Category Archives: Elections

Trump Lead Narrows in Georgia

Donald Trump’s average lead in Georgia has dropped from 5.5 points in late July to 3.75 points after a pair of polls released on August 1 reveal a tightening race in the usually reliable red state. As a result, we’ve adjusted this race rating from Likely R to Lean R.

A poll conducted by SurveyUSA for local station WXIA-TV over the weekend of 7/29-7/31 showed Trump leading a four-way race by just 4 points:

Donald Trump (R) 46%
Hillary Clinton (D) 42%
Gary Johnson (L) 5%
Jill Stein (G) 2%

A one-day poll conducted by Landmark for WSB-TV on 7/31 actually showed Trump and Clinton tied.

Donald Trump (R) 45%
Hillary Clinton (D) 45%
Gary Johnson (L) 4%
Jill Stein (G) 1%

Election Watch: 6/1

If you had asked us four years ago who the Republican nominee would be in 2016, we wouldn’t have dreamed of Donald Trump. Yet, he’s the one Republican voters overwhelmingly chose to lead them. The Democratic race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders is still underway, and the winner of the California primary on June 4 will likely face Trump in November.

Although we like to focus on moving Maryland forward, the presidential race is an undeniably huge factor in whether this country will move forward or back. That’s why we like to take a weighted average of statewide polls, and present you with a map that projects what the electoral map would look like if the elections were held today.

In case you forgot, the numbers below (ex. 8.5) are the averages of all polls collected for each race. They represent how many points in each state the Democratic candidate is predicted to win by, on average. Negative numbers indicate how many points, on average, the Democrat is trailing the Republican in the race.

Click to enlarge


Initial ratings:

Alabama: Safe R
Alaska: Likely R
Arizona: Lean R (-2.0)
Arkansas: Likely R
California: Safe D (12.0)
Colorado: Tossup
Connecticut: Safe D
Delaware: Safe D
Florida: Lean D (2.0)
Georgia: Tossup (-1.0)
Hawaii: Safe D
Idaho: Safe R
Illinois: Safe D
Indiana: Likely R (7.0)
Iowa: Tossup
Kansas: Likely R
Kentucky: Safe R
Louisiana: Safe R (-16.0)
Maine: Likely D
Maryland: Safe D
Massachusetts: Safe D
Michigan: Likely D
Minnesota: Safe D
Mississippi: Safe R
Missouri: Likely R
Montana: Safe R
Nebraska: Safe R
Nebraska’s 2nd District: Likely R (-8.0)
Nevada: Tossup
New Hampshire: Tossup (1.0)
New Jersey: Likely D (7.8)
New Mexico: Lean D
New York: Safe D (26.0)
North Carolina: Lean R (-4.0)
North Dakota: Safe R
Ohio: Tossup (1.3)
Oklahoma: Safe R
Oregon: Lean D (4.5)
Pennsylvania: Tossup (1.0)
Rhode Island: Safe D
South Carolina: Safe R
South Dakota: Safe R
Tennessee: Safe R
Texas: Safe R
Utah: Safe R
Vermont: Safe D
Virginia: Lean D (2.0)
Washington: Safe D
West Virginia: Safe R
Wisconsin: Safe D (12.0)
Wyoming: Safe R
District of Columbia: Safe D

Some recent national polls have Trump with a slight lead, but as Michael Cohen of the Boston Globe points out, Trump has gotten a surge in support since he effectively clinched the GOP nomination on May 3. Hillary (and still possibly Bernie) will receive a similar boost to their numbers after the Democratic Convention in late July.

Election Projection 2018: District 30

Senate District 30

Incumbent: John Astle (D)
Possible Challengers: Ron George (R), Herb McMillan (R)

Past Results:
2014: John Astle (D) 51.3%, Don Quinn (R) 48.6%
2010: John Astle (D) 51.1%, Ron Elfenbein (R) 48.8%

New District 30

District 30 was redrawn considerably in 2014, giving up Arnold and Cape St. Claire in exchange for Edgewater and south county. While Democratic Senator John Astle slightly increased his vote share from 2010 to 2014, the surprising performance by his underfunded Republican opponent, Don Quinn, has put this seat at the top of the GOP’s target list in 2018. Former delegate and gubernatorial candidate Ron George has declared his intention to run for this seat, but Delegate Herb McMillan may also run. Astle, for his part, has expressed his intention to run for a seventh term.

Election Projection 2014: Anne Arundel County

Screenshot of the original - click to view

Screenshot of the original – click to view

Anne Arundel County is the home of the state capital of Annapolis, the state’s major international airport at BWI-Thurgood Marshall, the state’s largest shopping mall at Arundel Mills, one of the state’s largest casinos at Maryland Live, and Fort Meade, which has been the major beneficiary of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) relocation program, as well as the headquarters of the National Security Agency (NSA). Population growth has been concentrated in the western area of the county, where the military base, mall, and casino are located. In redistricting, only a single precinct was moved: a precinct in Severn/northern Odenton containing the communities of Pioneer City and Shamrock Cove was shifted from District 4 to District 1.

While the county has a reputation for voting Republican, trends suggest that a major shift may be underway.

Past Results:

2012: Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan (R) 48.8%, Barack Obama/Joe Biden (D) 48.7%
2008: John McCain/Sarah Palin (R) 50.0%, Barack Obama/Joe Biden (D) 48.2%

2010: Robert Ehrlich/Mary Kane (R) 54.2%, Martin O’Malley/Anthony Brown (D) 43.4%
2006: Robert Ehrlich/Kristen Cox (R) 56.9%, Martin O’Malley/Anthony Brown (D) 42.0%

County Executive

Incumbent: Laura Neuman (R) – Lost primary
Filed Challengers: George F. Johnson, IV (D), Steve Schuh (R)
Projection: Lean R Hold

Past Results:
2010: John R. Leopold (R) 50.4%, Joanna Conti (D) 44.0%, Mike Shay (G) 5.4%
2006: John R. Leopold (R) 51.0%, George F. Johnson, IV (D) 48.9%

The County Executive race was once seen as an easy win for Steve Schuh, but it has turned into a dead heat as George Johnson’s campaign gained serious momentum in October, despite being vastly outraised by Schuh.

George Johnson, IV (D)

George Johnson, IV (D)

George Johnson IV ran for this office in 2006, after serving for 12 years as the county’s elected sheriff. After losing a close election to John Leopold 49%-51%, Johnson was appointed Superintendent of the Maryland Natural Resources Police, a position he still holds today. Johnson’s path to victory will be getting the Democratic base to turn out – and not vote Green Party. Mike Shay took over 5% of the vote in 2010, and while this didn’t make the difference in the race, it would have brought it within one percentage point.

Del. Steve Schuh (R)

Del. Steve Schuh (R)

Steve Schuh is a state delegate from Gibson Island who has compiled a very conservative voting record while in the House of Delegates. He has long been seen as the front-runner in this race, and it wasn’t even considered an upset when he defeated sitting County Executive Laura Neuman in the Republican primary. Many people expected him to be appointed to the position when John Leopold resigned. He owns a string of Greene Turtle restaurants along with business partners Derek Fink (a county councilman) and James King (a former delegate) and has strong financial backing.

Schuh will win if Democrats fail to turn out their base and win independent voters. While his business credentials are solid, Del. Schuh’s voting record may serve to alienate some would-be Neuman voters. He would have to hope that his war chest will provide him enough outreach to win them back.

Campaign Finances as of the August 26 filing deadline:

  1. Steve Schuh (R) raised $1,164,240, cash on hand $225,322
  2. George Johnson (D) raised $181,952, cash on hand $72,349

Click “read more” for an analysis of every council seat.

Election Projection 2014: District 33

Senate District 33

Incumbent: Ed Reilly (R)
Filed Challengers: none
Projection: Safe R Hold

Past Results:
2010: Ed Reilly (R) unopposed
2006: Janet Greenip (R) 56.1%, Scott Hymes (D) 43.9%


The old District 33 was split into a two-member 33A in Millersville and Crofton, and a one-member 33B from Crownsville, Davidsonville, and south county.

Former configuration of District 33A and 33B (2002-2010)

Former configuration of District 33A and 33B (2002-2010)

The new District 33 is a three-member district that includes Severna Park, Millersville, Crofton, Crownsville, Davidsonville, and northern Arnold. The 33rd took on much of the Broadneck Peninsula from the 30th. The resulting district contains most of the Republican-voting precincts in central Anne Arundel County.

Senator Reilly took over from the retiring Senator Greenip after being elected twice to the County Council. Nobody signed up to oppose him this year, so he has already won re-election.


House District 33 – 3 members

Incumbents: Cathy Vitale (R), Tony McConkey (R), Bob Costa (R) – Costa was drawn into District 30B and will retire
Filed Challengers: Henry Green (D), Sid Saab (R), Tom Angelis (D), Kostas Alexakis (D)
Projection: Lean D+1

Past Results:
2010: Cathy Vitale (R) 41.7%, Tony McConkey (R) 32.3%, Madonna Brennan (D) 25.7%
2006: James King (R) 29.0%, Tony McConkey (R) 26.0%, Patricia Weathersbee (D) 23.8%. Paul G. Rudolph (D) 21.0%

With the Republican power base in Severna Park drawn into one district now rather than two (30 and 33 used to have portions of Severna Park), the list of Republican candidates for this race has become understandably long. The biggest name drawn into the district was Delegate Ron George, who has decided to run for Governor rather than seek re-election in the 33rd.

The new district will elect three delegates, and the crowded GOP primary was the scene for most of the action. Del. Vitale is very popular and easily won the first Republican nomination. Sid Saab of Crownsville ran a very good campaign and took the second Republican nomination. Del. McConkey was actually reprimanded by the General Assembly for ethical misconduct in 2012, after he tried to pass legislation that would make it easier for him to pay off his real estate penalties to the state. Still, he managed to cling to the third spot on the ballot.

These three candidates are the strongest supporters of a Crofton high school, and earned the endorsement of the Capital Gazette

These three candidates are the strongest supporters of a Crofton high school, and earned the endorsement of the Capital Gazette

Democrat Henry Green, a former Baptist minister, has presented himself as a moderate, community-driven alternative and has earned the endorsement of the Gazette. Along with Vitale and Saab, he has been vocal in supporting the efforts to build a high school in Crofton.

The other Democrats in the race are 2004 Congressional candidate Kostas Alexakis and former Republican candidate for County Executive Tom Angelis.

While Severna Park and Millersville tend to vote for Republicans, they are also well-informed voters who have some of the highest turnout numbers in the county. Honest, ethical representatives are more important than political parties, and we predict the voters will choose Vitale, Saab, and Green.

Election Projection 2014: Baltimore County


The partisan divisions of eastern vs. western Baltimore County could not have been more apparent during the 2010 Democratic primary for County Executive between the liberal Kevin Kamenetz and the more conservative Joseph Bartenfelder. The Republicans also picked up an eastern council seat, making the chamber 5-2 Democratic. The county as a whole is trending more Democratic, with much of the growth being in west county between I-795 and Route 40.

Past Results:

2012: Barack Obama/Joe Biden (D) 57.3%, Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan (R) 40.3%
2008: Barack Obama/Joe Biden (D) 56.2%, John McCain/Sarah Palin (R) 41.7%

2010: Martin O’Malley/Anthony Brown (D) 49.2%, Robert Ehrlich/Mary Kane (R) 48.7%
2006: Robert Ehrlich/Kristin Cox (R) 50.9%, Martin O’Malley/Anthony Brown (D) 47.9%

County Executive

Incumbent: Kevin Kamenetz (D)
Filed Challengers: George H. Harman (R), Tony Solesky (I)
Projection: Safe D Hold

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz (D)

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz (D)

With a strong incumbent in the race, and no Republicans with county name recognition, Kevin Kamenetz is strongly favored to win a second term.

Campaign Finances as of the August 26 deadline:

  1. Kevin Kamenetz (D-inc) raised $893,992, cash on hand $1,025,807
  2. George Harman (R) raised $3,060, cash on hand $2,996
  3. Tony Solesky (I) raised $1,000, cash on hand $1,000


Click “read more” for an analysis of every council seat.

Election Projection 2014: District 12

Senate District 12

Incumbent: Edward Kasemeyer (D)
Filed Challengers: Jesse Pippy (R)
Projection: Safe D Hold

Past Results:
2010: Edward Kasemeyer (D) 58.7%, Rick Martel (R) 41.3%
2006: Edward Kasemeyer (D) 62.3%, Rick Martel (R) 37.6%

The 12th District changes little, remaining anchored in southwest Baltimore County and including a strip of central Columbia in Howard County. The main difference is that the districts 12A and 12B have been combined into a single three-member district. Senator Kasemeyer has filed for re-election and will likely win again.

Campaign Finances as of the August 26 deadline:

  1. Edward Kasemeyer (D-inc) raised $74,982, cash on hand $114,798
  2. Jesse Pippy (R) raised $23,668, cash on hand $16,351



House District 12 – 3 members

Incumbents: James E. Malone (D), Steven DeBoy (D), Elizabeth Bobo (D) – all retiring: Malone, DeBoy, Bobo
Filed Challengers: Eric Ebersole (D), Terri Hill (D), Clarence K. Lam (D), Gordon Bull (R), Joe Hooe (R), Rick Martel (R)
Projection: Safe D Hold

Past Results:
2010: James E. Malone (D) 28.3%, Steven DeBoy (D) 26.1%, Joe Hooe (R) 24.7%, Albert L. Nalley (R) 20.9%; Elizabeth Bobo (D) 71.6%, Robert Wheatley (R) 28.4%
2006: James E. Malone (D) 30.6%, Steven DeBoy (D) 28.1%, Joe Hooe (R) 22.5%, Albert L. Nalley (R) 18.8%; Elizabeth Bobo (D) 75.3%, Christopher J. Feldwick (R) 24.6%

This is a rare case where all three seats are open due to retirement. The precincts making up the new district gave Senator Mikulski 60.6% of the vote in 2010 (great candidate in a horrible year), so it should come as so surprise that a host of Democrats have filed for the seat: 10 to be exact. The winners were teacher Eric Ebersole and physicians Terri Hill and Clarence Lam.

There were only three Republicans who ran, making their primary choice very easy. The candidates are businessmen Gordon Bull of Arbutus and Joe Hooe of Lansdowne, and attorney Rick Martel of Catonsville.

Campaign Finances as of the August 26 filing deadline:

  1. Terri Hill (D) raised $105,966, cash on hand $6,481
  2. Clarence Lam (D) raised $91,319, cash on hand $15,000
  3. Eric Ebersole (D) raised $45,080, cash on hand $6,884
  4. Joe Hooe (R) raised $8,210, cash on hand $2,090
  5. Gordon Bull (R) raised $4,234, cash on hand $793
  6. Rick Martel (R) raised $1,825, cash on hand $900

Election Projection 2014: District 11

Senate District 11

Incumbent: Bobby Zirkin (D)
Filed Challengers: none
Projection: Safe D Hold

Past Results:
2010: Bobby Zirkin (D) unopposed
2006: Bobby Zirkin (D) 70.8%, Jeffrey S. Yablon (R) 29.1%

This district gave up Reisterstown and Hernwood, while picking up western Towson. Vote-wise this is an even trade, as both the areas gained and received lean Democratic. Senator Zirkin should have no surprises in 2014, and indeed he looks set to run unopposed for the second election cycle in a row.


House District 11 – 3 members

Incumbents: Jon Cardin (D), Dan K. Morhaim (D), Dana Stein (D) – Cardin ran unsuccessfully for Attorney General
Filed Challengers: Shelly Hettleman (D), Laura Harkins (R)
Projection: Safe D Hold

Past Results:
2010: Jon Cardin (D) 24.3%, Dan K. Morhaim (D) 21.3%, Dana Stein (D) 21.2%, J. Michael Collins (R) 10.6%, Carol C. Byrd (R) 10.5%, Steven J. Smith (R) 10.3%
2006: Jon Cardin (D) 25.8%, Dan K. Morhaim (D) 24.6%, Dana Stein (D) 24.0%, Patrick V. Dyer (R) 11.0%, Patrick Abbondandolo (R) 10.1%

Senator Zirkin and Delegates Morhaim and Stein have formed a slate together for 2014. That leaves one open seat in this safe Democratic territory, as Delegate Cardin left the House of Delegates to run for AG. Shelly Hettleman rode a massive fundraising advantage to victory in June. Laura Harkins will be the only Republican on the ballot.

Election Projection 2014: District 10

Senate District 10

Incumbent: Delores G. Kelley (D)
Filed Challengers: none
Projection: Safe D Hold

Past Results:
2010: Delores G. Kelley (D) 98.2%, Stephanie Boston (D-write in) 1.2%
2006: Delores G. Kelley (D) unopposed

District 10 retains its base in west Baltimore county, while picking up Reisterstown from the 11th. Senator Delores Kelley won a three-way primary in June and will cruise to re-election without a Republican opponent.


House District 10 – 3 members

Incumbents: Emmett C. Burns (D), Shirley Nathan-Pulliam (D), Adrienne A. Jones (D) – Burns and Nathan-Pulliam are now in District 44B.
Filed Challengers: Benjamin Brooks (D), Jay Jalisi (D), William T. Newton (R)
Projection: Safe D Hold

Past Results:
2010: Emmett C. Burns (D) 31.6%, Shirley Nathan-Pulliam (D) 31.5%, Adrienne A. Jones (D) 29.8%, Jeanne L. Turnock (R) 6.9%
2006: Emmett C. Burns (D), Shirley Nathan-Pulliam (D), Adrienne A. Jones (D) unopposed

While the district gained territory in the north, it lost its share of Catonsville and most of Woodlawn as well. Incumbent delegates Burns and Nathan-Pulliam, who resided in these southern areas, are now out of the district. Therefore, there are two open seats in this safe Democratic district.

Jones will be joined on the ballot by Jay Jalisi and Benjamin Brooks, who edged out Carin Smith for the third spot by just 310 votes. William T. Newton is the only Republican running in District 10.

Election Projection 2014: District 42

Senate District 42

Incumbent: Jim Brochin (D)
Filed Challengers: Tim Robinson (R)
Projection: Lean R+1

Past Results:
2010: Jim Brochin (D) 58.4%, Kevin Carney (R) 41.5%
2006: Jim Brochin (D) 56.3%, Douglas B. Riley (R) 43.7%

Past results don’t mean as much when a district is as fully reconfigured as Sen. Brochin’s was. Instead of being a compact district just north of Baltimore, it now stretches from Towson to the Pennsylvania border. The district becomes much more conservative, and Brochin was, unsurprisingly, less than pleased with the map. In fact, it’s possible the district was drawn this way specifically to make it harder for Brochin to win re-election in 2014. According to an article in the Washington Post, Brochin drew Governor O’Malley’s ire in 2006 when he voted with then-Governor Ehrlich’s allies to block a state takeover of 11 schools in Baltimore City, of which O’Malley was the mayor. O’Malley backed Connie DeJuliis over Brochin in the Democratic primary, but Brochin won with nearly 70% of the vote, despite being outraised.

Sen. Jim Brochin (D)

Sen. Jim Brochin (D)

However, the new district’s demographics make it more likely to elect a Republican, and anesthesiologist Tim Robinson is the only remaining Republican in the race. While the district looks like a likely GOP pickup on paper, Brochin’s willingness to defy O’Malley and the Democratic establishment win him major points as an independent in this district. Robinson will also need to put up stronger fundraising numbers if he hopes to help the Republicans capture this seat. All in all, this may be the most competitive Senate race in the state, and it will be interesting to see who comes out on top.

Campaign Finances as of the August 26 deadline:

  1. Jim Brochin (D-inc) raised $150,010, cash on hand $149,295
  2. Tim Robinson (R) raised $63,108, cash on hand $39,461

House District 42A – 1 member

Incumbent: Steve Lafferty (D)
Filed Challengers: Mike McAllister (R)
Projection: Likely D Hold


District 42A is a new single-member district in Towson. Del. Steve Lafferty has always enjoyed bipartisan support, having served as the old District 42’s sole Democratic representative (alongside two Republicans). He should have an easy path to re-election, facing no primary opposition and little threat from Republicans in this strongly Democratic district.

Del. Steve Lafferty (D)

Del. Steve Lafferty (D)

Campaign Finances as of the August 26 deadline:

  1. Stephen Lafferty (D-inc) raised $53,420, cash on hand $67,032
  2. Michael McAllister (R) raised $2,524, cash on hand -$166


House District 42B – 2 members

Incumbents: Susan Aumann (R), William Frank (R) – Frank is not running for re-election
Filed Challengers: Robert Leonard (D), Craig J. Little (D), Chris West (R)
Projection: Likely R Hold


This new district stretches from Lutherville/Timonium in the south to the Mason-Dixon line in the northwest corner of the county. It is expected to send two Republicans to the House. Incumbent Del. Susan Aumann was a shoo-in to be one of them, and Del. Joseph Boteler, who has been drawn in from District 8, was expected to be the other. However, Boteler put up awful fundraising numbers, and was defeated in the Republican primary by Chris West.

Del. Susan Aumann (R)

Democrats are absolutely contesting these seats. Teacher and attorney Robert Leonard has raised the most money out of any candidate since the primary, including Del. Aumann. He will be joined on the Democratic ticket by attorney Craig Little from Lutherville. While it would be a pleasant surprise for Democrats to make inroads in central Baltimore County, it would certainly be unexpected.

Campaign Finances as of the August 26 deadline:

  1. Chris West (R) raised $139,920, cash on hand $8,627
  2. Susan Aumann (R-inc) raised $58,715, cash on hand $47,370
  3. Robert Leonard (D) raised $24,085, cash on hand $16,404
  4. Craig Little (D) filed ALCE (raised/spent less than $1,000)