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  Maryland Senate: Dems Gain Ground

Survey of 500 Likely Voters

November 16, 2005

Election 2006

Maryland Senate

Michael Steele (R) 41%
Ben Cardin (D) 49%
Other 3%


Election 2006

Maryland Senate

Michael Steele (R) 45%
Kweisi Mfume (D) 44%
Other 6%



November 21, 2005--Democrats have gained a little ground since summer in their efforts to hang on to a Senate seat in the solid "Blue" State of Maryland.

Democratic Congressman Ben Cardin leads Republican Lt. Governor Michael Steele by eight percentage points in the race to replace retiring Senator Paul Sarbanes. Cardin currently attracts support from 49% of Maryland voters while Steele is supported by 41%.

In our previous Maryland election poll, conducted in July, Cardin led Steele by five percentage points, 45%-40%.

Another potential candidate for the Democrats, Kweisi Mfume, gained even more ground since summer and is now essentially tied with Steele. In a match-up with Mfume, Steele earns 45% of the vote while the Democrat receives 44%.

In the July election poll, Steele led Mfume by seven percentage points, 47% to 40%.

With Cardin as the Democrats' nominee, Steele attracts 30% of the state's African-American vote. With Mfume as the candidate, Steele trails 74% to 17% among African-Americans.

During 2006, Rasmussen Reports will poll every Senate and Governor's race at least once a month. Competitive races will be measured more often. This will include weekly and daily updates in the fall of 2006 for key races. A summary of our latest Election Polls can be found on the Rasmussen Reports home page.

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Steele is viewed favorably by 46% of Maryland voters and unfavorably by 33%.

Thirty-six percent (36%) have a favorable opinion of Cardin while 31% have an unfavorable opinion.

For Mfume, the numbers are 41% favorable and 43% unfavorable.

President Bush earns a 37% Job Approval Rating in Maryland.

It is unusual for a Republican to be so competitive in such a solidly "Blue" state such as Maryland. Election 2004 confirmed that geography rules in contests for the U.S. Senate.

Eight Senate seats changed from one party to the other. Six of the eight were Republican victories in Red States. One was a Democratic victory in the very Blue State of Illinois. The only exception was Colorado where Attorney General Ken Salazar narrowly defeated Republican businessman Pete Coors. A Republican victory in Maryland would be even more of a surprise.

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

Rasmussen Reports was the nation's most accurate polling firm during the Presidential election and the only one to project both Bush and Kerry's vote total within half a percentage point of the actual outcome.

During Election 2004, RasmussenReports.com was also the top-ranked public opinion research site on the web. We had twice as many visitors as our nearest competitor and nearly as many as all competitors combined.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.

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The telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports November 16, 2005.  The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points at the midpoint with a 95% level of confidence (see Methodology).

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