Category Archives: Southern Maryland

Analysis: Van Hollen Wins Rural Straw Poll

Chris Van Hollen received 80% support in a straw poll for the U.S. Senate primary held at a summit of rural Democrats. So far, only Van Hollen and his colleague in the U.S. House, Donna Edwards, have jumped in the race for the Democratic nomination.

In heavily suburban Maryland, how important are rural voters in a Democratic primary? The following table shows the share of all Democratic primary voters in Maryland’s three rural regions in the 2008, 2012, and 2014 Democratic primaries:

RuralPDemFor purposes of this table, Western Maryland includes Garrett, Allegany, Washington, Frederick and Carroll Counties. Southern Maryland is Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s Counties. The Eastern Shore includes the nine counties east of the Bay. (Of course, these counties also include some urban and suburban areas.)

Together, these three regions hold approximately one-sixth of Maryland’s Democratic primary voters. Despite their reputation as mostly Republican turf, no candidate will want to ignore this many voters. Moreover, the media market centered on Salisbury is also far cheaper than the other Maryland markets.

Democratic primary turnout in rural Maryland has differed by 2.1% or less than the State as a whole and has not been consistently higher or lower than the rate for all Democrats:

RuralPDemTOThe difference hasn’t varied that much regardless of the overall level of turnout. However, the 2012 results suggest that, perhaps, rural voters are slightly less likely to stay away in low turnout contests. In that race, rural turnout exceeded the rest of the State by 1.5%. In contrast, rural Democratic primary turnout was lower than the State as a whole in the higher turnout 2008 and 2014 primaries.

Top Four Southern Maryland Young Guns

1. Duwane Rager– Sue Kullen is one of three real pick up opportunities for Team Blue this year–the others are Nick Scarpelli and Patrick Murray. Duwane, her Campaign Manager, stands to benefit immensely, if she pulls it off. Duwane is also the President of the Southern Maryland Young Dems and a member of the Calvert Central Committee.

Anonymous The Southern Maryland Young Democrats President, a member of the Calvert County Democratic Central Committee and the Campaign Manager for Sue Kullen’s campaign for Delegate.  He is a great guy and someone who is really going places in the region.

2. Scott Moore – Scott’s a rare breed in Maryland Politics–a professional. He’s done work for Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus and the Virginia House Democratic Caucus. I’ve always felt that out of state work is a signal of great talent.

3. Ben Goldstein-Smith – Super nice, solid dude. Currently managing Steny Hoyer’s reelection.  I think the quote speaks more to his talents than I ever could.

Anonymous: Four years ago, Ben was a field coordinator on Nancy King’s Senate re-election. This year, he is serving in his second year as Executive Director of Hoyer for Congress. Talk about moving quick.

4. Anne Klase – Anne is part of Comptroller Peter Franchot’s small, close knit circle (along with Andrew Friedson and Len Foxwell).

Anonymous: Anne is District 30’s go-to. Hardworking, balanced, and liked by everyone.

Anonymous – works for the Comptroller (floats between the campaign and the office) but don’t hold that against her. She’ll be elected to the AAC Central Committee in June. In a county with few strong Dems (and the strong ones can sometimes be divisive), Anne is universally liked and respected. She is young (23/4) and has a long career ahead in AA politics.