New Results From the Goucher Poll

The Goucher Poll asked Maryland citizens for their opinions toward publicly funded campaigns, campaign contributions, citizens’ sources of news, and gubernatorial traits and characteristics. Highlights of the results regarding these important issues are detailed below.

Public Funding and Campaign Finance
Marylanders were divided in their opinion toward publicly funded campaigns. Forty-five percent oppose having an electoral system in which campaigns are fully funded by the government and contributions from individuals and groups are not permitted, while 48 percent support it.

Respondents were also asked about campaign contributions. Seventy-seven percent of residents agree with limiting the amount of money corporations and unions can contribute to campaigns; 75 percent agree with limiting the amount of money individuals can contribute.

“The results suggest that Marylanders are concerned about the role of money in elections, but they are divided on whether we should move to a system where elections are publicly funded,” said Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center. “Interestingly, two very different Maryland gubernatorial candidates—Republican Larry Hogan and Democrat Heather Mizeur—have both agreed to participate in Maryland’s infrequently used public financing system, in which candidates who limit spending during the primary receive matching contributions from the state for individual pledges up to $250.”

When asked where they get most of their news about Maryland state politics and political affairs, television topped the list (37 percent), followed by online news sources (29 percent), and newspapers (11 percent). Another 9 percent of those polled indicate they get their news from the radio.

Candidate Traits
Marylanders were asked to weigh in on whether certain characteristics would affect their decision to support a gubernatorial candidate.

Having business experience (67 percent) topped the list of traits that would make residents more likely to support that candidate, followed by military service (31 percent), and holding elected office (30 percent). Another 12 percent indicated they would be more likely to support a candidate who is a woman.

On the other side, 43 percent of Marylanders would be less likely to support a candidate if he or she did not believe in God. Fifteen percent indicate they would be less likely to support an openly gay or lesbian candidate, or a candidate who is wealthy.

For more information, including the survey methodology and survey question design, please click here.

Additional crosstabs of the survey results are available upon request, and Mileah Kromer, the director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center, is available for comment. She can be reached at mileah.kromer@goucher.edu or 724-840-0990. For additional media requests, please contact Kristen Pinheiro, director of media relations, at 410-337-6316 or Kristen.pinheiro@goucher.edu.

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