent of Marylanders approved of Trump’s performance.

The survey of 826 voters was in the field April 29-May 4 and had a 3.5-point margin of error.

A smaller sample of Republican voters had a higher, 7-point error margin, but found that Hogan’s high approval rating wouldn’t trump the president’s support.

Trump led Hogan 68 percent to 24 percent in a hypothetical 2020 GOP primary matchup. Seventy-four percent of Republican men would support Trump, compared to 20 percent who would support Hogan.

Among Republican women, Trump led 62-28. Older Republican voters gave Trump the strongest support, 75 percent to 21 percent.

“This result illuminates a salient point in American electoral polity — campaigns are a two-step process, and general election attractiveness means nothing if one cannot navigate step 1’s primary,” pollster Patrick E. Gonzales wrote of the results.

Trump’s approval rating among Republicans in the poll was 78 percent; Hogan’s approval among Republicans was 87 percent.

Hogan’s approval among unaffiliated voters was 82 percent and among Democrats, 74 percent approved.

“Hogan is that rare Republican who has broad acceptance among Democrats and independents. However, his expansive appeal does not seem to translate against Trump in a GOP presidential primary,” Gonzales wrote.

The poll captured Marylanders’ views on national issues as well. Sixty-four percent of Marylanders said they viewed the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as fair and objective, including 57 percent of Democrats and 72 percent of Republicans.

Given the results, fewer than half of Marylanders, 37 percent, supported the start of impeachment proceedings. About 54 percent of Democrats, 42 percent of unaffiliated voters and 2 percent of Republicans supported impeachment.

That figure has fallen since the January 2019 poll by Gonzales, in which 50 percent of Marylanders said they would support impeachment.

Franchot’s numbers

The Gonzales poll also queried voters about Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D). That portion of the survey was not made public – but the language on Franchot was shared with Maryland Matters.

Franchot, who racked up more raw votes last November than any candidate in Maryland history, is almost as popular as Hogan. In the poll, 65 percent of voters said they approved of the job Franchot is doing, while just 5 percent said they did not approve.

Franchot’s approval rating was high in every region of the state and among all segments of the electorate. Seventy percent of Democrats approved of the job he is doing, compared to 62 percent of unaffiliated voters and 56 percent of Republicans.

Franchot, a close ally of Hogan’s who is now in his fourth term as comptroller, is contemplating running for governor in 2022, aides have suggested.

“The most striking result in this poll of name identification and job approval for Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot is the near non-existence of negatives for him among voters,” Gonzales wrote in a polling memo. “Franchot has held statewide elected office for over 12 years – only 5% disapprove of the job he’s doing as comptroller and a mere 4% have an unfavorable of him.”

Franchot wasted no time blasting out the poll results to supporters.

“I will never forget that I work for you and not the bosses that make up the Annapolis Machine,” he wrote in an email. “We’ve seen the corrosive effects of machine politics and backroom deals, and I’ll continue to demand more accountable, transparent government. Because I’m your Comptroller, not theirs.”

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Danielle E. Gaines
Danielle Gaines most recently worked for Bethesda Beat covering Montgomery County. Previously, she spent six years at The Frederick News-Post as the paper’s principal government and politics reporter for half that time, covering courts and legal affairs before that. She also reported for the now-defunct The Gazette of Politics and Business in Maryland and previously worked as a county government and education reporter at the Merced Sun-Star in California’s Central Valley.
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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