Tag Archives: Steve Hershey

Republican Senate Conservatism Varies–But Not Too Much

GOP SenToday, 7S looks at Republicans using the data provided by Boris Shor and Nolan McCarty of state legislator ideology. Remember that a more positive score indicates a more conservative senator, so the bottom of the table are the most conservative. Put another way, the closer to zero, the more moderate the senator. These scores are for the legislator’s entire career in the General Assembly and include House as well as Senate service.

Republican scores range from 0.330 for Sen. George Edwards (R-Garrett, Allegany and Washington) and 1.200 for Senator-Elect Gail Bates (R-Howard). (Three incoming Republican senators do not have scores because they have never served in the General Assembly.) In contrast, the most progressive Democrat, Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery), has a score of -1.864 and the most moderate Democrat, Sen. Jim Brochin (D-Baltimore County) receives a rating of -0.285.

Two of the three most moderate Republicans represent Western Maryland–Edwards and Sen. Christopher Shank (R-Washington). However, the two Eastern Shore Republicans are not close ideologically with Senator-Elect Addie Eckardt (R-Mid Shore) more moderate than Sen. Steve Hershey (R-Upper Shore).

Similarly, the two Anne Arundel senators are not an ideological matched set. Sen. Ed Reilly (R-Anne Arundel) is the second most conservative senator while Sen. Bryan Simonaire (Anne Arundel) is more moderate, though the ideological distance is smaller than for the two Shore Republicans.

Perhaps most critical is that all Republicans are notably more conservative than all Democrats. The distance between the most moderate Democrat and Republican (0.615) is greater than that between the most conservative Republican, Senator-Elect Bates, and the second most “moderate” Republican, Senator-Elect Eckardt. And even the most moderate Republcian, Sen. Edwards, is closer to all but three Republicans than the most moderate Democrat.

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Polls Support 7S Predictions

Red Maryland recently published the results of a poll of upcoming Republican primaries. The results are in line with my recent predictions for the primaries in two Eastern Shore districts. Incumbent Sen. Steve Hershey leads former Del. Richard Sossi in District 36.  Del. Addie Eckhardt has a good chance to unseat incumbent Sen. Richard Colburn in neighboring District 37.

RMDPoll

The key caveat–and why I am not making any ratings changes based on these polls–is that the number of respondents in each district is low. In the Hershey-Sossi race, there are just 87 respondents and in the Colburn-Eckardt race, there are only 58. Another problem is that figuring out who will vote in these low turnout events is not easy.

Indeed, based on this many respondents, the difference in support for Colburn and Eckardt is not statistically significant. Put another way, there is a more than 1 in 20 chance that the difference in support among actual voters is zero or that Colburn actually leads Eckardt.

On the other hand, the sample size and the differences in the levels of support for the two candidates are large enough in the Hershey-Sossi race to indicate that Sossi probably really does trail Hershey. The small number of respondents renders the actual size of Hershey’s lead unclear–the range around the estimated level of support for either is huge. But one can say that Hershey is ahead by some amount greater than zero with reasonable certainty.

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