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Ehrlich buoyed by Virginia, New Jersey results

Thumbnail image for Ehrlich.jpgFormer Maryland governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) said Tuesday's Republican victories in Virginia and New Jersey were "a relevant event for us" as he decides whether to seek a rematch next year against Gov. Martin O'Malley (D).

Ehrlich, in an interview Wednesday morning, provided no clearer timetable for when he might make a decision, saying he would conduct polling and convene focus groups in coming weeks to help determine whether a 2010 race is winnable.

"We're doing the science," Ehrlich said. "There is no date. There just isn't. It's no secret. We're running around, talking to a lot of people."

The closest to a timeframe Ehrlich would provide was "winter, early spring."

Ehrlich said Tuesday's results had already increased calls for him to run.

"Our phones started ringing last night, and we got a lot of e-mails at the house," he said. "It's nice, but we're trying to be pretty objective about this analysis."

Of the two gubernatorial races decided Tuesday, Ehrlich said he considered the New Jersey outcome more instructive, calling Virginia a "still light red" state, despite recent victories there by President Obama and Democratic gubernatorial and Senate candidates.

"The Christie race was more relevant for us," Ehrlich said, referring to the victory of former U.S. attorney Chris Christie (R) over New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine (D). "New Jersey is more like Maryland. ... Maryland is still tougher."

Ehrlich said he planned to study the election results in both states more closely in coming days.

"I want to look at cross tabs," he said. "I want to look at independents. I want to look at ticket-splitters."

By John Wagner  |  November 4, 2009; 11:42 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections , John Wagner  
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