Majority of Black Voters in Maryland Plan to Choose the Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Despite Approving of the Job Being Done by the Republican Incumbent; Overwhelming Lack of Faith in Current Government and Administration
With early voting in the State of Maryland now underway, Morgan State University and the AFRO-American Newspaper have released the results of a statewide poll of African Americans’ opinions about the State’s current governor’s race and national government leadership. More than 600 African-American Marylanders, representing a range of demographics and hailing from cities/counties across the state, participated in the poll, answering up to 30 questions related to the current election cycle. The polling collaboration, which was announced earlier this week, is the first of its kind between the two respected black institutions, which plan to use their polls’ findings to help address and/or interpret issues of importance to the black community.
Among the standout findings of the research poll is that many African Americans in Maryland actually support the job that incumbent Gov. Larry Hogan is doing, with 65 percent giving their approval. The poll also revealed that an unexpectedly large percentage of black respondents, 30 percent, were planning to vote for Hogan, increasing the Republican’s chances of winning a second term. However, despite Gov. Hogan’s favorability among potential black voters, the majority, 56.6 percent, still planned to vote for the Democratic candidate, Ben Jealous, who also had high likability among the African Americans surveyed by the poll.
“The poll data show that even though Gov. Hogan enjoys a high approval rate among African-American voters who are likely to vote in Maryland, only 30.3 percent of them indicated that they will vote for him,” said Raymond Winbush, Ph.D., director of the Institute for Urban Research, Morgan’s primary social science research and training arm. “This 34.7-point gap may be attributed to the overwhelming numbers of Maryland’s African Americans’ (84 percent) having a very unfavorable opinion of President Trump and his unfavorability rating causing a ‘drag’ on Gov. Hogan’s support among black voters in Maryland, even though he has distanced himself from the president.”
Although the current state leadership is receiving the benefit of the doubt and some support from Maryland African-American voters, the same cannot be said for the nation’s leadership in Congress or the White House: 84 percent of respondents disapprove of the job President Trump is doing, including 89.8 of the women polled. However, paralleling some of the national attitudes toward the president, Trump’s approval was highest among registered voters in the 45–54 age range. His disapproval rating was highest among voters aged 55 and over.
Regarding the state of the country and the job the nation’s leaders in Congress are doing, the poll showed black voters in Maryland overwhelmingly disapprove. More than 70 percent (70.7 percent) of respondents said the country is worse than it was two years ago, and 71.3 percent disapprove of the job Congress is doing.
The areas of the state with the largest concentrations of African-American residents had the highest response rates to the poll, with Prince George’s County representing the largest group of respondents (33.4 percent), followed by Baltimore City (22.5 percent) and Baltimore County (12.7 percent). While many older adults participated in the poll survey, the response rate was lowest among African Americans aged 18–24 (57 of the total 604 respondents).
Researchers from the Institute for Urban Research are still poring over the 52 pages of raw data received from New Jersey-based Braun Research, Incorporated. As more analysis is completed, additional details will become available from this first in a series of collaborative polls between Morgan and the AFRO.
The Braun Research network of companies, founded in 1995, engages in data collection via telephone and internet for various survey research firms, government and advertising agencies, local community organizations, local and national business groups, foundations, universities and academic entities, as well as religious organizations. In 23 years, Braun Research has conducted more than 10,000 research projects by telephone, internet and mail worldwide. Nationally known research firms have hired Braun Research, including Gallup, Inc., the Pew Research Center, the Eagleton Poll, Mathematica Policy Research and The Washington Post. Braun Research has worked for the New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services as well as other government agencies, including the U.S. Departments of the Treasury and Defense and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
About the AFRO-American Newspaper
While the AFRO is honored to be designated by a 2014 Nielsen-Essence survey as the #1 source of news for African-American people, being that source is something it’s been doing for more than 125 years. Since its 1892 founding by John H. Murphy Sr., the AFRO has gathered news from and for black communities throughout the country and beyond. With its own itinerant writers and photographers, the AFRO has sensed value that could or would not be perceived by other journalists and has told every relevant story, recorded every insightful conversation and sent those stories to homes and offices through the hands of paper boys and girls who have grown up to be corporate and entrepreneurial news influencers in their own right. And the work is now expanded through the use of the latest technology and social media, as the AFRO enjoys more than half a million Facebook followers and tweets its news on Twitter and its photos on Instagram.
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified doctoral research institution offering more than 100 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit www.morgan.edu.
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Larry Jones, University PR