First Click, Maryland:
2010 Maryland Election Results
O'Malley trounces Ehrlich; Kratovil loses to Harris
November 3, 2010:
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley trounced his Republican predecessor Tuesday, beating Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. by a wider margin than any state candidate had amassed in 20 years, on a night when many other Democrats were toppled in a nationwide wave of anti-incumbent frustration.
The scope of O'Malley's win began to come into full view on Wednesday morning. With nearly 99 percent of precincts reporting, O'Malley bested Ehrlich 55.8 percent to 42.3. The near 14-point advantage, was not only nearly identical to polls taken in weeks before the election, but amounted to the most lopsided victory for a Maryland gubernatorial candidate since former Gov. William Donald Schaefer's 20-point thrashing of Republican William Shepard in 1990.
But O'Malley fought Ehrlich to a statistical tie in Baltimore County, the most populous in a ring of five suburban Baltimore counties that propelled the Republican to victory in 2002. Four years ago, Ehrlich edged O'Malley there but needed a far better showing this time to win.
The news for Ehrlich was far worse in the Washington suburbs. O'Malley won by a margin of more than 2-to-1 in Montgomery County and claimed a whopping 88 percent of the vote in Prince George's County.
In a story written for today's paper with my colleague, John Wagner, we look more at how O'Malley's second term is likely to begin to unfold, and why over the next four years he is positioned to emerge as a strong Democrat with a larger national profile. Read it here, and check back at our Web site throughout the day as we continue analyzing the results.
-- Aaron C. Davis
Harris unseats Kratovil
"A Republican challenger ousted a first-term House Democrat from the Eastern Shore in a closely watched congressional race Tuesday," writes The Post's Ben Pershing and Joe Stephens. "In a rematch of their contest two years ago, state Sen. Andrew P. Harris (R) soundly beat Rep. Frank M. Kratovil Jr. (D) in the 1st Congressional District. The Democrat had defeated the Republican in 2008 by fewer than 3,000 votes, or less than 1 percentage point, after Harris ousted longtime Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest in the Republican primary. Gilchrest, a self-described moderate, subsequently endorsed Kratovil in that election and again this year. Because the 2008 squeaker made Kratovil an obvious target, outside groups poured millions of dollars into the district this fall for television advertising. Kratovil, 42, a former local prosecutor, depicted himself as a Democrat unafraid to break ranks with his party in Washington. He supported President Obama's economic stimulus package but voted against his health-reform legislation.
Mikulski cruises to reelection
"Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, 74, the state's senior U.S. senator, cruised past Eric Wargotz to claim her fifth six-year term. Wargotz, a Queen Anne's County commissioner, was hard-pressed to make the contest competitive because he trailed in funding and statewide visibility. Mikulski spent close to $3 million, much of it on TV ads highlighting her efforts to boost the economy and her record of promoting issues important to women. Even after lending his campaign at least $850,000, Wargotz spent less than a third of what Mikulski did. In one ad, the challenger compared Mikulski to a dinosaur - "insidersaurus."
Voters approve Anne Arundel slots casino
"Anne Arundel voters approved plans for Maryland's largest casino in the state Tuesday, and Maryland's horse-racing industry, after decades of pushing legislators to allow slots machines, warned the result could decimate it," writes The Post's Nathan Rott. "Passing County Question A with roughly 56 percent of the vote, voters appeared willing to look past concerns about traffic and vice to allow Baltimore-based Cordish Cos. to move forward with its proposed 4,750-machine slots parlor next to the Arundel Mills shopping mall. But where the winding saga of gaming in Maryland would settle Tuesday was never a sure bet. Well-financed and well-organized opposition came in the form of strange bedfellows: those who object to gambling, at least in what they consider a family-friendly location, and those in the state's racetrack industry who make their living by it."
Seven Maryland Dems return to Republican-led House
"Just four years after surrendering power, Republicans recaptured control of the House and made gains in the Senate on Tuesday night, in a major rebuff of President Obama and the Democrats by an electorate worried about the economy and the size of the government," writes The Post's Dan Balz. In the 8th Congressional District, based in Montgomery County, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D) defeated Republican Michael Lee Philips. In the 4th Congressional District, which includes parts of Prince George's and Montgomery counties, Rep. Donna F. Edwards (D) beat Republican Robert Broadus. In the 5th Congressional District, which stretches from Prince George's to St. Mary's County, Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D), the House majority leader, topped Republican Charles Lollar. In the 2nd Congressional District, Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D) defeated Republican Marcelo Cardarelli. In the 3rd Congressional District, Rep. John Sarbanes (D) bested Republican Jim Wilhelm. In the 6th Congressional District, Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett (R) beat Democrat Andrew Duck. And in the 7th Congressional District, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D) defeated Republican Frank Mirabile Jr.
In Md. legislature, GOP wave barely a ripple
"Despite electoral conditions as favorable to their party as any in recent memory, Maryland Republicans failed to break the Democrats' solid hold on the state's General Assembly in Tuesday's elections," writes The Post's Rosalind Helderman. "Even as the party was picking up congressional seats across the country, the GOP was unable to win the five seats in the 47-member state Senate it would need to filibuster legislation advanced by the Democratic majority - long a stated party objective. And in the 141-member House of Delegates, only a handful of seats appeared likely to change party hands. Heading into the election, Democrats held a 104 to 37 edge over Republicans in the chamber."
Baker set to take reins in Prince George's
"Democrat Rushern L. Baker III capped his eight-year quest to lead Prince George's County with a victory Tuesday and said he plans to get working quickly on his campaign promise 'to make a good county great,'" reports The Post's Miranda Spivack. "'I am very happy to be the county executive-elect,' said the 51-year-old lawyer and former state delegate. Baker spent the day crisscrossing the county, stumping for the O'Malley-Brown ticket and hoping to boost voter turnout for Maryland Democrats at a time when the party faced tough races nationwide.
Montgomery ambulance fee referendum rejected
"In a year marked by tight budgets and tough votes in Montgomery County, voters on Tuesday were enlisted to sort through a sticky series of claims and counterclaims on a question that might not previously have been at the forefront of their busy lives: Should there be a fee for ambulance service? Their answer: an emphatic no," writes The Post's Michael Laris. "Hundreds of career firefighters and paramedics have been stumping for the fee, door to door, at malls - and on Tuesday, at polling places. Meanwhile, volunteer fire and rescue personnel worked phones, neighborhoods and polls seeking to block it. The Montgomery County Council passed the fee in the spring. It had long been a priority of County Executive Isiah Leggett (D), who argued that the fee was a reasonable way to raise money to expand fire and rescue services. Bills of about $400 to $800 would be sent to county residents' insurance companies or the federal government. 'It's a resounding rejection by voters, despite an unprecedented campaign utilizing a huge amount of county resources and personnel," said council member Phil Andrews (D-Gaithersburg-Rockville), a longtime foe of the fee.'"
McCartney: Republican wins bad for DC region
"If your region typically votes Democratic and depends heavily on federal dollars for its prosperity, it's a bad day when Republicans make big gains in Congress after campaigning on passionate pledges to scale back government. Pardon me for seeming blatantly partisan, but that judgment sums up the mid-term elections' likely impact on the Washington area," writes Post Columnist Robert McCartney. "Assuming the voting trends seen early Tuesday evening are accurate in forecasting GOP advances in both the House and Senate, it's hard to find a silver lining for the region. Of course, our area would benefit along with the rest of the nation if Republican-backed policies succeed in helping to revive the economy, hold down taxes and reduce government burdens on business. But Democratic losses translate into trouble when it comes to many issues unique to our region, such as Metro funding, federal jobs and voting rights in the District.
WPost Editorial: O'Malley must level with Marylanders
Gov. Martin O'Malley won in part on a strategy of "studiously avoiding any explanation of how he will resolve Maryland's most daunting problems - namely, closing structural deficits in the state budget, along with a staggering $33 billion in IOUs for retired teachers and state government workers. Little wonder that Mr. O'Malley didn't want to talk about such a grim future in the course of the campaign; now that the race is over, though, he owes Marylanders a fuller picture ... Mr. O'Malley will have to tip his hand sooner rather than later. He will have to decide if it's possible to continue muddling through with furloughs and cutbacks in state programs, or whether also to seek higher taxes. He will have to reconcile his competing commitments to build the Purple Line, a rail transit link through Montgomery and Prince George's counties, as well as a similarly ambitious project through Baltimore. He will have to offer a vision for meeting the state's pension and health-care liabilities for current and future retirees, though in a way that does not cripple local governments by offloading the burden of teacher pensions entirely to them. And he will have to address tough new federal strictures governing runoff pollution in a way that protects both the Chesapeake Bay and the livelihoods of Maryland farmers affected by tighter limits.
"I want everybody to know that Prince George's County did everything it could to help the Democrats, and I will be there to collect on that,"
-- Prince George's County Executive-elect Rushern Baker on Tuesday saying the county's much-needed African American vote for Martin O'Malley's bid for reelection helped the governor.
Ehrlich's "primary mission was to talk about the future, and too often he talked about the past ... This year was about change, and he had to make a case for change. He wasn't able to do that."
--- Richard Cross, a former Ehrlich aide who writes a political blog.
"In the toughest of times, against some of the greatest adversity our country has seen in a long, long time, the people of Maryland have decided once again that together, we move forward."
-- Gov. Martin O'Malley in his victory speech.
"Tonight is at an end ... We wish him well. For us this is the close of the chapter. For us, it's not sad."
-- former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. in his concession speech at 11:11 p.m.
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