The Gonzales Reserarch Maryland poll is available in Adobe .pdf format.
The Washington Post reports, "Md. voters open to life without possibility of parole, new poll finds." It's by John Wagner.
The poll found that 49 percent of Marylanders support the death penalty while 44 percent oppose it. Opposition has grown by 8 percentage points in the last two years.
More striking, Gonzales said, is the finding that 61 percent of voters say life without parole is an acceptable alternative to the death penalty, while only 33 percent say it is not.
The bill O’Malley has introduced would replace capital punishment with life in prison without parole. If passed by the legislature, voters could have the final say if opponents gather sufficient signatures to put the issue on the ballot.
The poll put O’Malley’s own approval rating at 54 percent.
"Poll shows Obama, O'Malley approval remains strong," is Michael Dresser's Baltimore Sun report.
The Gonzales poll became the second this month to show strong support for an assault weapons ban, as proposed by O'Malley. The margin of approval was 58 percent to 40 percent, slightly narrower than one released by OpinionWorks the previous week.
Like the previous poll, the Gonzales survey showed that Maryland voters narrowly support the death penalty, though by a shrinking margin. This month, voters expressed approval of capital punishment by 49 percent to 44 percent. The 5-point margin compares with a 20-point margin two years ago. O'Malley is supporting a repeal of the death penalty.
While the Gonzales poll's overall result on the death penalty is close to that of OpinionWorks, it differs on how it reaches that conclusion. Gonzales' survey showed strong opposition to the death penalty among black voters and heavy approval among whites. OpinionWorks showed little difference between the races.
Unlike OpinionWorks, Gonzales asked whether Marylanders considered life without the possibility of parole an acceptable substitute for the death penalty. Voters said they did by a margin of 61 percent to 33 percent. Supporters of repeal have proposed that life without parole take the place of capital punishment.
WBAL-TV posts, "Gonzales poll finds opposition to death penalty growing."
One of the governor's top priorities of the legislative session includes abolishing the state's death penalty. The poll finds opposition to the death penalty in Maryland has grown 8 points over the past two years.
Statewide, the poll finds 49 percent of voters favor the death penalty -- 29 percent of which strongly favor it -- and 44 percent oppose the death penalty -- 31 percent of which strongly oppose it.
Of those polled, 60 percent of Democrats oppose the death penalty, and 77 percent of Republicans support it. Of Independents, 51 percent said they favor the death penalty and 38 percent said they oppose it.
The poll also found a near 2-to-1 result when asking whether life without parole is an acceptable substitute to the death penalty. Sixty-one percent said it is an acceptable alternative, while 33 percent said it is not.
"Death penalty repeal picking up steam in state," at Southern Maryland Newspapers Online, by C. Benjamin Ford.
Maryland voters support a ban on the sale of assault weapons in the state and background checks on people buying guns at gun shows, and approve of the job Gov. Martin O’Malley has done as governor, but do not want him to run for president in 2016, according to a new state poll.
Also, support for the death penalty seems to be slipping over time in Maryland, although 49 percent still favor retaining the death penalty, including 29 percent who strongly favor it. Meanwhile, 44 percent oppose the death penalty, including 31 percent who strongly oppose it, the poll shows.
Two years ago, 56 percent of Marylanders favored the death penalty, while 36 opposed it, according to the polling data.
“The biggest surprise was the eight-point pickup in the opposition to the death penalty,” said pollster Patrick E. Gonzales, of Annapolis-based Gonzales Research & Marketing Strategies.
Related posts are in the public opinion polling category index.