The Corner

Maryland

Was just talking to a Republican political observer down in Maryland. He emphasized what a tough environment it is there, with Bush’s approval ratings in the state in the upper 30′s and his strong disapproval over 50. So all Democrats are doing is running against Bush, with no positive agenda. Ehrlich is getting hurt a bit less by this than Steele, since Steele is the federal candidate, but it still is a drag on Ehrlich in the DC media market. Steele has run an uncoventional campaign–note the puppy ad, for instance–but it seems to be working. He is helped by Cardin’s utter banality as a candidate, and his own vitality. The disaffection among African-Americans with Democrats after the Cardin-Mfume primary is real. One black state senator left a meeting with Cardin and the Dem gubernatorial candidate O’Malley and said the ticket looked just the “same as 1856.” Steele hopes to get a quarter of the black vote–which is about 21% of the electorate–and if he does, he just might win. Ehrlich, meanwhile, has to turn out each and every member of his base, which he has generally managed to hold during his four years as governor.

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

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