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Miller: Ehrlich unlikely to run for governor again

Everyone in Annapolis, it seems, has an opinion about whether former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) will run again next year.

Tuesday morning, Senate President Thomas V. Mike MIller Jr. (D-Calvert) offered his.

"I don't think he's going to run," Miller said, unprompted, during an apperance before a group of Maryland superintendents meeting in Annapolis.

Miller said he does not know whether Ehrlich will seek a rematch with Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) but ticked off several factors that he is no doubt weighing. Among them:

* In 2006, Ehrlich was the only incumbent governor from either party who lost in the general election.

* Republicans did not pick up any seats in the House of Delegates or Senate after four years of Ehrlich's tenure. (In fact, they lost seats in the House.)

* Democrats have registered far more new party members in recent years than Republicans.

"He's really going to think two or three times before he runs again," Miller said of Ehrlich. "The obstacles before him are steeper."

Miller predicted that Ehrlich will wait until February or March before announcing a decision. That will give Ehrlich time to see how O'Malley is faring amid a new round of budget cuts, Miller said.

The Senate president noted that polling suggests that O'Malley leads Ehrlich by about 10 points in a hypothetical 2010 matchup.

Miller said Ehrlich has room to improve upon his 2006 performance in Baltimore County, which is home to many conservative Democrats, but said he would have a tougher time in Charles and Howard counties than before.

For his part, Ehrlich has given no firm timetable for making a decision. Other Republicans looking at the race are hoping to hear from him by the end of the year.

By John Wagner  |  October 20, 2009; 11:20 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections , John Wagner  
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Contrary to popular belief, Bob Ehrlich was NOT the only incumbent governor to lose election in 2006... Alaska Governor Frank Markowski lost in that year's GOP primary to someone named...PALIN.

Posted by: DonMurphy | October 20, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Ehrlich's approval rating hovered around 60 percent when he lost if memory serves me. Mr. O'Malley's approval rating has never topped 50 percent. Mr. Miller should just retire already and do the people of Maryland a true service.

Posted by: h20andoil | October 20, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Why wouldn't Erlich run again:

* He's got nothing else to do.

* He's basically employed by the GOP while he's running for office.

* He has experience losing a governor's race.

* The MD GOP has no one else to run.

So, while I think he would get crushed again, I actually think the odds favor Bob Erlich running again. The MD GOP ( as well as nationally) really needs to start from scratch, rebuild, and find some new candidates that are not planning things like its still the 1950's.

Posted by: free-donny | October 21, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

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