Hogan Survives the Maryland Blue Wave

Well it looks as if my predictions were wrong. I had Republicans sweeping the eastside of Baltimore County, picking up a House of Delegates seat in District 12 and was even dumb enough to predict a Republican would win a seat in Montgomery County.

I thought the key to a big Republican night was the success of Gov. Larry Hogan. Yes, we knew he was getting re-elected but by how much? Hogan pulled off a 4-point victory over Anthony Brown in 2014. Hogan was projected to win in some polls between 15 to 20 points. For a strong double-digit victory statewide over Ben Jealous, Hogan would have to rack up some huge numbers in places such as Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County and Howard County.

That would then trickle down to the down ballot races for Republicans such as the County Executive’s race and the District 8 Senate race in Baltimore County, The District 12 races for House of Delegates and Senate candidates in Howard County and the Senate and House of Delegate races for District 30 & 32 in Anne Arundel County. I never thought the GOP County Executive’s in Anne Arundel and Howard counties needed a big night from Hogan as I thought they were already safe.

So, if Hogan only beat Jealous by four or five points that would mean that he was winning comfortably but not dominating in place such as Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County and Howard County, which would have hurt the down ballot races.

When the early results came out and Hogan was winning by 14 points statewide and by almost 25 points in Baltimore County, I thought that would translate into a big night for GOP County Executive candidate Al Redmer and state Senate candidates Christian Miele and Chris West. That was not the case as Redmer and Miele lost, and West held off his Democratic opponent for a narrowly win. The same result in Howard and Anne Arundel. Not only couldn’t Hogan’s big numbers in those judications help the Senate and House of Delegate candidates, Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman and Anne Arundel. County Executive Steve Schuh both lost in upsets.

Last night reminds me of 2006 when Democrats took over Congress during the mid-term during a Republican presidency [George W. Bush] and a Maryland GOP Governor Bob Ehrlich was up for re-election. We remember that Ehrlich lost, and the GOP took a beating locally in the House of Delegates.

The only difference is that this incumbent GOP governor Larry Hogan was able to survive. Not just survive but win big. Can’t figure out why Hogan’s numbers didn’t trickle down.

Breaking Down House of Delegates Races

Well here it goes. I’m not sure about my accuracy but here is my analysis of the 141 House of Delegate races. As I mentioned during my Senate breakdowns, I do not consider myself an expert at all. These predictions are based on internal polling, online articles, online activity, campaign finance reports and 2014 Election Data. Again, I believe I will be accurate on some of these House races and will probably look silly on other races.

Toss Up= Either candidate could win between 1 to 6 points.
Leaning= The candidate should win by 7 to 15 points, but there is also a chance that the candidate could be in danger of losing.
Likely= The candidate should win by at least 15 points.
Solid= The candidate is unopposed or should win by at least 30 points.

Solid RLikely RLeaning RToss UpLeaning DLikely DSolid D
Beitzel-1a-RCorderman-2B-ROpen 8-RBromwell 8-DEbersole 12-DKrimm 3a-DBrooks 10-D
Buckel-1b-RFolden-3B-RRey 29B-RFlanagan 9-RHill 12-DYoung 3a-DJalisi 10-D
McKay 1c-RGrammer 6-ROpen 30-ROpen 12-DLuedtke 14-DOpen 10-DJones 10-D
Parrott 2a-RLong 6-ROpen 42b-RJackson 27b-DQueen 14-DOpen 13-DStein 11-D
WIvell 2a-RMetzgar 6-ROpen 42b-RCarey 31a-DDumais 15-DOpen 16-DHettleman 11-D
Cilberti 4-RCluster 8-ROpen 32-DFraser-Hidalgo 15-DCardin 11-DAttebery 13-D
Open 4-RFisher 27c-ROpen 32-DQi 15-DHettleman 11-DPendergrass 13-D
Open 4-RMorgan 29a-RGlass 34a-RBusch 30a-ROpen 13-DKelly 16-D
Krebs 5-RClark 29c-RLisanti 34a-DChang 32-DOpen 16-DKorman 16-D
Rose 5-RHoward 30b-RLafferty 42a-DOpen 18-DBarve 17-D
Shoemaker 5-RMalone 33-ROpen 19-DGilchrist 17-D
Szeliga 7-RMcComas 33-ROpen 28-DOpen 17-D
Impallaria 7-RSaab 33b-RSample-Hughes 37a-DCarr 18-D
Open 7-RArentz 36-ROpen 18-D
Kittleman 9a-RGhrist 36-RCullison 19-D
Warren 9a-RJacobs 36-ROpen 19-D
Hornerberger 35a-RAdams 3bB-RMoon 20-D
Cassilly 35b-RMautz 37b-RWilkins 20-D
Reilly 35b-ROtto 38a-ROpen 20-D
Anderton-38b-RBarnes 21-D
Open 38-c-RPena-Melnyk 21-D
Reznik 39-ROpen 21-D
Open 39-RGaines 22-D
Open 39-RHealey 22-D
Washington 22-D
Valentino-Smith 23a-D
Holmes 23b-D
Open 23b-D
Barron 24-D
Smith 24-D
Open 24-D
Barnes 25-D
Davis 25-D
Open 25-D
Valderrama 26-D
Walker 26-D
Open 26-D
Proctor 27a-D
Patterson 28-D
Wilson 28-D
Conway 40-D
Mosby 40-D
Open 40-D
Rosenberg 41-D
Open 41-D
Open 41-D
Anderson 43-D
McIntosh 43-D
Open 43-D
Haynes 44A-D
Sydnor 44B-D
Young 44B-D
Brach 45-D
Glen 45-D
Open 45-D
Clippinger 46-D
Lewis 46-D
Lierman 46-D
Fennell 47-D
Open 47-D
Open 47-D

Toss-Up Races
District 8
Republican Joe Cluster and Democrat Eric Bromwell are looking to get re-elected and Christian Miele’s GOP seat is open. Cluster easily gets re-elected. One of other GOP Joes (Boteler or Norman) will keep Miele’s seat for second and the other Joe could take Bromwell’s toss-up seat in northeast Baltimore County

District 9B
Republican Del. Bob Flanagan is looking to get re-elected in a moderate district in Howard County. His Democratic challenger is former Councilwoman Courtney Watson. This is one of two GOP seats in “toss-up”.

District 12
Since Del. Clarence Lam is seeking the vacant state senate seat and his seat is open, Republican challenger Melanie Harris and Democratic newcomer Jessica Feldmark are in a battle for that “toss-up” seat. However; Democratic Delegates Eric Ebersole and Terri Hill are seeking re-election in this eastern Howard County and western Baltimore County split district, but they are no shoe-in for victory. With Hogan’s popularity, Senate Candidate Joe Hooe doing well in his race and with Ebersole and Hill’s liberal voting record, Republicans Bob Cockey and Michael Russell could help Hooe and Harris sweep the district like District 6 in 2014 that went from four Democratic seats to four Republicans in one night. I predicted a few weeks ago that Harris will win at least one seat for the GOP.
District 27B
Democrat Del. Michael Jackson could be in trouble in District 27B. He won his race by five percentage points in 2014 and is being challenged by a strong candidate in Michael Thomas.

District 31A
District 31A Democrat Del. Ned Carey is in a tight race and Republican Brooks Bennett has been a great campaigner and has been working hard for over a year and a half. This is a conservative district in northern Anne Arundel County where Carey won by only 523 votes in 2014.

District 32
This northwest Anne Arundel County district has Delegates with liberal voting records that do not go too well with moderate voters.
One Democratic delegate Pam Beidle is going after a vacant senate seat and Del. Mark Chang is seeking re-election as delegate. Del. Ted Sophocleus sadly passed away last year. This leaves two open seats in the House. Republican challengers Mark Bailey, Patty Ewing and Tim Walters have all been endorsed by Hogan and Ewing and Walters are favored to get the open seats and Bailey could defeat Chang for a sweep.

District 34A
This is another two-seat split district with Republican Glen Glass and Democrat Mary Ann Lisanti. Both delegates represent southeast Harford County. I haven’t seen a poll in that district, but I would predict that this is a moderate district that probably has a lot of Hogan Democrats. This district could go blue with Lisanti and her Democratic running mate Steve Johnson, might go red with Glass and his GOP running mate JD Russell or could remain a split district with Glass and Lisanti. That is why I put both Lisanti and Glass in “Toss-up”

Montgomery County
District 14
There is a possibility for the GOP in District 14 and District 15 in Montgomery County and I will go out on a limb and predict that a Republican will represent Montgomery County in Annapolis this January. I am not sure, but I think Gov. Hogan won both districts and the GOP slate ran tough races in 2014. District 14 and 15 may not go red but they could still be races to watch. Republican Patricia Fenati ran in 2014 and has around $15,000 in the bank and Republican Michael A. Ostroff ran in 2014 but has little cash. There is an outside chance that Fenati could steal the third seat. Democrat Eric Luedtke finished behind fellow Democrat Pam Queen for third in the primary so I’m not sure who’s seat she would take if she finished third. Del. Anne Kaiser is safe unless things really get crazy.

District 15
District 15 is the best chance for my prediction. Republicans Laurie Halverson, Harvey Jacobs and Marc King have all raised money and are trying to catch a Hogan wave. Democratic Del. Kathleen Dumais easily placed first in the Democratic primary but fellow incumbent David Fraser-Hidalgo finished third behind Democratic newcomer Lily Qi. Could that mean there is a weakness and perhaps Halverson, Jacobs and/or King can steal a seat or two? I know nothing about Montgomery County expect for the raw election numbers from 2014 and the June primary. However; I am still predicting of the eight seats in District 14 & 15 (six delegates and two senate) the GOP will take one seat.

Final Breakdown of MD State Senate Races

Here are my final breakdowns for the 47 state senate races. I do not consider myself an expert at all. These are my guestimations on some of these battleground races. These assessments are based on internal polling, online articles, online activity, campaign finance reports and 2014 Election Data. I will hit on some predictions and will probably miss on a few races too.

In my humble opinion, I do not believe any of the 14 current GOP controlled seats are in danger of turning blue on Tuesday. As my table indicates, I think three current Democratic seats will go red. There are four “toss up” races that are currently under Democratic control that could go either way. Also, I feel that there are races “leaning Democrat” that will probably remain in Democratic control, but the Republicans could steal any or all of those seats if Gov. Larry Hogan has a huge night in those Districts.

Solid RLikely RLeaning RToss UpLeaning DLikely DSolid D
Edwards 1-RSalling 6-ROpen 30-D (George -R)Young 3-DFeldman 15-DKelly-10-DZirkin 11-D
Serafini 2-RBates 9-ROpen 42-D (West-R)Open 12-D (Lam-D)Miller 27-DGuzzone 13-DLee 16-D
Hough 4-RWaugh 29-R (Bailey-R)Klausmeier 8-D (Miele-R)Open 32-DMiddleton 28-D (Ellis-D)Zucker 14-DOpen 18-D (Waldstreicher-D)
Ready 5-RCassilly 34-RMathias 38-DKegan 17-DSmith 20-D
Jennings 7-RHershey 36-ROpen 19-D (Kramer-D)Rosapepe 21-D
Simonaire 31-REckardt 37-RFerguson 46-DPinsky 22-D
Reilly 33-RPeters 23-D
Open 35-R (Gallion-R)Benson 24-D
Open 25-D (Griffith-D)
Open 26-D (Patterson-D)
King 39-D
Robinson 40-D (Hayes)
Open 41-D (Carter-D)
Conway 43-D (Washington)
Nathan-Pulliam 44-D
McFadden 45-D (McCray)
Open 47-D (Augustine-D)

Leaning Republican
District 8-Chrisitian Miele
I know Christian Miele very well. He is a humble guy who won’t like me writing this, but I am moving his race against Sen. Kathy Klausmeier from “Toss Up” to “Leaning Republican”. Internal polls show him up and he has worked his tail off. As I mentioned, Miele was unopposed in the primary, but he ran as if he had an opponent. Miele was down in an early poll by 16 points, but the poll results showed Miele was only down by the margin of error when voters were told that Miele was endorsed by Gov. Hogan. To his credit, Miele plastered signs all over District 8 that included his photo with Hogan. Miele is a great campaigner and that is why he will win this race.

District 30- Ron George
Back in the summer, Former Del. Ron George was favored to take Sen. John Astle’s seat and poll numbers have confirmed that George should win this race.

District 42 – Chris West
At this point, I think it is fair to say that Del. Chris West is great position to take Jim Brochin’s old seat in the senate in Northern Baltimore County.

Toss Up
District 3- Craig Giangrande
I thought that GOP Challenger Craig Giangrande would be well ahead over Democratic Sen. Ron Young at this point of the race, but even GOP internal polling still had Young winning. District 3 has changed a lot of its demographics over the past 10 years which favors Young. The GOP polling says Giangrande “has narrowed the gap” within the margin of error last month.

District 12-Joe Hooe
Joe Hooe’s race for a vacant seat in District 12 has gone from “Leaning Democrat” to “Toss Up” and might be even “Leaning Republican”. I will keep it at “Toss Up” since there is no current GOP representation in District 12, but this eastern Howard County/western Baltimore County district is very winnable for Hooe. He has been able to raise money and spent about $20,000 to promote his campaign. His Democratic opponent Del. Clearance Law is part of the Democratic machine but is not as strong as retiring Sen. Ed Kasemeyer.

District 32-John Grasso
Anne Arundel Councilman John Grasso is challenging Del. Pam Beidle for the open senate in District 32 as Democratic Sen. James Ed DeGrange did not run for re-election. I am moving this race into a “toss-up”. I am not aware of an internal poll for this race, but a House of Delegates internal poll showed that the two GOP House candidates Patty Ewing and Tim Walters were in position to take two of the open House seats in District 32. Hogan will win this district too, so I believe Grasso must be neck and neck with Beidle.

District 38-Mary Beth Carroza
I am surprised this race is still close. I thought Carroza would have pulled away in this race. President Donald Trump cruised to victory in this southeast Eastern Shore district. Dick Haire reported on MD GOP radio a few weeks ago, that Democratic Sen. Jim Mathias was now tied with Carroza. When I was down in Ocean City during the spring, I was disappointed that Carroza did not have her signs plastered all over the area. Christian Miele, who is a Delegate running against a similar race against an incumbent Democratic Senator, not only had his signs up in March, he had signs with a picture of Gov. Hogan.
One disadvantage that Carroza faces is that she is in a single member District 38C. Miele is part of a three-member District 8, so his constituents includes all of Sen. Kathy Klausmeier district. Carroza had to introduce herself to District 38 A and B. Let’s hope she pulls this out because this is a must-win for the “Drive for Five”

Leaning Democrat
District 15-David Wilson
There are a lot of districts where Gov. Hogan is expected to win but they are still Democratic strongholds. If a candidate or two can just get their name out there and hold onto Hogan’s coattails, they might be able to take advantage of a Hogan wave. District 15 is a moderate district in Montgomery County where Hogan is expected to do well. Democratic Sen. Brian Feldman has over $138,000 in the bank and has spent over $68,000 over the summer. Feldman’s Republican challenger David Wilson has spent over $9,000 on media and mailers. It is not as much as Feldman but that $9,000 is money well spent. I don’t know if Wilson can win in Montgomery County, but he is putting himself in position if there is a strong Hogan wave in District 15.

District 27-Jeese Peed
After reading Peed’s finance report, I am ready to put his race against Senate President Mike Miller in the “Leaning Democrat” from “Solid Democrat”. Peed had less than $500 back in August. Since then he received over $3,000 in contributions from citizens all over Maryland, almost $5,000 from the Prince George’s County Republican Central Committee and it appears he loaned himself over $10,000 so he was able to spend near $15,000 on direct mail, printing and media. Polls showed Hogan winning this district by 30 points over Ben Jealous. If Hogan has coat tails, who knows? Miller has unlimited cash, but this race could turn into District 6 where a GOP Senate candidate underdog by the name of Johnny Ray Salling upset the heavy funded John Olszewski, Jr. in 2014.

District 28-Bill Dotson
I do not know too much after this Southern Maryland race. This is the race where Democratic Sen. Mac Middleton was upset in the primary by fellow Democrat Arthur Ellis and the GOP scrambled around to nominate Bill Dotson. His latest campaign finance report showed Dotson raising over $100,000 since Aug. 22 and spend over $77,000 in that same time. He showed why he was nominated by the GOP Central Committee. Ellis has also spent some money as he has over $112,000 cash on hand. Middleton beat his Republican opponent almost 2 to 1 in 2014 so I don’t know how many votes are on the table for Dotson.

Likely Democrat
District 14- Robert Drozd
There are many “Likely Democrat” races but I highlighted this race because I thought GOP candidate Robert Drozd had a chance to upset Sen. Craig Zucker in this moderate District 14 in Montgomery County, but he has only spent less than $500. I believe Hogan will do well in District 14 and I think that a GOP candidate has a shot to possibly take a delegate seat. But I’m moving this race out of “Leaning Democrat” from August to “Likely Democrat”. Republican candidate Frank Howard spent over $25,000 in the final weeks of the campaign and had a respectable 57.5 to 42.4 percent loss to Karen S. Montgomery in the 2014 District 14 race. There is an opportunity for Drozd, but I worry that he won’t be able to get his name out there with the lack of funding. If everything goes right for the GOP, this could be the race that decides if the Republicans can make up a majority in the state Senate. It is crazy that there is even an outside possibly of a Republican majority.

Eight Days is Too Many for Early Voting

I am sorry but Early Voting is too long. Eight days is too many days. This is coming from a person who initiately opposed Early Voting when it started in 2008. I have changed my thought a bit as I have learned to not only accept Early Voting, but I am starting to like it.

It does have the benefits of beating the Election Day crowd and it gives voters a chance to meet most of their favorite local candidates at the polls (candidates cannot be at all 30 precincts on Election Day, but they can attend the Early Voting site in their district). However; the Early Voting experience can be done in three to five days instead of eight days.

As someone who worked the polls for campaigns (including my own) eight days is a lot. Many Democrats, who I will not mention, agreed that eight days is too many. While I don’t expect anyone to shed a tear for candidates that must brave the heat (June primary) or the cold and rain (November general) for eight days, I do think everyone will agree that it is a waste of taxpayer money. We must pay Election Judges and rent the facilities for eight days.

Many of these Democrats in the General Assembly that admit that eight days is too long, would never consider reducing Early Voting to five days or less. The theory behind Early Voting is that there are more Democratic voters in Maryland, and the longer the polls are open, the more Democrats will come out and vote. I disagree.

If Early Voting is cut down from eight to four days, then there is a belief that Early Voting totals will be reduced by 50 percent. I do not believe that for a minute. I have no scientific proof, but I am sure that if Early Voting days were reduced by 50 percent, voter turnout would probably only decline by 10 to 20 percent. For those who want to vote early will find a way to get to the polls within the four-to-five-window compared to the current eight days.

Another argument that Democrats would make in favor of keeping eight days is if there was some bad weather (which we did see on Saturday) during my proposed four-day stretch. Then they would argue that we would need the full eight days. Yes, Early Voting turnout would be lower if those three to four days were washed out, but those voters would still be able to come back and vote on Election Day. What happens if we have bad weather on Election Day? There is no make-up day after Nov. 6.

I should not complain too much. When Early Voting started it was only five days. There was talk of the General Assembly reducing it down but then it was increased to the current eight-day format.

If there is another change to Early Voting, The General Assembly would probably expand it to three weeks instead of shirking to four to five days. I guess I should be happy it is only eight days.

Matory is Providing Great Story in CD 2 Race

Liz Matory with former Sheriff of Milwaukee County and TV personality David Clarke.

One of the more interesting candidates of the 2018 Election has been Republican 2nd Congressional candidate Liz Matory. She has been very energized and passionate in her race against Congressman C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger.

The Republican party has been criticized by the media for being too old, too white and having too many males. Matory has broken all those stereotypes as she is an African American female candidate under the age of 40. Matory has been concerned a controversial candidate by some as she lives outside the district in Montgomery county and she ran as a Democrat for the House of Delegates in 2014.

But Matory does not hide from her former life as a Democrat. She talks about her “walk away” moment on the campaign trail and through her self-published book “Born Again Republican”.

Matory has been endorsed by former Gov. Bob Ehrlich and held an event with special guest former Sheriff of Milwaukee County and TV personality David Clarke. When she filmed a campaign visit to Havre Grace, she was asked about her support of President Donald Trump. Matory did not hesitate as she said she supports the president.

Matory must be doing something right because a “Republicans for Dutch” Facebook page was created to slow her down but that page has been removed. It seems as if the page was created to portray Matory as still a liberal in Republican clothing but there was also a reference from one of the organizers that Matory is “too extreme” by supporting Trump and his policies. Which one is it? She must be scaring someone.

This is still a tough district that is gerrymandered for Democrats. Most districts have a 66 to 34 Democrat to Republican ratio. Congressional District 2 (CD2) has a ratio of 72 to 28 Democrat to Republican.

In 2012, GOP challenger state Sen. Nancy Jacobs received 31 percent of the vote and state Del. Pat McDonough received 33 percent of the vote in 2016. Ironically, unknown Republican David Banach received 36 percent of the vote in 2014. How did Banach receive a higher percentage than McDonough and Jacobs? The most obvious answer is because of the top of the ticket. Jacobs and McDonough saw their party’s presidential nominee (Mitt Romney and Donald Trump) receive 36 percent in 2012 and 34 percent in 2016. Banach had Hogan on the top of his ticket in 2014.

So, a popular Larry Hogan at the top of the ticket and a strong campaigner in Matory could get the GOP vote into the 40s in CD 2. I predict that this will be Ruppersberger’s toughest race, but I don’t know if Matory can overcome all the gerrymandering in CD2. Win or lose, Matory is becoming a star in the Maryland GOP.

GOP Will Get One Seat in District 12 & Could Sweep All Four

Melanie Harris polled in third place in an early poll. Her numbers should now be higher. I guarantee she will win a seat.
Mark this down. I am guaranteeing that a Republican will pick up at least one seat in District 12. I’m not just stating the GOP “could” win in the all-Democratic District 12, but one candidate will win a seat. Her name is Melanie Harris. She has run a strong campaign, finished first in the Republican primary and will be the top Republican vote getter in the General Election. Some of my GOP friends do not believe District 12 is in play. I strongly disagree. Now I will explain why Harris will win at least one of the seats and could be joined by other Republicans in that district.

District 12 is based two-thirds in eastern Howard County and one- third in western Baltimore County (Catonsville and Arbutus) Democratic Sen. Ed Kasemeyer is retiring, and Democratic Del. Clarence Lam is going after his vacant seat. Eric Ebersol and Terri Hill are the other two incumbent delegates seeking reelection. Democratic newcomer Jessica Feldmark is looking to replace Lam.

On the Republican side, Joe Hooe is going after the vacant state Senate seat and Harris, Bob Cockey and Michael Russell are going for the three delegate seats.

In 2014, a different GOP slate won in the Baltimore County portion of the district but lost in Howard County. This Republican slate has focused hard on the Howard County portion.

This District has a chance to become this year’s District 6 (Dundalk and Essex) where four blue seats can turn red in one night. District 12 is a blue-collar district with a lot of old school Democrats that are not as liberal as its representatives.

Unlike some Democrats in battleground races, District 12 Democrats are not tying themselves to Gov. Larry Hogan. Heck, Ebersol was at the rally when Ben Jealous dropped the F bomb. They also don’t hide from their liberal voting agenda, which includes voting for gun bans, the Home Act and to make Maryland a sanctuary state.

When an internal poll came out in the summer, Ebersol and Hill were head and shoulders above everyone else with their name ID, but Harris was beating Feldmark at that time. So worst case scenario, Harris is getting a seat in third place behind Ebersol and Hill. The question is if Cockey and Russell can catch Ebersol and Hill?

It was a pleasant surprise to see Hooe doing well in a recent poll. Now I don’t know if the internal poll that showed Hooe up by seven over Lam is accurate but if he is tied or even down by two or three points to Lam, the Hogan factor should swing Hooe’s way.

I’m not sure if the GOP team in District 12 is getting two, three or four seats but they are at least getting one. I will guarantee that.

Wolf Becoming Star in Baltimore County

Craig Wolf is becoming a rock star here in Baltimore County. The Republican nominee for Attorney General has an uphill battle against current Democratic Attorney Gen. Brian Frosh. Polls in August showed Wolf down by 32 points but a poll last week showed Wolf only down nine points. He has really hit Frosh hard about not protecting the citizens of Maryland but instead worrying about suing President Donald Trump’s federal government.

Craig Wolf (second on the left) attended the “Three Joes” event last Friday with Councilman David Marks, Del. Joe Cluster, Del. candidates Joe Boteler & Joe Norman and state Senate candidate Del. Christian Miele.

Last Friday, Wolf attended a fundraiser for Sen. John Salling in Essex and later went to a fundraiser in Perry Hall for the “Three Joes” (Del. Joe Cluster, Joe Boteler and Joe Norman) in District 8. Wolf was a big hit with the crowd as many of the attendees posed for pictures with Wolf. I have also seen him at GOP County Executive nominee Al Redmer events and other Republican candidate events.

I talked to Wolf at the “Three Joes” event and asked him why he is always in Baltimore County. He responded that Baltimore County is a “make or break” jurisdiction for his chance to defeat Frosh. I agree. Gov. Larry Hogan is polling at 63 to 37 percent in Baltimore County against Ben Jealous and Redmer has an opportunity to win the Country Executive’s race. Wolf will need all those Hogan and Redmer voters to cast a vote for him too.

This reminds me of 2014 when Hogan was down big early to Anthony Brown. Later, Hogan narrowed the gap within a week or two of Election Day. Then Hogan’ s campaign caught fire and he flew pass Brown in the final week.

I am starting to see similarities with Wolf. I thought Wolf had a chance to win in March, then lost confidence after the first poll showed him down by 32, and now I’m starting to see him catch fire in the final three weeks. I’m hoping that Wolf pulls it off.

GOP Chair Reveals Internal Poll Number to Red Maryland

I reported on Tuesday that MD GOP Dick Haire was a guest on the Red Maryland Podcast on Monday to share GOP internal poll numbers for some of the key state Senate races. Again, I was critical when the Democrats released their poll showing Democrat John Olszewski up by 19 in the Baltimore County Executive race over Republican Al Redmer. I took it with a huge grain of salt considering the poll since it was a month old and an internal poll.
So, I won’t be a hypocrite and claim these GOP numbers are 100 percent accurate, but I did find it interesting that some Republican candidates are doing better than others.
Haire did not release specific numbers but revealed the closeness of the races. The full interview can be heard at Red Maryland, but I have written the cliff notes below on Haire’s breakdown on the races.

District 3
This district appears to be a close. District 3 has changed a lot of its demographics over the past 10 years. That has favored Democrats and Democratic Sen. Ron Young. The GOP poll shows that GOP challenger Craig Giangrande “has narrowed the gap” within the margin of error. I’m assuming that Young is up by three to four.

District 42
Haire revealed that Del. Chris West has a large lead over Democrat Robbie Leonard for Democrat Jim Brochin’s vacant senate seat in northern Baltimore County. I thought Brochin would have had a heck of a battle to keep his seat against West if he ran for re-election, so I don’t think Leonard will get in West’s way.

District 8
Haire said that both West and Del. Christian Miele had “significant leads” in their senate races. Again, I think West easily defeats the Democrat in District 42, but I thought Miele would be in a tight race against Democratic Incumbent Sen. Kathy Klausmeier in northeast Baltimore County. If Miele has a “significant” lead it is because he is a campaign machine. Miele did not have a primary, but he ran like he had a primary in the spring. According to Haire, Miele is in great shape.

District 12
In a bit of a surprise, The GOP said its challenger Joe Hooe is “holding a slight lead over” Del. Clarence Lam for Democrat Ed Kasemeyer’s vacant seat in Howard County. Haire did not report the specific numbers, but Maryland Matters cited a GOP poll where Hooe is beating Lam 39 to 32. This is a change when Lam was up over Hooe 48 to 30 in August. Maryland Matters believes that the popularity of Gov. Larry Hogan is helping Hooe.

District 28
Haire said this Southern Maryland district came into play when Democratic Sen. Mac Middleton was upset by Democratic challenger Arthur Ellis. This got the ball rolling where the GOP central committee nominated Bill Dotson as their nominee after the primary. He said Dotson “Looked very strong” in the race but did not explain if Dotson was “up or down” in the polls.

District 30
Former Del. Ron George was reported with an eight-point lead over Democratic challenged Sarah K. Elfreth. This is the vacant seat left by Democratic Sen. John Arstle. I thought George would have a slam dunk victory in the Annapolis area district but Haire reported that polls show him with only a four-point lead over Elfreth in the summer. Now it looks like George is finally starting to distance himself from the Democrat.

District 32
Haire didn’t mention how GOP challenger and current councilman John Grasso was faring against Democratic Del. Pam Beidle for the vacant senate seat but did reveal that two Republicans were favored in their polling to take two vacant House of Delegate seats. Haire said he was “optimist” for Grasso in that senate race in northwest Anne Arundel County.

District 38
Haire admitted that the GOP underestimated Democratic Sen. Jim Mathieu “Higher and durable” name ID, despite being in a strong Republican district in his Eastern Shore race against GOP challenger Del. Mary Beth Carozza
Haired said Carozza’s numbers have significantly increased and the race is now a “dead heat”.

Will Obama’s Endorsements Matter in Maryland?

Former President Barack Obama decided to enter Maryland Politics by endorsing Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous, Speaker of the House Michael Busch and 9B District Democratic House candidate Courtney Watson in Howard County.

Obama’s endorsement of Jealous is bigger than most people want to admit. Jealous must do well in the big three jurisdictions of Baltimore City, Montgomery and Prince George’s County to defeat Gov. Larry Hogan. Polls show him winning in those three areas, but he needs to win all three with a wide margin to beat Hogan. Obama had a lot of support in those areas and that might be able to help Jealous gain some votes.

His endorsement of Watson is a little surprising. There are a few Democrats that have a slim chance of beating any Republican House incumbent. Although it will be close, I think the Hogan-Kittleman combination should be more than enough to help Del. Robert Flanigan defeat Watson.

Is Michael Busch in trouble? A poll back in August showed Gov. Hogan winning Busch’s 30A District 71 to 21 percent over Jealous. Is there a concern that the Democratic Speaker and his running mate Alice Cain could lose to both Republicans Bob O’Shea and Chelsea Gill in District 30A that Obama was asked to endorse Busch? If so, I don’t think the former President’s endorsement will help him that much in this Anne Arundel County based district. If Busch wins, it will be a result of his name ID and not Obama.

So I do worry that Obama’s endorsement of Jealous could help the Democrats, but I don’t think it will make a difference in 9B and 30A. What are your thoughts?

New Goucher Poll Has Hogan Up Big; Wolf and Campbell Down Big

A new poll shows Gov. Hogan up by 22 points
A new Goucher poll shows Gov. Larry Hogan with a 22-point lead over Democratic challenger Ben Jealous. The Republican governor has 54 percent compared to Jealous’ 34 percent. Green party nominee Ian Schlakman and Libertarian candidate Shawn Quinn both have one percent of the vote. Only nine percent are undecided with less than seven weeks until Election Day. This poll result is not a shocker with Hogan’s popularity and with Jealous’ inexperience and blunders.

The poll also reveals that Democratic Attorney Gen. Brian Frosh has a commanding 58 to 26 percent lead over Republican Craig Wolf, with 12 percent undecided. I am very disappointed to hear that result. With Wolf running a strong campaign, having the endorsement of Hogan and the unpopularity of Frosh; I thought Wolf would be in striking distance of Frosh. If Wolf was only down 10 to 15 points, then he could make a run in the final weeks. I am afraid that 32 points might be too insurmountable for Wolf.

In addition to the Governor and Attorney General races, the poll was conducted for the U.S. Senate race here in Maryland. Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin was shown with a 56 to 17 percent lead over Republican Tony Campbell. Independent candidate Neal Simon was listed with eight percent of the vote. There were 14 percent undecided and the Libertarian candidate Arvin Vohra was recorded with one percent of the vote.

If you add up Campbell and Simon’s numbers it would show Cardin winning 56 to 25, which is almost identical to Frosh beating Wolf 58 to 26. So the GOP’s fear of Simon cutting into Campbell’s votes are true, but this splitting of the vote would be more significant if Cardin had numbers around 36, Campbell had 27 and Simon had 18 percent.

The biggest takeaway from the Senate and Attorney General races is that Hogan’s coattails are not transferring over in these races. Especially for Craig Wolf who has been spending and raising money. I am hoping that GOP candidates in the state Senate and House of Delegate races have better luck benefiting from those Hogan coattails.

Thanks to Goucher College for conducting the poll. By the way, when will a Baltimore County Executive race poll be conducted?