Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Openings

An internal poll for Mayor Martin O’Malley’s campaign, done by GarinHartYang (in today’s Sun) shows him with 50 percent, with Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan at 28 (22% undecided) among likely primary voters. This comes on the heels of a poll showing Governor Bob Ehrlich's approval rating at 48%, not a good number at all.

The Maryland Democrats have been trying to derail Lieutenant Governor Mike Steele's upcoming fundraiser with Karl Rove, given Roves implication in outing CIA agent Valerie Plame. It was a bit surprising to see the Examiner's front page and an inside Post page on this. It’s also interesting that while Republican numbers have gone down with the recent bad news, numbers for Ds haven’t gone up significantly.

Perhaps that’s an opening for third parties, as Green Party folks in Frederick work to get someone on the ballot for local government, specifically the board of aldermen. Local organizing can give smaller parties and grassroots movements an opportunity to build credibility and strength for the future while competing in an arena less dominated by big donors and wild spending on media, polls, etc. If the Democrats don’t have coherent policies that their base agrees with, or get complacent at the grassroots, third parties may become a viable option in Maryland.

--OnBackground

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