Maryland Senate seat a possible turnover


Ben Cardin, a Jewish Maryland Congressman will challenge Kweisi Mfume in the Democratic primary to replace retiring Senator Paul Sarbanes.  Mfume is upset, since he thought that after he announced, the field should been cleared for him.

In the New York primary for Mayor in 2001,  Mark Green beat a Hispanic candidate, Fernando Ferrer, in the Democatic primary.  Hispanics in large number then refused to support Green in the general election, and helped elect Michael Bloomberg. 

A similar scenario could play out in  Maryland, whichever candidate becomes the Democratic nominee. The GOP has locked onto the Lieutenant Governor, Michael Steele, also an African American, who is currently running about even with either Democratic candidate in the polls. In normally Democratic Maryland (Kerry won the state by 13%, and it has gone for the Democrats every Presidential election since 1984, except in 1988, when Bush carried the state 51% to 48% over Dukakis*), this should be an easy seat to defend.  But Steele is popular, Bob Ehrlich, a Republican, is now Governor, and lingering bitterness after the Democratic primary, coudl help Steele. The race is a tossup, one more state for the Democrats to defend.

*Thanks to a alert reader James Burton for noting this exception to the Democratic dominance

Richard Baehr   4 28 05