Not All Numbers Mean Something

Adam Pagnucco has spent this week trying to bury the State Republican Party due to changes in the voter registration numbers. The basic premise is that because the total number of registered Democrats in Maryland is increasing at a faster rate than the number of registered Republicans that the Republican Party is doomed.

However, the total number of registered party members in the state or in any particularly jurisdiction is relatively meaningless in the grand scheme of things.

Take a look, for example, at my home district of District 31. In that district, there are 1.6 Democratic registrants for every Republican registrant. Election results speak to any an entirely different set of circumstances. Last year, John McCain and Andy Harris both carried 58% of the vote in this district during the Presidential Election. And in 2006:

  • Bob Ehrlich and Michael Steele both won about 60% of the vote in the District.
  • AG Candidate Scott Rolle and Comptroller Candidate Anne McCarthy both carried 31.
  • Bryan Simonaire became the first Republican State Senator in the District;
  • Don Dwyer, Nic Kipke, and Steve Schuh were elected as Delegates; the first GOP sweep of Distirct 31
  • County Councilman Ron Dillon was re-elected without Democratic Opposition.

The point of this exercise is to prove that while voter registration numbers are a cute way to try and say a party is or is not dying, they are in no way the be all and end all of the situation. Maryland has had an overwhelming majority of voters registered as Democrats for a long time in a number of districts. But that has not stopped a lot of those districts from elecitng Republicans to serve in the General Assembly, and it hasn’t stopped these voters from supporting Republican candidates over Democrats at the statewide level. You talk to a lot of these voters in districts like the 31st, and you find out that these voters are always voting Republican, they just choose not to change their registration for whatever reason.

Trending: Candidate Survey: Chris Chaffee for US Senate

Bottom line: a lot of these Democrats that Pagnucco likes to use to prove that the Republican Party is dead are actually supporting Republican candidates. With the continued incompetence of Governor O’Malley and Democratic Leadership, I have a feeling that the number of D’s voting R is going to increase substantially in 2010….


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