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O'Malley projected to win

Aaron C. Davis

O'Malley-ElectionDay.jpgMaryland Gov. Martin O'Malley on Tuesday night turned back a challenge from his Republican predecessor, Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., overcoming a wave of anti-incumbent frustration that was toppling Democrats nationwide.

A lopsided fundraising advantage, a disciplined campaign and a left-leaning electorate that remained receptive to a Democratic message, along with clear majorities for O'Malley in pre-election polls, indicated that the governor had emerged as the more trusted candidate on major issues such as job creation, the economy and the performance of the state's public schools.

At the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, bursts of cheers erupted from the crowd as supporters began to receive email alerts from news outlets declaring O'Malley the winner. The crowd was awaiting the governor's arrival.

Ehrlich's promise to roll back an O'Malley sales tax increase, clamp down on spending and approve more charter schools failed to generate the same momentum that helped Republicans gubernatorial elections last year in New Jersey and Virginia. Ehrlich had cited those victories as reasons for seeking a rematch against O'Malley.

Heading into the last two weeks of the campaign, the governor was outspending Ehrlich roughly 3-to-1 in the television ad war. And O'Malley outflanked his opponent with commercials that drew attention to Ehrlich-era property tax, fee and spending increases. Those spots undercut the Republican's ability to position himself as the fiscally prudent alternative. Late in the campaign, Ehrlich broadened his attack from state issues to federal ones, hitting Democrats on the federal overhaul of health care and on immigration policy.

But Ehrlich's casual speaking style, which in past campaigns struck many voters as a mark of someone who understood the pressures facing the middle class, this year seemed to some observers a symptom of a campaign that sometimes lacked focus, intensity and funding.

"The O'Malley campaign just steamrolled the Ehrlich campaign," said Donald F. Norris, professor of public policy at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. "They got more money, stayed on message, got out early and kept going. If you want to draw a parallel, it's consistent with O'Malley's personality, which is hard-charging ... and Bob Ehrlich's, which is laid-back. But his campaign just never seemed to get off the ground."

At Ehrlich's campaign gathering at the Maryland Fair Grounds in Timonium, some Republicans were in disbelief. "I think there's something wrong with people in this state," said Nina Boniface, 47, after hearing that The Washington Post called the race for he man she did not vote for.

"I don't think they're getting what's going on. They're not seeing the "midnight run' tax increase," she said referring to a late night vote in the General Assembly that increased state taxes.

"I don't know - I'm frustrated," said Boniface, a dental assistant who lives in Harford County. But she said that there appeared to be good news for the GOP in the state's 1st congressional
district, where Republican challenger Andy Harris was trying to ubseat freshman Democratic Rep. Frank Kratovil.

- Aaron C. Davis, Ann E. Marimow and Freddy Kunkle

By Aaron C. Davis  | November 2, 2010; 9:34 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections, Aaron C. Davis  
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Next: Maryland 2010 election live blog: A hopeful O'Malley party gets started


Martin O'Malley is my man

Posted by: gpoi | November 2, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Good Job MD, glad this day is finally over!

Posted by: doesntmatter | November 2, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Ehrlich will get it this time. We don't want you back!

Posted by: ssmd11 | November 2, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

md proves to be stupid once again! The haven for bancrupty and illegal aliens shall continue to it's demise!

Posted by: WhatBubble | November 2, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

This is why Republican wingnuts get elected -- because Republican moderates don't excite the GOP base and don't get Dem support in these polarized times. The O'Malley campaign was full of lies -- we in Baltimore ignored his commercials because we know O'Malley, no commercial is going to change anything. This is the same man who arrested black men on trumped up charges that the state's attorney wouldn't even bother to prosecute, all to make him look tough on crime. He's the nastiest politician since Nixon.

An O'Malley victory is a victory for the illegal immigrants and the class warfare crowd. Ordinary working Marylanders like me will continue to suffer. And I really don't want to move to Virginia...

Posted by: gbooksdc | November 2, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Ehrlich, please read this, Md. does not want an undercover racist.........and a cold bamma

Thanks for showing up and standing up Md...

Posted by: sshipman1 | November 2, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Fortunately, I didn't buy a house in this LOSER State. I just RENT here and THAT has gotten cheaper as the VALUES of people's homes PLUMMETS INTO THE BASEMENT.

Of course, I can't blame the deem-n-rat O'Malley for THAT, but, I CAN blame the NATIONAL deem-n-RATS for it and do.

Maryland can ONLY afford to elect Liberal/Progressive deem-n-RATS because they are adjacent to the financial TEATs in D.C.

Only 3 political entities in Maryland control the entire State and, how fair is THAT? Filled with DEPENDENT, PATHETIC PEOPLE these 3rd World ghettos-with-a-vote INSIST that it's SOMEBODY ELSE'S FAULT, not their own.

Fortunately, the rest of the Nation is not so inclined to blame others for their own shortcomings.

Posted by: aTeaGALA | November 2, 2010 10:53 PM | Report abuse

TeaGala, maybe you dont own a house in MD b/c you can't AFFORD one. Take your racist views to a nice trailer park in WVA - a place more suitable for your moronic views.

Posted by: ssmd11 | November 2, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

I hope his loss cures Ehrlich of his oft-stated delusion that he lost in 2006 'because it was an anti-Republican year.' Well, Bobby, this was a Republican tsunami and you still lost. It's you Bobby. You did a bad job as governor and we don't forget.

Posted by: commonsense101 | November 2, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Though I'm really TEA PARTY, I'm LOVING how California is going Deem-n-RAT because it's going to be a WONDERFUL TRAIN-WRECK to watch.

A TRAIN-WRECK is an AWFUL and an AWESOME event to watch. Look up some old films on YOUTUBE.

California is FILLED WITH PATHETIC people and millions of ILLEGAL HOUSE-BREAKERS and a few inspiring entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. But, NOTHING in SV can't be moved away SOMEWHERE ELSE and this will happen more and more as the LOSERS, the TAKERS, ascend to GREATER POWER than ever before, blaming the SUCCESSFUL for their own LOSER LIVES.

Just as Maryland's Millionaire's TAX got its millionaires to vote with their feet, California is going to CHASE AWAY the capable and successful entrepreneurs, AT LEAST INTO Nevada, where taxes are even lower than the water level.


Posted by: aTeaGALA | November 2, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

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