30 October 2010

Maryland & Anne Arundel County election predictions

Anne Arundel County:  Anne Arundel County has 331,101 eligible voters: 145,707 Democrats (44.0%), 120,970 Republicans (36.5%), and 64,424 third party and unaffiliated voters (19.5%).  Despite this edge of Democratic voters, the county overall has been reliably Republican: in 2008, the county voted for McCain over Obama (50.0% to 48.2%) and voted for every Republican candidate for President since at least 1988 (data older than that is not difficult to find, but more so to read!).  In 2006, the county voted for then-Governor Ehrlich by a margin of 56.9% to 42.0%.

Turnout:  During the last four Gubernatorial General Elections, turnout here in Anne Arundel County (as a percentage of eligible voters) about the parties has been the following:

1994 Democrats 69 Republicans 69 Overall 67
1998 66D 65R 63O
2002 66D 69R 62O
2006 64D 65R 61O

That averages to 66.25 Democrats, 67.00 Republicans, and 63.25 Overall.  Based upon the overall "enthusiasm gap" in favor of Republicans (and respecting the fact that this gap is probably less evident in Maryland), I am estimating that Republicans will turn out in 1994/2002 levels at 69%.  Democrats are certainly less enthused, but turnout in Anne Arundel County has always been higher than statewide.  It is difficult to imagine Democrats turning out in better numbers then they did in 2006, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and put their number at 65%.  With third party and unaffiliated voters typically at 50% or less, this brings our overall turnout to about 64%.

Projections

Based upon the registration numbers and turnout numbers, along with some intelligent guesswork based upon past trends and future expectations, I have come up with the following predictions:

U.S. Congress: MD-1 (Harris), MD-2 (Ruppersberger), MD-3 (Sarbanes), MD-4 (Edwards), MD-5 (Hoyer), MD-6 (Bartlett), MD-7 (Cummings), MD-8 (Van Hollen, Jr.).  The only race that promises to be close is the MD-1 race between Andy Harris (R) and Frank Kratovil (inc. D).  I've already chimed in on that race here, but generally speaking, the edge should go to Andy Harris by 2-3 points.

U.S. Senate: Like most of the House races, not a close contest. Mikulski (inc. D).

Maryland Governor: Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley has been somewhat immune to the nationwide political environment due to relatively low unemployment (based upon, for example, large numbers of government employees).  Add to this the more than 2-1 advantage for Democrats in registration numbers and I think this is just too much for former Governor Bob Ehrlich to overcome.  Ehrlich should win Anne Arundel County with at least 55% or so, but that won't be enough to overcome the large advantages that O'Malley receives in the D.C. suburbs.  I'm thinking about 53% to 45% in favor of O'Malley over Ehrlich.

Question A: I've talked in length about this subject, so I won't spend too much time here other than to say that based upon my projected turnout numbers in Anne Arundel County, I think Question A will pass with 51.0-52.3% for, and 47.7-49.0% against.  While this is not strictly a partisan issue, we've seen that Democrats tend to be for it (56 for, 37 against), Republicans and unaffiliated voters tend to be against it (44-51), and U (39-54).  Since it is a relatively close vote, stronger than expected turnout by either party could tilt the vote either way.  Even then, this is the prediction I am least confident about.  Small changes in support among members of either party could swing the results either way.
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