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Poll: Hogan job approval surges to 70 percent

Gov. Larry Hogan’s job approval numbers continue to climb according to a poll released Tuesday by Annapolis-based Gonzales Research and Marketing Strategies.

In the poll, 70 percent of the 809 registered voters said they approved of the the job the Republican was doing at roughly the two-thirds point of Hogan’s second General Assembly session with 18 percent saying they disapprove.

The poll has a margin of error of 3.5 percent.

Patrick Gonzales, director of the poll, said that Hogan has managed to avoid an “equal and opposite reaction” in which he remains popular with his Republican base and independents but begins to alienate Democrats in a democratic state.

More than nine out of 10 Republicans approve of Hogan’s job as do about 82 percent of independent voters compared to 53 percent of Democrats who said they approved of Hogan’s job.

Hogan’s approval numbers are better than a similar poll taken by Gonzales in January and another poll released last month by the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher College. In those polls, Hogan’s job approval ratings were 67 and 63 percent respectively.

The poll was a mixed bag of results when it came to taxes.

Overall, 64 percent of those surveyed said they support reducing the state personal income tax rate by 10 percent over three years — similar to a proposal by Sen. Andrew A. Serafini, R-Washington County.

But a nearly identical number — 67 percent — said they support increasing the state’s tax on cigarettes from $2 per pack to $3 per pack.

More than half those surveyed said they oppose a proposed ban on plastic bags that would implement a 10 cent  surcharge on paper bags.

“It’s an issue on which African Americans and Republicans agree,” Gonzales said.

In the poll, 48 percent of senior citizens oppose the bill sponsored by Del. Brooke E. Lierman, D-Baltimore.

Republicans oppose the bill by a nearly 3-1 margin. Six in 10 African Americans oppose the measure.

Nearly 62 percent of those surveyed in Baltimore opposed the bill. That was almost identical to the opposition in Republican Western Maryland.