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Maryland voters worry about the economy, inflation

The average price of gasoline in Maryland is $5 per gallon, up from $3 only a year ago.
Zshekinah Collier
The average price of gasoline in Maryland is $5 per gallon, up from $3 only a year ago.

Economic prosperity is a significant issue for Maryland voters, according to a recent Goucher College poll.

Voters are worried about inflation, high gas prices, the current economic situation, the future of the economy and many households have gone through financial hardship.

The poll, which asked 501 Democratic voters and 508 Republicans in Maryland about various topics, was conducted by the Sarah T. Hughes Center for Politics at Goucher College in partnership with WYPR and The Baltimore Banner.

Both Democrats and Republicans agreed that inflation and the cost of gasoline was a big deal but it was a bigger issue for Republican voters, 90 percent of whom said it was a major concern compared to about 72% of Democrats.

“Paying $5 for a gallon of gas is a significant voter issue,” said Robert Graham, a Republican in Cecil County.

There were some regional differences in overall voter sentiment. Democratic voters in Prince Georges and Montgomery counties were more optimistic than Republican voters about the economy improving over the next year. Republicans instead predicted that the economy would worsen.

“We’ve actually been looking at the possibility of moving out of the state,” said Thomas Keane, a Montgomery County Republican about higher taxes than other states.

Older Democrats were more optimistic about the economy than younger voters while older Republicans were increasingly more pessimistic than their counterparts.

One Democratic respondent in Baltimore told pollsters she has not experienced much financial hardship and has a positive outlook on the future of the state economy.

About 54 percent of Democratic adult voters between the ages of 18 and 34 had a more negative economic outlook for the state while 66 percent of Republicans felt the same way. Democratic voters 55 years and older were more positive about the economic future with 32 percent who held a negative outlook.

A Republican respondent in Harford County said that he’s convinced the economy is going to get worse before it gets better and that inflation hit his family hard.

White Democrats and Republicans reported less financial hardship than their Black counterparts. Only 17 percent of white Democrats had major financial hardship in their household while nearly 41 percent of Black Democrats felt the same way. About 41 percent of white Republicans had major financial hardship compared to 46 percent of Black Republicans.

See full poll resultshere.

Kristen Mosbrucker is a digital news editor and producer for WYPR. @k_mosbrucker
Rachel Baye is a senior reporter and editor in WYPR's newsroom.
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