Monday, May 14, 2012

56% of Howard County Favors Same Sex Marriage (Monday LINKS)

A March 2012 poll of 450 likely voters conducted by a national polling firm found that 56% of those polled responded "Strongly Support" (42%) or "Somewhat Support" (14%) to the following question:

"As you may know, Governor Martin O'Malley recently signed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage in Maryland, that is allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.  Based on what you know, do you support or oppose the legislation?"

Those opposed (37%) broke down as follows: "Strongly Oppose" (30%) and "Somewhat Oppose" (7%).

The poll then provided results by party, listed here as Support/Oppose:

Republicans 32/60
Independents 70/23
Democrats 70/23

There was also a breakdown by age and gender.  Both men and women in the 18-55 age group were strongly in support of same-sex marriage: Men at 59%; Women at 64%.  Even more interesting was that women in the 55+ group still answered in support of same-sex marriage at 53%.  Men in the 55+ age group were only 39% in support.

What take-aways do we have here?  The first is that HoCo Republicans should not expect a same-sex marriage referendum to electrify their base.  Secondly, Republicans that do come out strongly against same-sex marriage should enjoy the delicately carved districts in which they serve.  This poll does not address the regional differences split up amongst the highways and byways of Howard County.  Finally, for any Dem to win Howard County (including those folks looking at becoming Governor), they are going to have to support same-sex marriage.  In light of the heavy majority (70%), one has to wonder whether the prominence of that support, as opposed to back-of-the-flier endorsement, will have an effect in 2014.

These results were provided to me with a promise not to include the source.  That's what makes this a blog and not an esteemed pillar of the fourth estate.  If you feel this detracts from its credibility, ignore it.  But this would be one substantial creative writing exercise for yours truly if I wasn't looking at the actual data.

Special thanks, as always, to all of my Deep HoCo's. 


Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank hopes to run a horse in this year's Preakness named Tiger Walk.  The horse is not supposed to win, but if you are inclined to root for local billionaires, this would appear to be the means to do so.

The new tax plan proposed by the General Assembly is projected to spare approximately 84% of Maryland citizens, but that will not comfort those that it touches.  While those making over $100,000 will feel a slight hit ($100-$200), the biggest increases will be on those making more than $1.1 million, who will pay $3,600+ more in new taxes.  Most concerning is the following line from the article: "If the tax package passes, Maryland would have one of the highest income tax rates in the country when you also take into account local 'piggy back' income taxes, according to data compiled by the Federation of Tax Administrators."  It doesn't take too much math to figure out that with Howard County maxing out the piggy back income tax, we may pay the highest income taxes in the U.S.  Yet another credential to put on our post cards!

Harford County contributes $10 million to its volunteer fire units, which County Executive David Craig has decided merits additional oversight.  The County has been considering switching to a paid fire-fighting force, which is facing resistance from those looking to save County dollars: "Ken Farmer, a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and a section chief at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, recently gave Harford volunteers a workshop that outlined plans for a company of career and volunteer firefighters, such as Howard County operates."

Featured Blog Post of the Day: WB notes that the Board of Education may be throwing its weight around with the refusal to approve an AFPO chart for next year, effectively freezing the current chart, and potentially over-crowding those schools that are listed as "Open", including Wilde Lake Middle School.  The relationship between the County Council/Exec and the Board of Education has normally been benign and cooperative, but I can't imagine they appreciate this body stepping out of its box and telling them what development is appropriate and what deals must be struck with developers.  Frankly, I don't think that is within their jurisdiction.  TJ Mayotte has recently written that things are so peaceful in Howard County that we make non-news into news.  Well this is real news.  Really bad news.

That's all for today.  Have a great Monday doing what you love!