Goucher College poll gives gambling expansion slight lead -- Gazette.Net



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About 87 percent of Marylanders have seen the ads on both sides of Ballot Question 7, and although about 60 percent on each side find the ads “misleading,” respondents parrot the message of those ads.

Of the 50 percent of Marylanders who support expanded gambling, 73 percent cite added revenue, jobs and education funding as reasons for their support. Those same buzzwords are used in most advertisements in favor of Question 7.

Of the 44 percent who oppose expanded gambling, 37 percent are worried that the state and schools will not see the benefits as promised. Many “Vote No on 7” ads raise the same questions and concerns.

The poll also asked Marylanders to weigh in on same-sex marriage, which 55 percent approve of and 39 percent oppose. The Maryland Dream Act, which gives some undocumented high school students access to in-state tuition at community colleges and state universities was supported by 57 percent of those surveyed, while 39 percent were opposed. And, 52 percent disagreed with a state high court ruling that tagged pit bulls as inherently dangerous, while 42 percent agreed with the ruling.

Respondents also were quizzed on how they feel about national and state political figures. President Barack Obama (D) enjoys a favorable view from 60 percent, while Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is viewed unfavorably by 64 percent.

Marylanders are more split on how they view Gov. Martin O’Malley (D). According to the poll, 45 percent have a favorable view of the governor, while 36 percent have an unfavorable view. Eighteen percent of respondents don’t know whether they view O’Malley favorably or unfavorably.

However, when asked to describe O’Malley in one word, the top word used in the open-ended question was “ambitious.”

The poll, which questioned 667 Maryland residents, was conducted by the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher College in Baltimore from Oct. 21 to 25. The survey has a margin of error of 3.79 percentage points.

hnunn@gazette.net