Reporting Pat Warren
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)— Marylanders speak out on what’s happening in Annapolis in a Washington Post poll rating Gov. Martin O’Malley’s performance.
Political reporter Pat Warren has more on the poll.
“We made a lot of decisions that by themselves I can assure you were wholly unpopular,” Gov. O’Malley told a crowd of students last week.
Some of those decisions may have impacted voters’ answers in a new Washington Post poll.
“He’s having probably one of the lower polling ratings that he’s had in some time,” said political analyst Richard Vatz in an interview with WJZ.
Forty-eight percent of voters think the state is moving in the wrong direction, 41 percent in the right direction; 49 percent approve of the way the governor is handling his job, 41 percent disapprove.
Vatz says the numbers may be a reflection of the governor’s stance on tough issues like the death penalty and gun control.
In a hearing on the death penalty repeal, the governor told lawmakers, “The penalty of life without parole I believe is every bit as effective as the death penalty without all the costs and the wasted dollars.”
He appeared at a rally supporting his proposed gun laws last week, saying,”We are not here only because of Newtown, we are here due to the loss of lives to gun violence in all of our towns.”
“When you take these very, very firm positions,” said Vatz, “it kind of alerts people who are opposite your position on these issues and you get a lot of people who say ‘Now I am activated against him.’”
The poll also shows only 7 percent of Marylanders choosing O’Malley as their 2016 presidential nominee. And while 17 percent say they would definitely vote for him for president, 38 percent of those polled definitely would not. But that may not be a reason for concern.
“If I were he I not only wouldn’t be discouraged by this but I would think to myself ‘Maybe it’s better that people aren’t thinking about me in the presidential context quite yet,’” Vatz said.
The governor says his focus is on Maryland, with controversial issues still unresolved.
The full Senate may vote on the death penalty Tuesday, and House Committee votes on gun laws are expected this week.