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Besting McCain, tapping anger, and a rattlesnake: Some voices from the Ehrlich kickoff

Republicans at Bob Ehrlich's Rockville rally said they plan to win the state by losing Montgomery well.

"That's our target for Montgomery, to bring him in at 40 percent," said Mark Uncapher, Montgomery's GOP chair. Sen. John McCain took 27 percent of the county vote in the 2008 presidential race. But some independents have since broken with President Obama over economic issues.

"The shift in independents is really encouraging for us. That's the path to victory here in Montgomery County," Uncapher said.

**

Some activists said voter anger will be a driver.

"I'm out there with people, and they're furious," said Pat Fenati of Damascus, who is running in Maryland's 14th House District. "They're furious with what the state's doing, with what the federal government's doing, with what the county's doing: taxes, no jobs, the government taking over so many things."

**

Gaithersburg plumber Al Phillips stood toward the back of Ehrlich's crowd of 200 or so in a T-shirt emblazoned with the coiled rattlesnake and 18th century "Don't Tread on Me" message adopted by the Tea Party movement.

He's considering volunteering for Ehrlich.

"I don't like the way things are going with taxes and nationalized health care," he said. "The Tea Party is a counterweight to ... bloated government, higher taxes and non-adherence to the Constitution in some cases."

-- Michael Laris

By Michael Laris  |  April 7, 2010; 2:36 PM ET
Categories:  Michael Laris  
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Comments

Wow...so mitigating losses by cutting into someone else's gains is a strategy? Well, considering who's on the other end in O'Malley...that strategy is - in all likelihood - Ehrlich's only hope. Literally. I still say that there are too many uber-conservatives in the rest of the state that will look at his swooning of the DC suburbs as a direct neglect of what their cares are, which include attempting to make Maryland the blood-reddest state in the Union (idk how, but some people can dream...) All in all, I think that this strategy has total failure written all over it, and that this seems to be more of a move out of vengeance than any careful politicking and/or prudent planning, IMO.

Posted by: thelongblueline | April 8, 2010 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Ehrlich got 36.7% of the MoCo vote in 2006, so getting an additional 3.3% (roughly 11,000 MoCo voters) doesn't sound like much of a strategy for victory when he lost by more than 116,000 votes statewide.

Posted by: aohmd | April 8, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Still the best advice for MD GOP: Bag this election cycle. Save the state and taxpayers' money and time. You have zero chance to win.

Use the next five years to rebuild and reinvent. The GOP's past and current state does not smell good to anyone in Maryland. Your only chance is to radically change that situation.

Posted by: free-donny | April 8, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

O'Malley would be vulnerable even in a good year for Democrats. But the truth is, it's not a good year for Democrats.

O'Malley's 4 year legacy is quite simple...More taxes and more deficit.

Posted by: Digitalman08 | April 8, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I wish the independents would have seen through Obama when he was running. This Nation would not be in such serious trouble if McCain was at the Wheel. I feel confident McCain will win AZ again as he is running against the unintelligent, blowhard JD Hayworth. I look forward to next presidential election when we can get someone with half a brain running this amazing Nation!

Posted by: antidonkey | April 8, 2010 11:19 PM | Report abuse

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