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  MD Senate 2006: Cardin 45% Steele 40%

Survey of 500 Likely Voters

July 18, 2005

Election 2006

Maryland Senator

Michael Steele (R) 40%
Ben Cardin (D) 45%
Other 4%


Election 2006

Maryland Senator

Michael Steele (R) 47%
Kweisi Mfume (D) 40%
Other 4%



July 19, 2005--Democratic Congressman Ben Cardin leads Republican Lt. Governor Michael Steele by five percentage points in the race to become Maryland's next United States Senator.

The latest Rasmussen Reports Election 2006 survey finds that Cardin attracts 45% of the vote to 40% for Steele. Four percent (4%) say they would vote for someone else and 11% are undecided.

Steele, however, leads former Congressman and NAACP President Kweisi Mfume by seven points, 47% to 40%. The survey margin of sampling error is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

The race for Governor in Maryland is even closer.

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 exception that proves the rule 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.

Racial divides are front and center in this match-up. With Mfume as the nominee, 66% of Maryland's African-American vote will go for the Democrat. However, Republicans lead among white voters 54% to 31%.

With Cardin atop the Democratic ticket, the white vote is evenly divided but Democrats attract just 51% of the African-American vote. In that mach-up, Steele attracts 30% of the African-American vote.

Steele is viewed favorably by 49% of Maryland voters and unfavorably by 27%. Cardin attracts favorable reviews from 35% while 21% take the opposite view. Significantly, a plurality (44%) have no opinion of Cardin at this time.

For Mfume, the numbers are 38% favorable and 35% unfavorable.

The election of 46 year old Steele could have lasting impact on the Senate. Only 9 of the 55 Republican Senators today represent Blue States. However, one-third (16 of 44) of all Democratic Senators are from Red States carried by George W. Bush.

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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 July 18, 2005.  The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence (see Methodology)

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