In a recent Maryland Reporter article, David Ferguson, the executive director of the Maryland Republican Party, counts 158 Republicans and 157 Democrats currently in elected office in county governments in the state. For Ferguson it’s enough of a lead to pronounce Maryland “red” — at least at the local level. I don’t know, sounds pretty purple to me. I mean, 50.2 % isn’t much of a lead, is it? Still, given the dearth of Republicans in the General Assembly and among Maryland’s Congressional representation, it’s a little surprising. But can that strong Republican presence at the county level “trickle up” and change Maryland’s politics statewide?
Anti-tax Republican and nationally famous political gridlock-creator Grover Norquist thinks so. At a Reagan Day dinner in Queen Anne’s County a couple weeks ago, he told Republicans that they could “change Maryland,” citing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker as an example of just that kind of change. Wisconsin “is a different place than it was two years ago,” Norquist said.
On the one hand, what do we expect him to say — “Maryland’s a lost cause so just give up?” Of course he’s going to be positive. But, looking back at the seemingly unnecessary GOP-strangling Congressional gerrymander Maryland Democrats perpetrated last October, I wonder if Dems are taking this new Republican optimism seriously.
What do you think? Is Maryland destined to turn red?
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