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O’Malley has the edge in latest poll

O’Malley has the edge in latest poll

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Gov. Martin O’Malley holds a three-point edge over challenger former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., according to a Rasmussen Reports poll released Monday.

The first poll made public since the last week’s primary, when the O’Malley-Ehrlich rematch of 2006 was confirmed, showed 50 percent of likely voters siding with O’Malley, and 47 percent with Ehrlich.

O’Malley’s lead, however, is still within the four-point margin of error. Recent polls have showed the two candidates neck and neck. Rasmussen’s August poll showed O’Malley with a one-point lead, and its July poll had Ehrlich leading by a point.

With about six weeks left to go before Election Day, the poll isn’t yet a good barometer of who will be sitting in the Governor’s Mansion at the end of the year. It does show, however, just how few undecided voters (just 3 percent, compared with 8 percent last month) the candidates will be battling over during the remainder of the campaign.

The poll showed O’Malley with a 51 percent job approval rating — 25 percent said they “strongly approve” — but the governor apparently has less appeal to voters than his challenger does.

Fifty-four percent said they have a favorable view of O’Malley, while 58 percent view Ehrlich favorably.

Not surprisingly, 45 percent said the economy is the biggest issue heading into the General Election. More people said the job market is worse off today than it was a year ago, and more said they think the economy is getting worse. Nearly three-quarters of those polled said they know somebody who is out of work and looking for a job.

Another interesting tidbit – 56 percent approved (42 percent strongly) of the job President Obama is doing, but 60 percent said they were at lease “somewhat angry” with the current policies of the federal government. (Of course, the question “How angry are you at the current policies of the federal government?” is just a tad leading, no?)

The survey of 750 likely voters was conducted Sept. 15.

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