BALTIMORE (WMAR) — With the 2020 General Assembly set to begin Wednesday, a newly released poll revealed what Maryland voters consider the number one issue in the state.
The poll was taken by Gonzales Research and Media Services from December 23rd, 2019 through January 4th, 2020.
When asked "What is the number one issue Maryland government should deal with right now?", 31 % of Marylander's said crime.
Other issues broke down as follows.
16% - education
11% - transportation
9% - taxes
9% - corruption
6% - opioid crisis,
5% - health care
other responses received less than five percent mention.
The poll also asked residents their opinion on the job Governor Larry Hogan has done.
75% continue to approve of the second-term governor's job, 40% of which “strongly approve”.
17% disapprove of the job he’s doing.
Men and women approve of Hogan in identical numbers, as do voters under 50 and those older than 50.
73% of Democrats, 77% of Republicans, and 78% of independents all approve.
As for the outlook on how things are going in Maryland overall, the majority say it's moving in the right direction.
56% say things in Maryland are moving in the right direction,
33% say that things are off on the wrong track
11% provide no opinion.
Over the past several years, there has been a concerted effort in Maryland to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Here's where Marylander's currently stand on the topic according to the Gonzales poll.
57% support legalizing marijuana for recreational use, while 38% oppose it.
76% of Maryland voters under the age of 50 support the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, while 52% of voters 50 and older are opposed to legalizing recreational reefer.
On the current and future State economy, State residents see it like this.
56% of voters rate economic conditions in the state today as either excellent (10%) or pretty good (46%), but 41% rate the economy only fair or poor.
64% of Republicans rate economic conditions excellent/good, as do 53% of Democrats, and 51% of independents.
Asked about their confidence in the economy over the next year, 26% think things will improve, 13% feel things will get worse, and 55% believe economic conditions in the state will stay about the same over the next year.
6% of those under the age of 40 believe the economy will improve over the next year, while 31% believe it will get worse.
Marylander's 40 and older are optimistic on the economy improving or getting worse by a 4-to-1 margin.
A total of 838 registered voters in Maryland, who indicated that they are likely to vote in the 2020 general election, were queried by live telephone interviews, utilizing both landline (39%) and cell phone (61%) 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.