Political Poll: Overwhelming Majority of Md. Loves Old Bay

Call it confirmation of what us Bay-dwellers have always known: When it comes to seasoning your food, Old Bay is king.

A carefully-controlled political poll that questions Maryland households on key issues has found that an overwhelming 83 percent of state residents has a favorable opinion of Old Bay Seasoning.

The special blend of herbs and spices is synonymous with Chesapeake Bay blue crabs, and locals are known to sprinkle it on everything from chips to mac ‘n cheese. It was created by a German immigrant in Baltimore back in 1939, and named for a local shipping company. It’s still made in Maryland, and the company is owned by spice giant McCormick & Company. (Rafael Alvarez wrote about Old Bay for Chesapeake Bay Magazine last year.)

The Goucher Poll surveyed 808 Maryland adults earlier this month, with a margin of error of +/-3.4 percent. Behind the vast majority of people with positive feelings about Old Bay, 11 percent have an unfavorable opinion, and six percent just don’t know how they feel about the seasonings blend.

An 83% approval rating is something most politicians dream of, Goucher pollsters point out.

“Opinions toward Old Bay transcend party, age, race, gender, and ideological lines. An overwhelming majority of Marylanders view it favorably,” said Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher College. “Maryland politicians should be wary in expressing any negative opinions toward this most beloved seasoning.”

Why waste polling time on Old Bay opinions? Well, because it’s fun, says Kromer.

“It’s one of those cultural questions that make the states unique. That’s what is really great about America,” she says.

The Goucher Poll is conducted from the college’s Baltimore County campus, and students do the calling.

-Meg Walburn Viviano