Maryland Politics

I guess since I live here, I should probably start figuring out the politics here.

Rasmussen reports that the Democratic Candidate for Governor, Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, leads incumbent Republican Governor Bob Ehrlich 50% to 43%.

The race for Governor has been tough for the incumbent from the start. Last summer, Ehrlich narrowly led O'Malley and was trailing Doug Duncan, a Democrat who left the race a few months ago.

Governor Ehrlich is a Republican chief executive in a famously Democratic-leaning state. Given the trouble the GOP has been having this year, his troubles are not surprising. Still, a seven-point deficit with more than two months to go is not insurmountable.

In a recent campaign ad, Ehrlich touts the state's support for schools, including Baltimore schools, while also criticizing Mayor O'Malley's stewardship of the Baltimore public school system. O'Malley's campaign counters that, under Governor Ehrlich, college has become too expensive.

Ehrlich enjoys 11% more support from GOP voters than O'Malley does from Democrats. But O'Malley does better with unaffiliated voters. The same differences show up in their favorable numbers, with Ehrlich viewed favorably by 89% of Republicans, O'Malley by 70% of Democrats.

O'Malley has a fifteen-point edge among those who regard the economy as the most important issue affecting their vote.
I haven't quite figured everything out here in Maryland, but I get the idea that the politics here is largely Baltimore vs. DC suburbs based. The two together are large enough to pretty much completely ignore what's going on in the western part of the state.

In a separate report, Rasmussen has Republican Senate Candidate Lt. Governor Michael Steele trailing both Democratic contenders.
Congressman Ben Cardin (D) leads Steele 47% to 42%. Former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume (D) leads the Republican 46% to 44% (see crosstabs). This sets the stage for a closely fought general election no matter which Democrat wins the September 12 primary.


Cardin was seen early on as the clear frontrunner in the race. More recently, Mfume is thought to be much more competitive in the Democratic primary. In our general election poll, among Democrats, Mfume now collects a few percentage points more support than Cardin does. Mfume is also favorably viewed by more Democrats. Cardin, though, is still thought to be the better organized and better funded candidate.
I've actually done shockingly little research on any of these candidates. I do know that race has been a theme in the election. The Washington Post covers that angle:
The most spirited moment of the first one-on-one debate since April between Maryland's two leading Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate yesterday wasn't over foreign or domestic policies. It was about the role of race in a potentially historic election that could pit two black candidates against each other.

The candidates did not attack each other, were cordial and appeared relaxed. The starkest difference came in the way they framed their candidacies less than one month before Democrats select their nominee from a crowded field of 18 hopefuls: Cardin presented himself as a lawmaker proud of his record, and Mfume painted himself as an outside agent of change.
For such a Blue State, there should be two major races this fall where either a Democrat or Republican could win. It should be fun...

No comments: