Among leading candidates to replace Gov. Martin O'Malley next year, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown polls slightly ahead of Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler—13 points ahead of Congressman "Dutch" Ruppersberger—and substantially leads top Republican candidates in an early name recognition survey released today by Goucher College.
Brown's name recognition among Maryland residents was 62 percent, four points ahead of Gansler, and exactly double that of Harford County Executive David Craig, who had the highest statewide name recognition among Republican gubernatorial candidates.
Former Republican Central Committee Chairman for Charles County, Charles Lollar, Anne Arundel County Republican state Del. Ron George, and Montgomery County Democratic state Del. Heather Mizuer polled at 23, 22, and 13 percent, respectively, in name recognition.
Among other poll questions, Marylanders split, 41-40 percent, when asked if they had a favorable or unfavorable view of O'Malley. Not surprisingly, Marylanders similarily split on the direction that the state is heading. Forty-six percent responded that the state "has gotten off on the wrong track," while 45 percent said they believe that the state is "going in the right direction."
Also, a large majority—more than 70 percent—said they support raising the state's minimum wage to $10.
In terms of the most important issue in the state, 27 percent ranked the economy first, followed by taxes (15 percent), and education (14 percent).
Finally, when informed that the average pension for a retired state employee is $12,000 annually, 59 percent responded that they thought the amount was "too little." By a 67-28 percent margin, Marylanders believe that all workers, not just those employed by local or state governments, should have a pension.
The complete poll of 665 Marylanders, conducted Oct. 27-31, can be found here.