New Murphy Poll Suggests Maryland Voters Willing to “Shop Around” Before November Gubernatorial Election

Crofton, Maryland – Brian Murphy, Republican Candidate for Governor of Maryland, today released polling data which confirmed the possibility of an upset victory in November. The poll, conducted by the polling companyTM, inc., whose CEO is nationally- regarded political analyst Kellyanne Conway, shows Maryland voters prefer not to settle for an Ehrlich-O’Malley rematch. The survey also found that voters would be very or somewhat likely to support a businessman over either Ehrlich or O’Malley, and that they would support a candidate who would pledge to not raise taxes. Both factors play well for Murphy’s candidacy, as Murphy is a businessman, and is the only candidate who has committed to balance the budget without raising taxes.

Given his recent entrance into statewide politics, Murphy’s name identification unsurprisingly lagged behind Ehrlich’s and O’Malley’s (27% vs. 92% vs. 96% respectively). All three candidates enjoyed net positive favorable-to-unfavorable ratings, but Ehrlich and O’Malley under-performed their favorability ratings in their ballot tests while Murphy over-performed his.

In 2006, Martin O’Malley defeated Bob Ehrlich by approximately 7 percentage points (53% to 46%), and four years earlier, Ehrlich became governor with 52% of the vote. Yet, neither O’Malley nor Ehrlich performs at or above (or within the margin of error) their past levels of victory in hypothetical ballot tests. They are both under 50%, with a comparable number of voters open to another option.

In the latest poll, O’Malley and Ehrlich were in a statistical dead-heat: 44% to 43%. However, only 28% definitely will vote for incumbent Governor O’Malley and 31% were firmly committed to former Governor, an “incumbent” once removed, Ehrlich.

In a match-up against Martin O’Malley, Brian Murphy trailed 44% to 25%, with 31% of voters undecided. The outcome is not surprising considering Murphy’s low name recognition. But the data show Murphy’s signed pledge to not raise taxes resonates with likely voters, a fact that would allow him to show vivid contrast in a general election against the fiscally unrestrained O’Malley.

The poll also showed that 46% of likely voters “wish there was someone else running to support,” and that 50% would be very or somewhat likely “to support someone for Governor of Maryland who has never held political office, but has a strong business background, over Bob Ehrlich and Martin O’Malley.”

When given blind ballot tests (without the names attached), 51% of voters favored a candidate who pledges not to raise taxes over one who grew the government by 40% (19%) or who raised taxes to record levels (12%).

In response to this poll, Mr. Murphy made the following statement:

“We started this campaign because we knew Maryland could do better. The Ehrlich-O’Malley question was settled in 2006. As a voter, I wanted a new choice. I wanted someone who would balance our budget, without raising taxes. I wanted someone who would bring sound business principles to Annapolis to help grow our economy. And this poll shows the majority of Marylanders feel the same way.”

“Yes, our campaign must overcome low name recognition. We knew that from the beginning. But Maryland voters are hungry for leaders with vision and conviction. And if given the choice, I’d prefer having to overcome low name recognition than having to overcome Bob Ehrlich’s or Martin O’Malley’s poor record. Name recognition can be addressed. A poor record cannot.”


Brian Murphy and Robert Ehrlich are running in the Republican Primary on September 14. Governor Martin O’Malley is running in the Democratic Party Primary on September 14. The winners of the respective parties’ elections will square off against each other in the November 2 General Election.

Brian Murphy is a successful Maryland businessman with a B.A. in Economics from the University of Maryland and an M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. He is founder of the Plimhimmon Group, whose first investment, the Smith Island Baking Company, has been featured in The Washington Post, the Wharton Magazine, the Baltimore Sun, Businessweek and other publications for its principled approach to job creation in Maryland.

The live telephone poll of 508 likely voters was conducted June 8-10, 2010. Respondents were selected randomly from a list of registered voters in Maryland, and were screened to ensure registration to vote in Maryland and likeliness to participate in the upcoming general election. Sampling controls were employed to ensure proportional numbers of respondents were interviewed by demographic characteristics such as race, age, gender, party registration, and geographic region, as those characteristics are reported by the latest publicly available statistics from the State of Maryland and the United States Census data.

For more information on the Brian Murphy for Governor Campaign, see To set up a press or media interview, contact Karla Graham at or (410) 924-4577.

Author: AKA John Galt

A small business owner, a tea party organizer, a son, father and husband who is not willing to sell out the future lives of his children.

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