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Thursday, November 4, 2010:

The Agenda

WagnerOur most loyal readers will recall that back in August, we used this space to pose a dozen questions, asking you to gaze into the future of Maryland politics. With Tuesday's elections behind us, there seemed no better time to circle back around with some answers. Some no doubt will surprise you.

Animosity image.jpg1) When the current fundraising period closes on Aug. 10, will the ratio of Gov. Martin O'Malley's cash-on-hand to former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s cash-on-hand be closer to 1:1, 2:1 or 3:1?

As it turns out, for obfuscation purposes, we probably should have thrown in 4:1 as a possible answer. In any case, the correct response turned out to be 3:1. O'Malley reported $6.7 million to Ehrlich's $2.1 million.

2) What percentage of the vote will Brian Murphy win in the Republican primary for governor?

Probably more than you thought, as it turns out. Roughly 24 percent.

3) On what date will a TV ad for a candidate for governor first air in the Washington market?

Probably later than you thought. O'Malley went up on Sept. 21. Ehrlich was about two weeks behind.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for OmalleyObama.jpg4) On what date will President Obama first come to Maryland to campaign for O'Malley?

The answer is Oct. 7. As my colleague Aaron C. Davis wrote at the time: "President Barack Obama on Thursday exhorted a sea of mostly black, young supporters in Prince George's County -- who broke into chants of 'Obama!' and 'We've got your back!' -- not to make him 'look bad' by failing to turn out next month to reelect Gov. Martin O'Malley." They seem to have done their part.

5) On what date will Ehrlich reach 50,000 fans on Facebook?

Ehrlich FB 2.jpgUnless you monitored Bob's growing number of fans on a daily basis, this could have been a difficult one to answer. Luckily, one of the many videos released by the Ehrlich campaign provides an answer that is close enough for our purposes. On Sept. 22, the candidate appeared on You Tube to commemorate crossing the threshold. Had Tuesday's voting taken place on Facebook, the result would have quite different. As of 6 a.m. today, Ehrlich had 65,967 fans to O'Malley's 34,881.

6) Of the four Montgomery County state senators facing primary challenges from sitting or former delegates, how many will lose? How many of the two Prince George's senators facing such challengers will lose? Bonus points: Name the losers.

Correct answers: 2 and 2. In Montgomery: Rona E. Kramer and Mike Lenett. In Prince George's: David Harrington and Nathaniel Exum.

Franchot mug.jpg7) Will the ratio of Comptroller Peter Franchot's age to that of his GOP opponent in the general election be closer to 1:1, 2:1 or 3:1?

For our own entertainment, we were secretly rooting for 3:1 (higher schooler Brendan Madigan). The correct answer was 1:1 (William Campbell).

8) How much cash-on-hand will the unopposed Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler have as of Aug. 10? Bonus points: How much of that will he spend between now and November?

The correct answer is $2.3 million. We'll punt on the bonus question until we see Gansler's next report.

Thumbnail image for WJZ debate.jpg9) How many times will O'Malley and Ehrlich debate between now and November?


10) During their first debate, assuming there is one, how many times will the candidates say "jobs?" Will the ratio of the word "jobs" to the word "progress" be closer to 1:1, 2:1 or 3:1?

Are you kidding me? Who wrote these questions? We're still rooting around for a transcript. Check back here somewhat later.

Thumbnail image for Dundalk2.jpg11) Will Ehrlich's share of the general election vote in Baltimore County be closer to the 61 percent he received in 2002 or the 51 percent he received in 2006?

The correct answer is 2006. But who thought it would be less than that? Ehrlich received about 49 percent.

12) After November, how many members will there be in the Republican caucus of the 47-member Maryland Senate? Will it be enough to sustain a filibuster?

Let's take the second question first: No. There's still some counting to be done before we can definitively answer the first one, but it looks like the answer could be 12, down from 14. Kudos to Mike Miller. The Senate president called this one.

-- John Wagner

News You Should Know

O'Malley up, Ehrlich out after Election Day results
Thumbnail image for O'Malleywin.jpg"Election Day could hardly have gone more differently for the two titans of Maryland politics," writes The Post's John Wagner and Aaron C. Davis. "Gov. Martin O'Malley not only withstood a Republican wave that battered other Democrats nationwide but also won the governor's race by the largest margin in two decades and boosted his profile within the national Democratic Party. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s election as governor in 2002 was hailed as the rebirth of the Maryland Republican Party. After his second loss to O'Malley in four years, the 2002 win now looks more like an anomaly."

Maryland GOP looks to future without Ehrlich
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Ehrlich.jpg"Republican former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. described his gubernatorial election loss this week as the close of a chapter in his life. It could also signal the end of an era for the Maryland GOP," writes The Sun's Annie Linskey. "As Republicans nationwide celebrated a historic victory in the midterm elections, GOP leaders in Maryland expressed worry that Ehrlich's loss Tuesday to Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley by twice the margin of his 2006 defeat would cement the party's minority status here."

GOP Congress could squeeze Maryland budget
"Maryland benefited far more than most states from the surge of federal stimulus spending since early 2009," writes The Baltimore Sun's Paul West. "Now it could suffer disproportionately as a new Republican majority in Congress tries to make good on its pledge to shrink the size of government -- an effort that could put renewed pressure on cash-strapped state and local governments, and threaten projects that depend on federal assistance. 'No question about it,' Democratic Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin said in an interview."

Montgomery tallies ambulance fee fallout
Moreambulances.jpg"Among the toughest feats of linguistic gymnastics attempted by supporters of Montgomery County's ambulance fee was trying to convince the public that it was not a fee at all," writes The Post's Michael Laris. "Even in a county where Democrats were dominant Tuesday despite big Republican gains nationwide, that little word was about as popular as another three-letter political expletive that begins with T and ends with X."


"Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's landslide victory Tuesday makes him a legitimate aspirant for the White House or vice presidency."
-- Post columnist Robert McCartney, assessing O'Malley's win on Tuesday

"'Ehrlich 2010' was the most poorly conceived and executed campaign for governor of Maryland in recent memory. It was a mishmash of muddled messaging, improvised strategy and course correction. No cohesive game plan or strategy for victory was evident."
-- Richard Cross, a former Ehrlich aide, writing in The Baltimore Sun


Trust First Click for critical news and analysis you need to navigate Maryland politics each weekday. You can also find First Click on Facebook and Twitter.

By John Wagner  | November 4, 2010; 7:25 AM ET
Categories:  First Click, John Wagner  
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Next: Arundel Mills casino developer considers temporary structure


If it hasn't been said already, I want to make it clear that the word "tUx" is popular in Montgomery County. It is my sincerest hope that Michael Laris, our star Washington Post reporter, knows that. He is also welcome to wear one at the MCGOP meeting next week, when our county elects its next chairman.

Posted by: DANIELVOVAK | November 4, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

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