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SPEAK OUT: What Shade of Blue is Maryland?

And, where does Montgomery County fit in?


The campaign season brings out the best, the worst, the most passionate and sometimes the most vitriolic political debate.

It also brings out candidates making stump speeches. In Maryland, those candidates are seldom running for president.

A Republican presidential candidate hasn’t claimed Maryland since George H.W. Bush in 1988. It’s been a decade since Robert L. Ehrlich became the first Republican governor elected in Maryland since Spiro Agnew was elected 35 years earlier.

The numbers tell a familiar tale: The roughly two-to-one voter registration advantage that Democrats hold over Republicans. The six-to-two Democrat-to-Republican advantage in congressional seats.

And yet, when you read the comments on Patch sites, you hear them: Voices that aren’t singing the “blue.”

As the political season reaches its peak, Patch continues to post content that draws perspective from around the state. Patch users from Montgomery County or Prince George’s County might notice comments from users in Baltimore County or beyond that represent different shadings on the political spectrum.

In comments that appeared below a recent Patch article that asked “Is Maryland's Political Picture as 'Blue' as Some Think?” and “How deep is the Democrats' hold over Maryland?,” Patch user “Jerry” asked if Marylanders are “too naive to understand we can't tax our way to prosperity?"

“Marylanders are already stumbling under a huge income and property tax burden, and are long overdue for a tax revolt,” “Jerry” wrote. “The Democratic candidates sure aren't going to decrease taxes.”

Another commenter, “” wrote: “It is clear the ‘enlightened’ liberal dems drink from the same pond as fools - they keep voting the party, not the real life water of smart votes. They WANT to be taxed to death and WANT devalued quaility [sic] of good life in that they just can't reason anything but liberal dem ways...... The end of the Roman Empire is underway...”

Meanwhile, BERNIE FISKEN argued “the case for the color PURPLE."

“I would like Maryland to become a PURPLE state wherein voters choose a Candidate based on his/her principles rather than on doctrinaire political party ideology.”

Democratic leaders may recognize that Maryland isn’t true blue in all its many corners.

“Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett revealed as much when the county’s Democratic Party met last month to take its stance on the ballot questions voters will see on Nov. 6,” Patch reported.

Leggett, a former Maryland Democratic Party chairman, cautioned fellow Democrats that making the state’s congressional districts more compact and contiguous—a possibility if a majority of Marylanders vote  “no” on Question 5 on the Nov. 6 ballot—could cost the party seats, Patch reported.

“You make a slight change in two districts, you can go to a 4-4 [Democrat-Republican split] in the state of Maryland. Just think about that,” he reportedly said.

The prospect of shifting numbers resonated with some readers.

“Oh, yes, just think about it, Mr. Leggett; a state governed by those it governs ... what a thought indeed,” KatieSilverSpring wrote, calling Leggett’s comment “classic, and descriptive of what is wrong in Maryland.”

But “jag” remained skeptical that any redrawing of the lines could significantly change the state’s congressional makeup.

“If you think Leggett's claim is accurate then I got some swampland for ya,” “jag” wrote. “Six-2 is the best possible outcome for Republicans under any districting in this state. Maybe 5-3 for if you have a couple Morella-like Republicans (i.e. not anywhere close to the current Tea Party jokers you find in the less educated/affluent parts of this country).”

So what do you think?

Would redrawing the congressional districts make Maryland less “blue?” In a state that is 2-1 Democrat, are other political voices heard? 

Tell us in the comments.

Joe Sugar October 15, 2012 at 05:23 PM
MD is like neighbors PA (blue Phila and Pittsburgh, red everywhere else) and VA (blue NOVA, red the rest). In MD the blue pockets are Balto and the 495 crowd (Montgomery and Prince George counties). The legislature and the Gov had to go to extremes to oust Morella and now are trying to do the same for Bartlet and Harris. O'Malley was reelected because he hide the real fiscal situation, only to have to admit later that the deficit was growing towards one billion, piled up taxes, throw back to the counties the payment of large portions of the pensions, etc. The irony is that the Dems consider that whoever thinks different is "uneducated", while it is them who refused to learn.
Piotr Gajewski October 15, 2012 at 06:04 PM
There are also numerous other non-economic issues that drive the agenda for many of us. I like that the legislature passed a law that legalizes gay marriage (and the population may soon affirm this). I like that the legislature passed the Maryland Dream Act (and the population may soon affirm this). I like that the Governor opposes the death penalty, and may perhaps succeed in doing away with it in Maryland before he is done. I like that we continue to search for ways to reform access to deadly fire arms. If the Maryland Republicans want to join me on those issues, I am happy to have a conversation about taxes and the economy. But so long the Republicans hold back, what I would refer to as, “progress” on those issues; I will have a difficult time voting Republican in the foreseeable future.
haha October 15, 2012 at 06:07 PM
lol, very true!
GTownChic October 15, 2012 at 11:24 PM
I hope it's deep, ROYAL blue. Again.
Bob October 16, 2012 at 10:11 AM
Funny, we're listed anywhere from 6 to 9th in the nation for schools, while test scores have dropped 3 out of the last 5 years. We are listed as 39th as a business friendly state, so I really don't know where you pulled your number from. 5 of the top cities? where was that pulled, please tell me, was it for scenery or crabs? We certainly can throw money at the education problem with falling test scores (and find another tax to put on people), but with the decrease in revenue, loss of jobs, businesses closings and movings to neighboring states, I don't think I'm far off the map when I say the same problems, voted on by the same politicians voted on by the same people and we want a different result? Oh, please. I think really, that a little education for you on these problems from a 60 year old kid is in order, bucko!


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