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Primary Forecast: Rain?

It's an axiom of politics that bad weather depresses voter turnout.

So plenty of Maryland politicians could be watching the Weather Channel this weekend as Tropical Storm Florence swirls toward the United States, potentially hitting the Mid-Atlantic just in time for Tuesday's party primaries.

U.S. Senate candidate Kweisi Mfume grimaced at the mention of the storm and the effect it could have on turnout.

"If this storm Florence gets here," Mfume said last night, his voice trailing. "We just hope that it continues to veer off the Mid-Atlantic and never gains strength."

With less money than his chief primary rival, Rep. Ben Cardin, Mfume is depending on strong turnout to win the Democratic nomination for the seat being vacated by long-time Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D)

"That's the ballgame," Mfume said.

Mfume spoke as he arrived in Prince George's County last night to attend a final meeting before the election with County Executive Jack B. Johnson and hundreds of his supporters.

"He's here so his presence can be felt," said Derrick Green, an adviser to Johnson. "And he's here because he knows this team is very important to him." Johnson endorsed Mfume last year.

Ovetta Wiggins

By Phyllis Jordan  |  September 7, 2006; 6:23 AM ET
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