The top issue on most Marylanders’ minds as the state continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2022 election nears is the economy and jobs, according to a new poll.
About 28% of voters in a Goucher Poll released Thursday said the economy was the issue that would be most important to them as they decide which governor candidate to vote for in 2022.
Other top issues cited were:
- Health care (14%)
- Racial and social justice issues (13%)
- Taxes (12%)
Education and the environment were each cited as the top priority by 8% of those polled.
The poll of 631 Maryland voters was conducted from Oct. 14 to 20, and has a margin of error of 3.9 points.
Broken down by party, the economy was the top-cited issue by Republicans (46%) and unaffiliated voters (36%).
The top issue identified by Democrats, who were more evenly split across several topics, was racial and social justice (20%).
Just 3% of Republicans cited racial and social justice as their top concern. Twenty-two percent of Black voters did.
Voters in the poll were also given a choice of generic general election matchups and asked which candidate they would prefer:
In a matchup between a Republican like Larry Hogan or a progressive Democrat:
- 55 percent would likely prefer a Republican like Larry Hogan
- 38 percent would likely prefer a progressive Democrat.
Given a choice between a Republican like Donald Trump or a progressive Democrat:
- 31 percent would likely prefer a Republican like Donald Trump
- 62 percent would likely prefer a progressive Democrat.
If the general election candidates were a Republican like Larry Hogan or a moderate Democrat:
- 49 percent would likely prefer a Republican like Larry Hogan
- 44 percent would likely prefer a moderate Democrat.
And in a race between a Republican like Donald Trump or a moderate Democrat:
- 29 percent would likely prefer a Republican like Donald Trump
- 69 percent would likely prefer a moderate Democrat.
Mileah Kromer, director of Goucher College’s Sarah T. Hughes Center for Politics, which conducted the poll, said the results of the hypothetical matchups suggest that a Trumpian candidate would face a significant electoral disadvantage against either a moderate or progressive Democrat. The former president never registered approval rating among Marylanders above the low-30s.
“The clearest path to holding the governorship for Maryland Republicans is by nominating a candidate who voters view as similar to Larry Hogan,” Kromer said in a memo about the poll results. “On the Democratic side, it appears that a moderate candidate is electorally stronger than a progressive among registered voters.”
She included a caveat: “…We’re a full year out from the election. Preferences can easily change once voters get to know the candidates as individuals.”