Poll: Marylanders Favor Life Without Parole Over Death Penalty

A new poll by Annapolis-Based Gonzales Research shows support for banning assault weapons while only 25 percent of those polled want to see Gov. Martin O'Malley run for President.

Nearly two-thirds of Marylanders surveyed say a sentence of life without parole is an acceptable alternative to the death penalty.

The results are part of a survey released early Wednesday morning by Annapolis-based Gonzales Research.

The poll 801 state residents found that support for the death penalty in the state has slipped to 49 percent. In 2011, that same poll found that 56 percent of those polled favored the death penalty.

Opposition to the death penalty comes from Democrats and blacks at nearly 60 percent each. Republicans, independents and whites all favor the retention of capital punishment, according to the poll.

Gov. Martin O'Malley has made the repeal of the death penalty one of his legislative priorities for the 2013 Maryland General Assembly session.

Support for Stricter Gun Laws

At the top of O'Malley's legislative agenda is a slate of stricter gun laws.

Statewide, 58 percent of those surveyed said they would favor banning the sale of assault weapons.

The poll also found that 88 percent of those surveyed favored background checks for people purchasing firearms at gun shows.

Also, about 44 percent of those surveyed said stricter gun laws would do more to prevent violence in schools compared to 36 percent who said armed guards or police officers would reduce violence in schools.

Public Supports Transportation, Rejects Taxes

In an interesting juxtaposition, 94 percent of those surveyed believe it is important to maintain state roads and bridges but a majority of all groups surveyed did not favor a gas tax increase to support those projects.

Only 26 percent of those surveyed said they support a 10-cent per gallon increase in the state gas tax compared to 73 percent in the same poll that said they oppose that tax.

The strongest support for a tax increase comes from Democrats with 36 percent being in favor.

Republicans, independents, men and women all oppose the tax—89, 75, 75 and 71 percent respectively.

Majority Approves of O'Malley Performance, Not Presidential Aspirations

O'Malley's job approval remains essentially flat compared to the same time last year with 54 percent of those surveyed saying they approve of the two-term governor's performance.

Women and blacks, 61 and 78 percent respectively, were the strongest supporters of O'Malley, according to the poll. Only 46 percent of men and whites respectively said they approved of the job O'Malley is doing.

A year ago, O'Malley's approval was 53 percent. His lowest job approval numbers, 37 percent, came in March 2008.

Despite the majority approval, most surveyed said they did not want to see the governor run for President.

Of those surveyed, only 25 percent said they believed O'Malley should run for President in 2016 while 58 percent said he should not and 17 percent were not sure.

The governor is widely considered to be interested in running for president in four years and recently created a federal campaign account.

Lorna D. Rudnikas March 24, 2013 at 08:00 PM
Trolls..smolls... I suppose ignoring the whole thing would be getting some sort of life...likely one that is exactly what a number of folks on this particular thread would like very much.
Steve March 24, 2013 at 08:06 PM
Electric chairs require 2,000 + volts.
Lorna D. Rudnikas March 25, 2013 at 12:29 AM
Always casting about for straws aren't you Stevee darling...you'll grab anything in a storm to further the agenda of your comrades. Be careful you don't end up on the short end of their stick, honey child.
Christopher Kidwell March 25, 2013 at 02:06 AM
Once again, assault weapons are already banned. What they are calling for banning are semi-automatics that only fire one bullet per pull of the trigger and, most of them, aren't even condoned for hunting because of the lack of stopping power of the bullets used. Let's focus on putting severely mentally ill people in mental institutions where they belong and putting people who use guns in crimes in prisons for long periods of time, where they belong.
Christopher Kidwell March 25, 2013 at 02:11 AM
Actually, correction to my statement: assault weapons are already incredibly highly regulated. In order to own one legally, you need a special gun license that costs nearly 20K to get, the money to buy one (50K-100K is the going prices for one), and a bunch of other stuff to adhere to the regulations on the special gun license. Assault weapons are NOT a real worry in the real world.


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