Every once in a while I like to take out my mostly trusty crystal ball and peer into the future. A Gallup poll released yesterday reports a 10 point advantage for generic Republican candidates for Congress over the Democratic opponents.
What does this mean in the real world? In my opinion, Nancy Pelosi is fired as Speaker, probably replaced by John Boehner. On the Senate side, the Democrats may hold onto a one vote majority. However, the difference between a change in the upper house may come down to Majority Leader’s Harry Reid fate in his re-election bid in Nevada.
The pertinent question for local Republican candidates, of course, is whether this 10 point advantage will have any impact on down ticket races. Will the “tidal wave” of anti-incumbent, anti-Democratic sentiment carry Republican candidates such as Bob Ehrlich for Governor of Maryland or local candidates like Steve Whisler, Ryan Nawrocki and David Marks who are running for Baltimore County (MD) Council to victory?
Here is my pre-primary analysis: The wave will be strong enough in high profile races in Maryland. Ehrlich will win and Congressional races will be tighter than usual in Maryland with an average margin of victory for Democrats of 10 points. The wave will not be enough to carry local candidates to victory. There is too much ground to make up.
The only chance for victory in these races is a combined effort in which the Ehrlich campaign gives resources to local candidates. The Ehrlich Team has to support the communication and field outreach of local candidates to maximize the margin of victory in Baltimore County. Seventy percent in Baltimore County only occurs when Marks, Nawrocki, and Whisler win in November or comes within 5 points of the Democratic opponent.
Will there be a Chesapeake Tidal Wave in 2010? Only if Ehrlich’s advisers get out of their normal bunker mentality and actively raises the water level of local down ticket candidates.
Faculty, Department of Political Science, Towson University. Graduate from Liberty University Seminary.