John Kenneth White , professor, politics, was quoted in a July 8 Washington Examiner article about Maryland Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Ehrlich's appeal to Democratic voters. See his comments in the article below.

From: The Washington Examiner Date: July 8, 2010 Author: Hayley PetersonA new poll shows Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Ehrlich is attracting more voters from across the aisle than Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley.

Magellan Data and Mapping Strategies surveyed 752 likely Maryland voters and determined about 25 percent of Democrats would vote for Ehrlich,as opposed to O'Malley's 7 percent voting bloc in the state's Republican Party.

Fifty-eight percent of surveyed voters were registered Democrats, 31 percent were Republican and 11 percent were independent.

O'Malley campaign spokesman Rick Abbruzzeseattributed the discrepancy to the state's uneven representation between the opposing political parties.

"Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one, and if you are a registered Republican in Maryland you are arguably pretty far to the right," Abbruzzese said. "It would make sense that registered Democrats represent a wider variety of individuals and interests."

Maryland may appear to be deeply Democratic, but winning key counties like Baltimore, Montgomery or Howard can swing the election in Ehrlich's favor, said Catholic University politics professor John White.

"It's very difficult to make a comeback but if Ehrlich were to do it, this is the year for it," he said, noting Obama's "sagging" poll ratings. "Republicans can win here."

Magellan also reported that O'Malley's image isn't as strong as Ehrlich's. Half the respondents reported a favorable opinion of Ehrlich, while two in five respondents reported a favorable opinion of O'Malley.

The Republican-leaning information systems company reported Ehrlich as leading O'Malley in overall votes by 3 percentage points.

Magellan's 4 percent margin of error makes the race statistically even, said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics.

A Rasmussen poll reported in June the two candidates were tied.

"There is no question Republicans are highly energized in 2010, but we have to be very skeptical with a partisan pollster like Magellan," White said. "The intent is to say 'this could be a very close race and our guy is ahead and in decent shape.' I'm not sure Ehrlich's ahead, but he's certainly in decent shape."

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