By Patrick Gonzales

It seems like only yesterday when Larry Hogan shocked the state with his upset win for governor in 2014. Seven years later, with 74% approval today, Hogan remains the most popular governor in Maryland over the past 60 years (at least).

A quick stroll down memory lane with Gonzales Research and its rating of Governor Hogan since he took office:

Hogan Job Performance Approve

  • January 2016 67%
  • March 2016 70%
  • January 2018 71%
  • June 2018 75%
  • August 2018 71%
  • October 2018 72%
  • January 2019 77%
  • March 2019 78%
  • May 2019 76%
  • January 2020 75%
  • March 2020 78%
  • May 2020 78%
  • October 2020 73%
  • January 2022 74%

With a deft touch, Hogan has navigated the choppy, partisan puddle of politics and kept his ship sailing straight and fast, as others have sputtered and sunk during these turbulent times.

[Editor’s Note: Interestingly, Hogan, a White Republican, is slightly more popular with Democrats (78%) than Republicans (69%), and more popular with African Americans (80%) than Whites (71%). This is mainly because a higher percentage of Republicans (29%) and Whites (25%) disapprove of his job performance.]

Here is a PDF of the full poll results.

This poll was conducted by Gonzales Research & Media Services from Dec. 20 through Dec. 30. A total of 807 registered voters in Maryland who vote regularly were queried by live telephone interviews, utilizing both landline and cell phone numbers. A cross-section of interviews was conducted throughout the state, reflecting general election voting patterns.

The margin of error (MOE), per accepted statistical standards, is a range of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. If the entire population was surveyed, there is a 95% probability that the true numbers would fall within this range.

Biden above water in Maryland

As he continues to sink in the national polls, President Joe Biden is keeping his head above water in Maryland…mostly. Statewide, 54% approve of the overall job Biden is doing as president, while 43% disapprove of his performance in office. Biden’s majority approval is grounded in the two-to-one registration advantage Democrats enjoy over Republicans in the Old Line State: 84% of Democrats approve of the job the president is doing; 86% of Republicans disapprove.

Slogging into their third year coping with covid, a 57% majority of Marylanders say they approve of the job Biden is doing handling the coronavirus pandemic; only 37% “strongly” approve, however. Among African-Americans, 89% still support the president on the job he’s doing handling the pandemic.

With regard to voter perception toward his management of the economy, Biden does not fare as well. Statewide, 45% rate the job he’s doing handling the economy as excellent/good, while 54% rate his performance as fair/poor. Seventy-one percent of Democrats support Biden on the economy; 91% of Republicans differ.

The reactions of Democrats and Republicans are predictable (like sunrise and sunset each day), but independents – those aligned with neither party – can determine the fortunes of a politician…to some extent in deep-blue Maryland, much more so in other parts of the country.

Among independents here, only 26% support the president on his handling of the economy, while 72% think he’s not doing a very good job. Further, a hefty majority of unaffiliated voters currently disapprove of the job Biden is doing across the board – 62% of independents do not think his administration has been competent in running the government.

The bloc of independents showing up at the polls is growing in Maryland, now comprising nearly 20% of the electorate.

VP Kamala Harris

Among all voters, 49% approve of the job Kamala Harris is doing as vice-president, while 45% disapprove, with 6% having no opinion. Seventy-seven percent of Maryland Democrats approve of the job she’s doing; 89% of Republicans disapprove. With independents, 27% approve of her performance as vice-president, and 63% disapprove.

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