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So Who Won?


After spending weeks accusing one another of ducking debates, Maryland's two leading gubernatorial candidates debated twice yesterday.

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley met in the afternoon in the studios of WJZ-TV in Baltimore and again at WBAL-TV in Baltimore last night.

Ehrlich called O'Malley a "whiner" and continued his attacks on Baltimore's schools and crime rates. O'Malley weaved a tale of two Bob Ehrlichs: "The Bob Ehrlich in an election year and the Bob Ehrlich when he has power."

The evening debate ran live and the afternoon debate will be aired Monday at 7 p.m on WBAL and public television.

O'Malley said last week he is commited to several other events::

NAACP 2006 Gubernatorial Debate
Monday, October 24, 7:00 p.m.
Carl Murphy Fine Arts Center, Morgan State University

WTWP's "The Politics Program" with Mark Plotkin, October 30,

B'nai Israel Congregation Candidates' Forum on October 22.

By John Wagner  |  October 13, 2006; 11:24 AM ET
Categories:  Governor  
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Next: Wooing the Black Vote


Ehrlich wont go back to Morgan and I cant say I blame him.

With that said, I think debates is enough, though two in one day sounds kind of silly.

Posted by: nickshepDEM | October 13, 2006 2:10 PM | Report abuse

With the race a dead heat now, the debates should be interesting. Ehrlich will win them hands down.

Posted by: Ron | October 13, 2006 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"With the race a dead heat now"

Ron, what are you smoking? Ehrlich doesn't stand a chance in the debates or the election!

Posted by: LE | October 13, 2006 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Ron I took you to school on the polls last week. Have you forgot your lesson in polling already? The race is static at 5-7 in O'Malley's favor. Latest poll shows O'Malley up 12.

You can lie all you want, but it wont change a thing.

Posted by: Not Ron again... | October 13, 2006 6:55 PM | Report abuse

By any objective measure, Ehrlich has been a good governor. For example, his veto of both the Wal-Mart bill and the energy commission bill were upheld by the courts. The General Assembly, however, led by partisan Democrats, feels compelled to run Maryland politics as if the unions were the only entities that mattered. While I've disagreed with Ehrlich at times, we need him to help counterbalance the overwhelming Democratic General Assembly. I'm afraid of what would happen if we had a Democrat governor and a Democrat General Assembly. Our experience under Glendenning was a disaster. We don't need O'Malley to be Glendenning, Jr.

Posted by: MK | October 14, 2006 12:13 AM | Report abuse

New Rasmussen poll out today (10/14) says O'Malley is leading 53-45. Confirms that Gallup poll.

Posted by: Heyyy Ronnnn | October 14, 2006 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ronnie Boy,

Did you have a chance to watch the debate that just occurred live? Seems that your boy Bobby got kicked and KO'd, big time! It wasn't even close.

Too bad for you, he won't have another chance to swing his arms around, yell at the questioner, or simply look Marylanders in the face and tell them why they should vote for him. Because, tonight, he failed miserably.

Consider this game over.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 14, 2006 8:14 PM | Report abuse

yeah - I saw the debate too and felt like O'Malley looked like a petulent little kid doing his best Bill Clinton impression. He said absolutely nothing and does anything he can to avoid talking about his record of 7 years as Mayor - murder rates are higher than any other city in the country - the schools are perhaps a little better - they are only the second worst in the country in terms of graduation rates.... It's rediculious.

Posted by: Moco voter | October 15, 2006 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Did O'Malley put a whoopin on you're boy - Bobby No Burns?

Ehrlich looked desperate, angry, and too eager to please. O'Malley was smooth and focused. Clearly an O'Malley victory.

Posted by: Aww MoCo | October 15, 2006 12:13 AM | Report abuse

What debate were you watching? Ehrlich clobbered him with stats and facts. I'm still waiting to hear the Mayor's answer on if he would raise taxes. I was sick of the grandiose answers and the Sherlock Holmes "big eye" look into the camera.

Posted by: Redskins_junkie | October 15, 2006 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I like both candidates and try to do my research to be an informed voter, but was really disappointed to hear O'Malley say he had gotten the murder rate under 200.

That's just not true and with all the other issues swirling around his crime stats and police commissioners, I just don't know if I trust him.

Posted by: Gina | October 15, 2006 11:15 AM | Report abuse

O'Malley meant to say that he got the murder rate below 300, but just mispoke. His website states 300 as well.

O'Malley was calm, cool and stared directly into the camera. Ehrlich was angry and rambling.

Posted by: I don't trust Gina. | October 15, 2006 1:17 PM | Report abuse

The debates are probably making Democrats yearn for the days of KKT. I didn't think debate performances could get any worse than that, but O'Malley's debate performance was pathetic. Only a kindergardner could match him for his petulant, whiny behavior. O'Malley can't debate his way out of a paper bag because he can't actual use truthful facts to back up his points, instead trying to use emotion and inflection.

And to kiss-up to his father in law like that was comical.

I can't imagine a rational human being could want to give such a failure a promotion. O'Malley doesn't deserve to spend another day as Mayor, much less allow him to become Governor...

Posted by: BG | October 15, 2006 1:19 PM | Report abuse

The Ehrlich-OMalley debate is the second best one on TV this week. Be sure and watch Montgomery County Cable Channel l0 on Thursday October l9 at 7 p.m. and Friday, October 20 at 6 p.m. The Montgomery County Executive debate will be rebroadcast. Robin Ficker just destroys, as in mincemeat, Ike Leggett.

Posted by: Becky,Rockville | October 15, 2006 7:54 PM | Report abuse

O'malley clearly won. Ehrlich was obviously feeling the pressure of running from behind for so long. No Republican is going to win a statewide office in Maryland (or anywhere else outside of the deep south or maybe some western states) this year.

In other years, I think Ehrlich could have won. But this year, voters are just too angry with the Republicans.

Posted by: David | October 15, 2006 9:32 PM | Report abuse

I just want Bob and his friends Kendall and Donald S. to go off to private life and leave us all alone. On to Mayor O'Malley and the Judge.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2006 10:39 AM | Report abuse

To the Redskins_junkie and all you Ehrlich supporters who claimed to have watched the debate:

If Ehrlich really new his stats, why then did he have to constantly look down at them, juggle their numbers, and then try to spit them out? At one point, he falsely claimed O'Malley's stats were wrong, but then couldn't provide the stats of his own? What does that say?

And, let me ask this question of Ehrlich's backers: if the Ehrlich camp was so well pleased with their man's "victories," why then did they come out for more debates when they have been stalling for some time, declaring that all debates must be over by the 15th, which was yesterday?

The simple answer is Bobby-the-no-brain-Jock came across as arrogant, incompetent, angry, and immature. Say all you want about O'Malley's record--and trust me, there's plenty to say--but if Bobby can't talk about what little he has accomplished, why then would you want to vote for him?

I think both debates prove that Ehrlich is not up to the task, as if his governorship for the last four years wasn't enough.

Posted by: JD | October 16, 2006 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Really doesn't matter who won the debate/who ever becomes Gov has no Power in the Great State of MD. The General Assembly Democratic BOSSES run the State!

Posted by: Rick Yohe | October 16, 2006 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Rick, according to Governing magazine, Maryland holds the most powerful governship in the country. Someone who knows the ins-and-outs of the MD budgeting, hiring and firing, and executive order policies and procedures, would surely know this. That is why the Democratic-controlled General Assembly has tried to curtail Ehrlich's power, since they disapprove of some of his executive decisions. But, I guess, since you drink the Ehrlich kool aid, you wouldn't know that, would you?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2006 11:10 AM | Report abuse

I used to like O'Malley but he came off like a used car salesman trying to sell me a car that doesn't run. I'm not buying it.

Posted by: Sean | October 16, 2006 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I think most viewers will be struck by the mayor's calm confidence in the last debate. The MD GOP attack machine has tried to make a monster out of O'Malley, starting with the infidelity rumors, the constant name calling-- the word "failure" in particular--by the Governor, his wife and staff, and finally with the attack ads. But surprise, the Mayor came across, as the citizens of Baltimore already know, as a pretty reasonable guy who took on an impossible job and has done well. No monster, he's a good-looking Irishmen. To those outside the Baltimore media market, I think O'Malley will make a strong first impression. His real strength though is his ability to court women voters (he did the impossible--a white politician winning election in 65% black city) by receiving an overwhelming majority of female votes. There is a reason Ehrlich picked Ms. Cox. And there is a reason Cox stars in the latest commercial. Ehrlich has to win back the female vote--especially the Baltimore County moms. The last polls I saw showed him gaining lost traction, but these debates won't help. Ehrllich is the ultimate guy's guy. Smug. Snarky. Petulant. A know-it-all. Harldy qualities endearing to the better sex. I've always thought Ehrlich was a jerk. And a partisan one at that. But that's my bias. A whole lot of money spent demonizing the mayor of Baltimore, however, just flushed down the toilet. O'Malley's calm confidence and more postive, hopeful message will serve him well on election day. The debates play to his strengths. No wonder he wants more and the Governor wants nothing doing.

Posted by: SSK | October 16, 2006 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Let's keep it clean

Posted by: Phyllis Jordan | October 16, 2006 12:52 PM | Report abuse


I saw the debate. Ehrlich looked desperate, angry, and haggard. O'Malley was smooth and focused. Martin O'Malley's performance was a sight to behold and worth seeing again. Martin won the debate.

O'Malley exposed the "Two Bob Ehrlichs." The one Bob Ehrlich who promises no new tax increases in an election year and the other Bob Ehrlich who imposed $3 billion in new taxes, tolls and fees on working families and family-owned businesses every other year.

The one Bob Ehrlich who makes promises to eliminate parole for violent felons in an election year and the other Bob Ehrlich who released more violent criminals than any governor in modern times every other year.

The One Bob Ehrlich who talks about working for families in election years, and the other Bob Ehrlich who vetoed a modest increase to minimum wage and greater access to health care while working for the special interests every other year.

The one Bob Ehrlich who touts education funding in an election year, and the other Bob Ehrlich who slashed school Construction funding and jacked up college tuition every other year.

The one Bob Ehrlich who suddenly supports stem-cell research in an election year and the other Bob Ehrlich who sent his top aides to testify against the life saving research every other year.

The often frazzled Ehrlich seemed to get more frustrated as the debates wore on and his desperate lies were calmly refuted, one after the other, with the truth. When called on to actually offer his vision for helping families instead of just offering emptier attacks, Ehrlich franticly flipped through his notes for anything to say.
At one point, when talking about the people of Baltimore, Ehrlich angrily exclaimed, "I pay for you. Without us, you're done."

Actually, Bob Ehrlich has that backwards - without us - the people of Maryland who want new leadership - he'll be done on November 7.

Posted by: I saw the debate | October 16, 2006 12:57 PM | Report abuse

O'Malley's constant squinting look into the camera makes me wonder if he's trying to convince me or himself of his skewed statistics.

If you want real numbers, put this equation in your calculators...

The formula of O'Malley plus Mike Miller plus Michael Busch equals disaster for the State. Under Ehrlich, we've come a long way from the days of the "Spendenning" administration. Handing the keys to the entire state Government over to the MD Democrats is nothing short of dangerous. Someone needs to hold the General Assembly in check. O'Malley won't be the one.

Put off that long overdue vacation and little Tyler's braces...Big tax increases are coming if you don't wake up and get behind the right candidate.

Posted by: BG from PG | October 16, 2006 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I have always voted for Ehrlich from the time he first went to Wash. I corresponded with him re: problems I encountered with insurance that my patients were having. I liked the way he handled them and got back to me. However since he became Gov I don't know this person He has gone out of his way since arriving in Annapolis to interfere with O'Malley running the city. He has acted like a kid on the playground bully. I don't like this man. He messed up the utilities contract He messed up the Wal-Mart employees insurance. I don't like O'Malley but I sure as heck will not vote for Bobby again. Eileen

Posted by: Eileen | October 16, 2006 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I'll lay this out simply: If you want good schools, good fire and police protection, and good transportation, these things have to be paid for, and they get paid for by taxes. These services and others provided by local and state government make communities more attractive to new residents and property values go up. That's great news if you're selling or taking out a second mortgage, but it generally means that taxes go up, too. Some governors--mostly Republicans, it seems--claim that they're going to pay for services with economic growth or slots, but those revenue streams aren't entirely reliable. High standard of living means someone is paying high taxes.
There are, of course, places where taxes aren't as high as they are in suburban Maryland--but I wouldn't want to live in them.

Posted by: Don't Drink Low Tax Kool Aid | October 16, 2006 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Are you telling us the income, sales, or property taxes are going to be raised by O'Malley? Or all three? Some people can govern only when revenues are rapidly increasing. If Martin wants to raise taxes, why doesn't he be honest and put that fact on his signs and in his TV ads?

Posted by: Don't Drink Don't Drink Low Tax 's Kool Aid | October 16, 2006 2:42 PM | Report abuse

As I read the comments about raising taxes and improving poverty stricken area schools,I wonder if anyone as taken a realistic look at Gov. Erhlich's views about heatlh care. I remember when the Governor wanted sexual assault victims to pay for thier exams. I am referring to the exams where bodily fluids are collected as evidence. It was promoted as a way to increase revenue.Others may not remember that but has a former healthcare worker I remember. Though the Governor's softer side has emerged, his coldness was confirmed by his debate comments. A Governor with that view is not one that should run any state.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2006 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm feeling much less hostile now that the Republicrats seem to be polling so poorly. I'm looking forward to a new family in the MD Governor's Mansion, some oversight hearings on the Iraq war and reconstruction debacle in the House of Representatives, and some real questions,analysis, and investigation of Federal Judges along with some moderation on the courts. I'm feeling very Pollyanna -ish. Voters, please don't let them burst my happy face ballon.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2006 5:16 PM | Report abuse

"Put off that long overdue vacation and little Tyler's braces...Big tax increases are coming if you don't wake up and get behind the right candidate."

BG, we have been putting off that long overdue vacation since 2000 when the country started downhill. And then came 2002 and an administration that raised vehicle registrations, property taxes, college tuitions, and instituted new fees on sewage service. And again we put off the braces and vacations.

And, by the way, that warm feeling running down your leg is what almost all Republicans feel when anyone mentions tax increases. But of course you all would rather disguise them as fee increases so you can proclaim in an election year that your administration never increased taxes; right?

If you all don't quit whining and wake up and smell the coffee brewing (at $1.00 a cup plus 6 cents tax) you are going to miss the party. The inaguaration of O'Malley party of course!

Go Martin & Anthony!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2006 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Your anonymous posting reminds me of the Redskins-Titans game. Up by 11, lose by 3. Keep up the gloating. The only poll that matters is Nov 7. Wasn't KKT up at this time as well?

Posted by: BG from PG | October 16, 2006 8:31 PM | Report abuse

The one thing that I will rely upon this year will be my memory. I like the way divided government looks. It looks good in Virginia (Democratic Governor and Republican General Assembly) and it looks even better in Maryland (Republican Governor and Democratic General Assembly). I have no desire to return to the era when all initiatives, good or bad, are rubber stamped.

No government can best serve its people when it is not accountable to them. Bob Ehrlich may not be the smoothest, but there is something about his plainspoken, honest style that is refreshing. I don't need my hopes and dreams appealed to, I need my taxes low and my government responsive and I feel that has been the case for the past four years. Nothing against O'Malley, but Bob has EARNED my vote!

Posted by: Redskins_junkie | October 16, 2006 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Looked it up, Ehrlich was leading KKT by 2 at this time 4 years ago, Gonzales has it on their site. He had been chipping away at her lead and tied her in Sept, overtook her in October. Real Clear politics summarizes all polls, 22 straight have MOM winning this election by average of 7.5 pts. Ehrlich doesnt seem to be getting traction.

That may explain why the Guv appears so angry during the debates and why MOM appears to be enjoying himself. I am sure it is frustrating for an incumbent to not be gaining ground on a challenger you have outraised. Ehrlich does not have a good poker face, gives impression of a guy who is losing this race, which the polls say he is. One thing is clear, MOM is running much stronger and proving a more stubborn opponent than KKT.

Posted by: RW | October 17, 2006 1:23 AM | Report abuse

In any other state in the nation, a great governor like Bob Ehrlich would be easily reelected. It's only in a state like Maryland, where so many liberal have infiltrated and ruined our once great heritage, can a governor who by any objective measure has done an amazing job.

Just look at the facts. School funding is at an all time high (Ehrlich is the only governor in history to follow through with his promise to Prince George's County and fully fund the educational budget). Educational achievement is the highest in history. Unemployment is one of the lowest in the nation. The ICC is finally under construction after Glendening attempted to kill it. All the ads that people complained about have produced the most tourism to Maryland in history. Our state roads are in great shape and are finally being repaired/expanded where needed. The economy is BOOMING, and most of all, the $1 Billion deficit that Ehrlich inherited is gone and we now have a huge surplus.

Now for Martin O'Malley. He promised to reduce homicides to 175. He failed, and his citizens died. His police department is one of the most corrupt in the nation. Because of O'Malley's failed leadership, Baltimore still has the highest murder rate of all big cities in the nation. Considering all violent crimes, Baltimore is considered the 11th MOST DANGEROUS city in the entire nation! Baltimore has one of the highest HIV and other STD infection rates in the nation, 2nd highest high school dropout rate, and has the worst school system in the the state of Maryland, despite being one of the highest funded. A few years ago, several million dollars went "missing" from the school budget. O'Malley has gone through 7 police comissioners in 7 years. Even though the inner harbor is looking better (mostly because of MD taxpayers paying for Ravens Stadium and Oriole Park), most of the rest of Baltimore is as run-down as ever. Just drive down the streets, and you see it. Borded-up houses, crumbling city steets, pawn-shops, liquor stores, seedy bars and strip clubs, trash everywhere, homeless people all around. Baltimore is a mess, and I don't want the man who has been leading it for nearly a decade to turn Maryland into the DISASTER Baltimore has become.

O'Malley may be a good-looking gentleman from Montgomery County, but his FAILED leadership, and his excuses speak volumes about his character. Ehrlich doesn't make excuses, and rightly takes credit for the great shape Maryland is in, despite the democrat dominated legislature. Everyone I encounter who supports O'Malley says the bad shape Baltimore is in is not his fault. Well maybe it isn't, but from my Governor I want NO EXCUSES, only RESULTS!

O'Malley can take his FAILED leadership back to Bethesda. I'll take Ehrlich for 4 MORE YEARS! 4 MORE YEARS! 4 MORE YEARS!

Posted by: Crusader | October 17, 2006 2:00 AM | Report abuse

Only folks who vote for O'Malley should get their taxes raised. That's fair.

Posted by: Rufus | October 17, 2006 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Martin will promise the world, but he won't tell you how he is going to pay for it and how he'll do it.

The correct analogy would have been the tale of two Martin's-- Martin the promiser versus Martin the deliverer.

Martin promises 175, he delivered 253.

He promised fiscal management, he delivered a 20% income tax increase.

Etc etc.

Posted by: Bryan | October 17, 2006 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Ehrlich said it best Saturday afternoon when he said that the people of Maryland sent him to Annapolis 4 years ago to fix the budget, compromise with the GA when it works for the good of the people but get up and walk away from a bad deal. Well, he's done so and as a result, deserves 4 more years.

If O'Malley, Miller and Busch have the reins, let's see how many bad deals are walked away from.

Posted by: BG from PG | October 17, 2006 1:35 PM | Report abuse

"Martin promises 175, he delivered 253."


Despite your hate filled rants, O'Malley did not "deliver" any homicides.....these people were murdered by individuals who likely were under state parole and probation supervision and were permitted to walk the streets anyway....thank you Bob Ehrlich!!!

Posted by: Baltimore voter | October 17, 2006 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Full Debate Analysis can be found at and here.">">here.

The radio debate, I might have called a tie. But the televised debate was not even close.

Posted by: Stephanie Dray | October 17, 2006 6:58 PM | Report abuse

It appears from 1990 til 1999 Baltimore averaged 320 murders. During the O'Malley years that number has been reduced by 60 murders a year. That is 420 fewer murders, a real reduction that members of the BPD and citizens of Bmore should be proud to cite. No dispute there, it is progress.

Big difference betweeen setting a goal to strive for such as reducing murders to 175 and falling short and lying. A lie goes like this, "I promise not to raise taxes if elected." Then after elected you raise the property tax (Angry Bob), raise car registration tax (Angry Bob), raise the flush tax (angry Bob), raise road tolls (Angry Bob), raise tuition 40%...introduce 3 billion in new taxes after promising not to raise taxes...that is a lie, not a missed goal. Maybe that is why Bob is so angry, he made a Bush I mistake. Good news is that he will pay with his job, Angry BOB becomes one term BOB in 20 days.

Posted by: TR | October 17, 2006 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget one of the HUGE savings in the budget came when the Gov raised copays on health insurance for state employees. We pay more. He pays less. Guess who took all the credit? But, of course, having to pay more in copays isn't a tax, right? It's money going out of my pocket because of an action he took. Call it a tax, fee, user charge, copay, premium, toll, registration charge, or salami sandwich. The impact is the same.

Posted by: state drone | October 18, 2006 2:17 PM | Report abuse

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