Md. GOP: Fired Up, Ready to Travel
Maryland delegates are leaving the Republican National Convention fired up, but some acknowledged their greatest value in coming weeks could be providing help in states, including Virginia, where polls suggest a closer race.
"Three points in Maryland isn't as important as three points in Virginia or three points in Pennsylvania," said Don Murphy, a former state delegate and leader of the Maryland delegation. "We will continue to be a donor state until we prove we are competitive."
If Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) wins Maryland, Murphy said, it will mean the election nationally is a blowout. He said activists in Maryland are awaiting word on how they may best assist the campaign in other states.
Some prominent Republicans, including former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) and Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold (R), have already traveled to other states or have scheduled appearances.
In 2004, Democrat John F. Kerry carried Maryland by 13 percentage points over George W. Bush. Democrats maintain a 2-to-1 advantage in voter registration over Republicans in the state, and neither party has invested heavily in recent presidential elections.
Maryland GOP Chairman James Pelura said he is hardly willing to concede his state after this week, however, citing polls that show the race somewhat tighter than in 2004.
"I'm focused on Maryland," Pelura said, suggesting that closing poll numbers could force Obama to defend the state, detracting attention from more traditional battlegrounds.
September 5, 2008; 9:36 AM ET
Categories: 2008 Elections , At the 2008 Conventions , John Wagner
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