The Campaign Spot

Could the GOP’s Larry Hogan Really Have a Shot in Maryland?


Really? The Cook Political Report thinks there’s a shot Republican Larry Hogan wins in Maryland? Other than a Baltimore Sun poll putting Democrat Anthony Brown up by 7 points, the polling hasn’t been that close.

Hmmm, continued:

In Montgomery, almost 5.6 percent of 635,000 eligible voters cast their ballots at nine early voting locations, for a total of 35,444 early voters. That is significantly below the statewide average: Throughout Maryland, about 8.3 percent of the state’s approximately 3.7 million voters cast their ballots early, according to final figures published today by the state Board of Elections . . . 

While Democrats hold a nearly 3-1 registration edge in Montgomery, the ratio of Democratic vs. Republican turnout in early voting was far narrower this year — and may indicate greater enthusiasm this year within the GOP ranks. Among registered Democrats, the percentage of early voters was just under 6.9 percent, as compared to 5.1 percent among Republicans and about 3 percent for so-called unaffiliated — independent — voters.

While Republicans in Montgomery are far outnumbered by their Democratic counterparts, the county still has the third largest number of registered Republicans of any county in the state: 121,500. If Hogan is to achieve his publicly stated goal of garnering 40 percent or more of the vote in Montgomery (Republican Robert Ehrlich captured 39 percent in winning the governorship in 2002), he must turn out his GOP base on Election Day, as well as a significant share of unaffiliated voters.

But . . . 

Democrats voting early this year outnumbered Republicans, 189,175 to 87,035. The ratio was slightly larger than the advantage that Democrats hold in party registration in the heavily Democratic state. But Republicans were slightly better represented compared to four years ago. This year, 28,328 unaffiliated voters also voted early.