Thursday, July 20, 2006

Schaefer's Gonna Lose

The Sun released the results of its latest poll on the Comptroller's race, making it even clearer that Schaefer isn't headed towards re-election.

Although Schaefer led his two opponents in the Democratic primary (AA Co. Executive Janet Owens came in with 22 percent and MoCo state Del. Peter Franchot captured 11 percent compared to Schaefer's 31 percent), the numbers do not seem promising for the Maryland politics icon. 36 percent of respondents said they were still undecided. The League's guess is that not many of them are gonna decide to jump into the Schaefer camp. While the two other contenders are relative unknowns, Schaefer has wide recognition across the state. People aren't waiting to get to know him any better; they're waiting to decide which other candidate to support.

Schaefer has given his heart and soul to Baltimore and this state, and there is gratitude among the electorate for it. But those grateful voters most likely constitute the 31 percent he's already secured.

The numbers aren't surprising. Schaefer, who has a reputation for straight-shooting that often gets him into hot water, has created more than his fair share of controversy over the past year. He's managed to offend women, immigrants of all origins, and anyone else with a sense of decency. Perhaps these gaffes each chipped away enough support to make a difference.

Schaefer is also getting older, and people know it. When a member of The League interviewed him earlier this year, his 84 years really showed. The Comptroller was fluid - but a little too fluid. His mind wandered aimlessly, he couldn't remember the names of people he worked with for decades, and he got dates and places confused. Marylanders sense that his mind is going and that he's not up for the job.

Of course, there's still hope. Those disaffected with Schaefer are conservative and liberal Democrats alike, which means that they could split between the moderate Owens and the liberal-and-damn-proud-of-it Franchot. And splitting the anti-Schaefer vote may dilute it enough to put the incumbent on top.

But this scenario is only one of many, most of which are not in Don's favor. While its sad to see a star fall, everyone realizes its time for him to go. That may mean better state government, but it'll also mean far less entertaining Public Works meetings.

from The League: Reassembled - The Only Maryland Politics Blog from Straight Outta Moldova!


Blogger Bruce Godfrey said...

Bold prediction but I see your logic.

7/20/2006 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger Jamison said...

I think your analysis is spot on TLR. I really am surprised how much traction Owens has gotten in such a short period of time. She's really only got to pull about 40% of the undecideds to close this thing down. Given Schaefer's inability to keep him mouth shut on a vast range hot button issues and his unflinching loyalty to the Republicans in Maryland, I doubt this race will even turn out close.

As for it being sad that a man with a long and distinguished career will be knocked from on high, well that's just the nature of humanity. You live, you die, the next generation takes over. This egotistical maniacs with their pride being more important to them than the actual future of the government don't really have any place in America anymore. Politicians are going to have to take a step back and learn when they've been on top too long and get out of the way of the future instead of trying to hold onto office till their dying breath. We've got the oldest Congress in history right now because of this very problem and it's damaging our country as result.

7/21/2006 12:42:00 PM  

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