Maryland voters say they support the state’s Dream Act to allow the children of undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition, according to a new statewide poll released Tuesday. Gay marriage supporters hold an edge and the state is split almost evenly on a question to expand gambling.
Maryland voters also support the re-election of President Barack Obama and Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, who leads his Republican challenger, Dan Bongino, by more than a 2-to-1 margin.
The poll was conducted by the Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies of Annapolis surveying registered voters between Sept. 17 to Sept. 23.
The ballot question to allow undocumented immigrants who have filed state taxes and graduated from Maryland high schools to be eligible to pay in-state tuition rates at public colleges had 57.8 percent support for compared to 34.3 percent against, with 7.9 percent of voters undecided on the issue, according to the poll. The Dream Act had high support among Democrats, 74.9 percent compared to just 29 percent support among Republicans, and from women 66.7 percent for all women compared to 47.9 percent support from men.
The referendum question to allow gay couples to obtain a civil marriage license was supported by 50.9 percent of the voters compared to 42.8 percent who will vote against it with 6 percent undecided, according to the poll.
While 44 percent of African Americans were for gay marriage, that number had grown from a January poll when just 33 percent supported it, suggesting public statements in favor of gay marriage by Obama and others have had an impact on gay marriage support in the African American community, said pollster Patrick Gonzales.
The state’s gambling expansion ballot question was split with 44.6 percent of the voters for it and 46.1 percent against it and 9.2 percent undecided.
In the presidential race, Obama leads Republican Mitt Romney 55 percent to 36 percent. Even with the Democratic advantage Obama has in the state, he leads among independent voters by a more than 2-to-1 advantage over Romney, 59 percent to 28 percent.
Cardin leads Bongino 50 percent to 22 percent. Bongino is in a statistical for second place with Rob Sobhani, a former Republican senatorial candidate running as an independent, with 21 percent of the registered voters surveyed saying they would vote for Sobhani. The poll has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.