Category Archives: 2014 Elections

Delegates Who Sought Other Offices

Fifteen Democratic delegates sought a range of other offices; only five were successful:

Tom Hucker, Elected to Montgomery County Council
Susan Lee, Elected to Senate
Veronica Turner, Defeated in Primary for Senate
Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, Elected to Senate
Jolene Ivey, Defeated in Primary for Lt. Governor
Melony Griffith, Defeated in Primary for Senate
Guy Guzzone, Elected to Senate
Heather Mizeur, Defeated in Primary for Governor
Aisha Braveboy, Defeated in Primary for Attorney General
Jon Cardin, Defeated in Primary for Attorney General
Luiz Simmons, Defeated in Primary for Senate
Peter Murphy, Elected Charles County Commission President
Johnny Olszewski, Defeated in General for Senate
Mary-Dulany James, Defeated in General for Senate
Doyle Niemann, Defeated in Primary for PG County Council

Five of eight Republican delegates who ran for higher office were successful in 2014:

Addie Eckardt, Elected to Senate
Steven Schuh, Elected Anne Arundel County Executive
Wade Kach, Elected to Baltimore County Council
Michael Hough, Elected to Senate
Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, Defeated in Primary for Lt. Governor
Ron George, Defeated in Primary for Governor
Gail Bates, Elected to Senate
Mike McDermott, Defeated in General for Senate

If I am missing anyone, please let me know. Thanks to those who sent in corrections–the post has been updated.

Who are the Most Progressive Members of the House of Delegates?

HouseOld

Blue Indicates Reelected Delegate

The above table contains a list of the 84, or 60 percent, most progressive delegates going into the 2014 elections, according to Boris Shor and Nolan McCarty’s measure of state legislator ideology. Remember that the lower the score (i.e. the more negative or left on the number line), the more progressive the legislator.

Interpreting the Scores

Two key caveats need to be remembered when interpreting the table. First, two legislators–David Fraser-Hidalgo and Steven Arentz–were appointed too recently to have scores and are not included. (Unlike for the Senate, scores are also unavailable for newly elected legislators; most new senators were former delegates.)

Second, the the tradition of the House is that legislators vote with their committee on the key second reading of bills that have emerged from their committee. The basic rationale is that legislators should not have a second bite at the apple and go along with the results of their committee. Adherence to this tradition would alter a legislator’s score if they would have otherwise voted differently.

As a rough cut, the top four deciles, or 40% of the House, are all solid progressives or liberals (pick your favorite) on most issues. The fifth and sixth deciles, who formed the middle 20% ideologically of the old House, were more center left with legislators becoming more moderate as the scores get closer to zero.

Departure of Moderate Democrats

Liberalism appears somewhat related to the likelihood that a legislator from the old House will return in the new one. Consider that 11, or 26%, of the 42 most progressive legislators (i.e. the top three deciles) will not return in 2015. But among the 42 next most progressive legislators (i.e. the fourth through sixth deciles), 17, or 40%, will not serve in the new House.

(The numbers indicate the same conclusion if one divides the two groups between the third and fourth deciles. In the top four deciles, 29% of the 56 won’t return, as compared to 43% of the 28 delegates in the fifth and sixth most progressive deciles.)

The 13 most moderate Democrats are not shown in the table. Perhaps most tellingly, 8 or 62% of them will not be coming back. And none left because they moved to the Senate. As detailed in Friday’s post, many lost reelection to Republicans in the “Massacre of the Moderates.”

The Speaker and His Caucus

Notice that Speaker Michael Busch was slightly left of center in his old caucus (remember 13 Democrats are not in the tables). He seems likely to be slightly right of the center in his new caucus, as more moderates were defeated. Moreover, it seems quite possible that newly elected legislators will be more left wing than the delegates who preceded them in office.

The Most Progressive Returning Legislators

Interestingly, the three most progressive returning legislators according to the Shor-McCarty measure sat in the Senate: (1) Rich Madaleno, (2) Paul Pinsky, and (3) Roger Manno. However, the next two were members of the House: (4) Susan Lee, and (5) Bonnie Cullison, though Lee is moving from the House to the Senate when the new General Assembly convenes.

Popping Democratic Myths

Democrats are still trying to figure out why they lost the gubernatorial election. Naturally, this process will continue for some time. But Democrats might as well begin by dispensing with some of the popular but unhelpful myths floating around.

1. Hogan’s Election was a Fluke

Some Democrats seeking comfort in the results have concluded that it was a bad year for Democrats and assume matters will revert to normal soon enough. Population shifts towards the Washington area and minority groups make this inevitable. This myth makes Republicans gleeful as it invites further complacency among Democrats rather than a serious assessment.

2. Democrats Needed a More Progressive Candidate

In an odd cracked mirror reflection of Republicans who think that John McCain and Mitt Romney were not conservative enough, this myth’s advocates contend that the base wasn’t excited because Anthony Brown was not sufficiently left wing. But it’s just not credible that Brown would have won more votes through advocacy of greater spending hikes for government programs and the taxation needed to pay for them.

3. If Only Brown had Run a Positive Campaign

Negative advertisements can be quite effective. Politicians and political consultants don’t use them because they are nasty people with twisted souls. Consider Governor-Elect Hogan’s relentless attacks on tax increases by Governor O’Malley.

Like most good myths, the one contains a kernel of truth in that improvements could have been made to the campaign, including a stronger case as to why to vote for Brown and a vibrant defense of the accomplishments of the O’Malley-Brown administration. Moreover, the negative ads on choice failed to convince because Hogan made clear he considers this a settled question.

Del. Heather Mizeur argued most passionately for strictly positive campaigns, most pointedly in her Baltimore Sun opinion piece. But though lamenting negative campaigning, the piece feels like one long negative attack on the man who beat her in the primary, which rather undercuts her central point.

4. The Message is Fine

As several Democrats have said forthrightly, voters in Maryland chose the correct candidate if they don’t want further increases in taxes to provide for more progressive policies. Except that they say this not realizing that this is exactly why people were ready for a change. Hogan campaigned for tax reduction and less regulation and Marylanders liked it.

Perhaps their sentiments will change after a certain amount of time moving in the other direction. But Democrats should fear that Hogan’s mix of moderation of social issues and economic conservatism could prove powerfully attractive, particularly if he pursues it in a practical and balanced way.

Again, Democrats have fallen into the Republican trap. Many Republicans view that taxes can never be cut too low with religious fervor (e.g. Sam Brownback in Kansas) and fail to recognize that taxes are needed to provide for government services that are broadly supported such as education. However, the number of Democrats who view ever higher increases in taxation as desirable and wise with a parallel ideological fervor has grown.

 

I look forward to hearing the ideas that Democrats have for moving forward even as they analyze past mistakes. While change can be difficult, adjustments could prove easier than expected and help Maryland–and not just the Democrats–make progress.

 

GOP Moves Forward in Six Counties

The Republicans had a good Tuesday night, capturing the governor’s mansion and making gains, albeit limited, in both houses of the General Assembly. The GOP also made gains in six counties. Summing up the night–they went from 25% to 44% of county executives and from 54% to 56% of council seats.

The most exciting pickups for the Republicans are the two county executives, including taking the top chair in red-leaning Wicomico, But the Republicans had a real coup with Alan Kittleman’s victory in Howard–an increasingly Democratic county that went for Hogan as well as Kittleman.

County Councils

Republicans also made gains in four county councils: Baltimore, Harford, St. Mary’s, and Talbot. In the latter three, the Republicans knocked all of the remaining Democrats by taking their last two seats in Harford and one seat in St. Mary’s and Talbot. In Baltimore, the Democratic majority shrank from 5-2 to 4-3 with the loss of retiring Councilmember John Olszewski Senior’s seat.

The one bright spot of the night was Frederick. Though the two Democratic Youngs won, the tea-party Republican son of Sen. Young lost the battle to become Frederick’s first county executive. The Democrats also picked up two seats on the new expanded Council. One Republican seat is sufficiently close that there is an outside chance that absentees could flip it to the Democrats.

The same four jurisdictions completely dominated by the Democrats before the election–Baltimore City, Charles, Montgomery, and Prince George’s–remain so afterwards.  Republicans wholly controlled eight counties before the election: Allegany, Calvert, Caroline, Carrol, Cecil, Garrett, Queen Anne’s, and Washington. They have now added three more with Harford, St. Mary’s, and Talbot for a total of 12–a majority of all of the 23 jurisdictions, though certainly not the most populous ones.

The partisan state of play remains unchanged in purple Anne Arundel, Dorchester, Kent, Somerset, and Worcester. Anne Arundel will have the interesting challenge of dealing with secessionist theocrat Michael Peroutka on the Council. And just when they hoped things were finally settling down after the rather eventful departure of disgraced County Executive John Leopold.

No Councils flipped control. However, Howard’s Democratic majority will face a Republican executive, while Wicomico now has unified government with a Republican executive and council.

2014 v. 2012 Results from Around the Country

The following three tables compare the results in House, Senate, and Governors races with the presidential results in 2012.

The first chart shows all 17 U.S. House districts that have flipped parties. Republicans gained four seats that Romney won but also made inroads by winning 11 seats that Obama carried. Republicans lost two seats–one centered on Omaha and the other on Tallahassee. In Nebraska’s Second District, the incumbent made the mistake of saying that he didn’t think he should have to give up his salary during the government shutdown.

Flipped U.S. House Districts

FlippedHouse

The next chart shows the results of key U.S. Senate races. I’m assuming that Landrieu loses the runoff in Louisiana since the two Republican candidates won 55% of the vote. Additionally, I lumped Orman in Kansas with the Democrats.

The GOP picked up nine Senate seats. Except for Colorado and Iowa, the winning party is the same as the state’s 2012 presidential winner.

Key U.S. Senate Races

SenateResults

The final chart shows results in key gubernatorial elections. As you can see, Republicans made inroads in several other blue states. But Maryland is the bluest state that elected a Democratic governor and Hogan won by more than other Republicans who were reelected or picked up governor’s mansions in blue states.

Key Gubernatorial Races

GovResults

General Assembly Results

Based on results from last night, Republicans have made limited gains in the new General Assembly: two seats in the Senate and seven seats in the House of Delegates. Veto overrides take 3/5 in each House–29 in the Senate and 85 in the House. As a result, there are not enough Republicans to sustain a gubernatorial veto with support from at least some Democrats.

Here are the tentative General Assembly results:

newgenlassem

Winners and Losers

Winners

1. Larry Hogan. Not only did he win but he completely shocked everybody by winning by a greater margin than Bob Ehrlich in 2002. A stunning victory by a Republican in Deep Blue Maryland. Democrats just didn’t think it was possible.

2. Polarization. The Democrats who lost in the General Assembly are almost all moderate or conservative Democrats: Sen. Roy Dyson, Del. David Rudolph, Del. Norm Conway. The Democrats will be more liberal and the Republicans more conservative. Expect even more acrimony between the Governor and the General Assembly than when Ehrlich was in office.

3. Chris Christie. I know one governor who will be endorsing him 2016. While Maryland doesn’t carry a lot of weight in the Republican Party, I am sure that Christie will welcome its delegates.

Losers

1. Martin O’Malley. The loss of his chosen successor undercuts completely his (vice?) presidential campaign. His legacy has now been repudiated by his own state at the polls.

2. Lieutenant Governors. The curse continues. Blair Lee lost in the primary, and now Katheen Kennedy Townsend and Anthony Brown have lost in the general. Perhaps Ken Ulman should be relieved.

3. Purple Line and Red Line. Governor-Elect Hogan has said he will not proceed with these projects. Why on earth should he throw billions at light-rail for areas that will never vote for him? He’d rather spend the money on roads.

4. Orange is Not the New Black. I am sure that Heather Mizeur was completely sincere in her Baltimore Sun opinion piece. But many who are not her diehard fans will view it as a cynical ploy to get her name before the voters even as she threw Anthony Brown under the bus while avowedly endorsing him. The most memorable moment of the campaign will not be forgotten.

This is How You Do It

Two Democrats have shown how to make lemonade when life hands you lemons. This is just one of Delegate Ariana Kelly’s responses on Facebook to very low early voting turnout in her district:

ariana1

In other words, she used a negative–low Democratic turnout in early voting in her district–as a means to stimulate more people in her network to go out and vote. Call it early voting jujitsu.

Montgomery County Young Democrats President Nik Sushka is using the tightness of the gubernatorial race to similar effect:

Nik

In other words, instead of denying that there is a problem or just bemoaning it, use it to motivate supporters. Smart leadership.