A number of Republicans are challenging Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski, but again this election cycle it appears she has little to worry about.
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Maryland finds Mikulski with a 25-point lead – 58% to 33% – over Eric Wargotz, a doctor and county commissioner who is perhaps the best known of her little-known challengers. Two percent (2%) prefer some other candidate in the race, and seven percent (7%) are undecided.
In the only previous Rasmussen Reports survey of Mikulski’s reelection bid, she earned 54% support pitted against an unnamed generic Republican candidate who picked up 36% of the vote.
Mikulski, who was first elected to the Senate in 1986, has been a voter favorite from the start, given Maryland’s strong Democratic leanings. She was reelected in 2004 with 65% of the vote. The latest Rasmussen Reports Senate Balance of Power rankings place Maryland in the Solid Democrat category.
The incumbent holds a narrower lead among male voters but leads by better than two-to-one among women. Voters not affiliated with either major party favor Mikulski by a 53% to 28% margin.
Eleven percent (11%) of Maryland voters rate the economy as good, but 44% view it as bad. Thirty-five percent (35%) say the economy is getting better, while 42% say itâ€™s getting worse. Still, these assessments are slightly more positive than the national view.
Forty-two percent (42%) of Maryland voters feel the $787 billion economic stimulus plan helped the economy, 13 points higher than the view nationwide. Twenty-eight percent (28%) say the plan hurt the economy.
But only 32% say the government spending in the stimulus plan created new jobs. Forty-eight percent (48%) disagree and say it did not create any new jobs.
The survey of 500 Likely Voters in Maryland was conducted on July 8, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
The rematch of the 2006 race for Maryland governor remains a close one, with incumbent Democrat Martin Oâ€™Malley and Republican challenger Bob Ehrlich in a virtual tie again this month. Ehrlich holds 47% voter support to Oâ€™Malleyâ€™s 46%.
Maryland Republicans will pick their Senate nominee in a September 14 primary.
Unlike in most states, Maryland voters are narrowly divided over the new national health care bill. A bare majority (51%) favor repeal of the bill, while 47% are opposed. This is stronger support for the bill than is found nationally and includes 41% who Strongly Favor repeal and 35% who Strongly Oppose it.
Sixty-five percent (65%) of those who Strongly Favor repeal support Wargotz, while a whopping 90% of those Strongly Opposed to repeal favor Mikulski.
Thirty-nine percent (39%) of voters in Maryland agree with the Justice Department’s decision to challenge Arizona’s new immigration law, but 47% disagree with that challenge. Still, that also is well below the level of opposition to the challenge found nationally.
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