Monday, August 07, 2006

Down Ballot Coat Tails?

The Post has an interesting story about the Maryland Democratic Senate primary where they are expecting to see down ballot races provide the Senate hopefuls with a coattail in the September primary:
Isiah Leggett's campaign for Montgomery county executive, for instance, could increase the black vote that is the base of Mfume's support. And contested primaries for County Executive Jack B. Johnson and Rep. Albert R. Wynn could do the same in Prince George's.

John N. Bambacus, a former Republican state senator who teaches politics at Frostburg State University, called it a "reverse coattail effect" and said there is reason to believe that "some of these local elections could actually drive the outcome of the top of the ticket."

But the same effect could help Cardin as well. There are eight Democrats running for Cardin's former congressional seat, and the voters they are courting are most likely ones who have supported Cardin in the past.
This could prove true, especially with Cardin and Mfume running so close. To me, the most interesting match up could prove a turning point in the state's political balance: will Cardin's Baltimore roots outweigh the growing influence of African Americans in Montgomery, P.G. and So. Maryland?

Of those three jurisdictions, Montgomery and P.G. County have down ballot races with prominent African American nominees. If the down ballot races in MoCo and P.G. win out over the Baltimore Congressional fight, watch for Mfume (if those races push him to the front as one ought to expect) to focus much more closely on Montgomery County in a general. If Baltimore emerges and pushes Cardin into the race against Steele, I would expect to see the Congressman in Montgomery long enough to accept the endorsements from Lichtman and Rales then shuttle between P.G. County (Steele's homecourt) and the Baltimore suburbs that make up his 3rd District seat.

In other words, unless Mfume pulls off the upset, I wouldn't expect to see the Senate race play out all too much in our backyards.

Cross posted at Outside the Beltway


Blogger OnBackground said...

Interesting -- thanks for bringing this to our attention.

8/07/2006 03:39:00 PM  

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