If Michael Steele ever does get ousted at the RNC he's not likely to find a soft landing running for office in Maryland again. Only 19% of voters in the state have a favorable opinion of him while 56% view him unfavorably and he would lose a rematch to Ben Cardin 58-28, quite a contrast to his relatively competitive 10 point defeat in 2006.
Even Republicans in Maryland aren't too high on Steele: just 42% view him favorably while 31% see him negatively. He has virtually no popularity with independents (17/53) or Democrats (8/68).
Most striking in Steele's poll numbers is his standing with black voters. Just 6% see him positively, while 73% have an unfavorable opinion of him. Any thought that having Steele as the RNC chair would help Republicans reach out to blacks can be strongly dispelled, at least in the state where voters know Steele best. Cardin leads Steele 89-3 among black voters in a hypothetical rematch. What might be most remarkable about that is it's an even wider margin than the 86-6 Barbara Mikulski posted against Republican no name James Rutledge in numbers we released yesterday on this year's Senate race.
Speaking more broadly to Cardin's overall political standing, 42% of voters approve of the job he's doing while 28% disapprove. Those are good numbers for a Senator in this climate. Tested against a generic Republican for reelection in 2012 he leads 51-33. Cardin appears to be one member of the Democratic Senate Class of 2006 who shouldn't have too much trouble sticking around for a second term.
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