WaPo Hands Senate Seat to the Democrats

Apparently we have no need for next year’s General Election. Writing in the Washington Post’s The 202 column today, James Hohmann has already awarded Maryland’s U.S. Senate General Election to the Democratic Nominee:

— April 26: Who succeeds Sen. Barbara Mikulski? The longest-serving woman in Congress, who has been a fixture of Maryland politics since the 1970s, is retiring. She will be succeeded by whomever wins the increasingly nasty Democratic primary between two members of the House delegation, Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards.

You would think that, given the lessons of 2014 and the number of media who wrote off Republican chances of succeeding Martin O’Malley, that journalists would be more reticent to award Democrats in Maryland a major statewide election based on past results.

It’s hard to say if Hohmann’s declaration is mere ignorance as somebody who doesn’t cover Maryland politics, or more indicative of the liberal bias that we are used to from the mainstream media, but it certainly shows a lack of understanding of the players in the game and the situation in statewide politics. Maybe he should listen to our interviews with the candidates. Given Governor Hogan’s popularity and Democratic overreaches in Annapolis, voters are more predisposed than ever to make the choice for a Republican candidate. As I wrote in November, about Harford County Executive Barry Glassman’s potential entry to the race:

Trending: Red Maryland Radio: The Final Episode

The revelation that Glassman is considering a run makes for interesting political theater, and the fact that two Republicans in major office are among the candidates running or considering a run for U.S. Senate is a drastic improvement from some past primary elections and shows how strong and competitive the Republican Party has become here in Maryland.

It’s been a long time since we had two high-ranking Republican office holders seek a U.S. Senate seat in the same election, and Glassman would not be considering it and Szeliga would not be running if they didn’t think it was winnable. Any of the major Republican candidates (Glassman, Szeliga, Richard Douglas, and Chrys Kefalas) would be tremendous contrast to the left-wing Democratic politics of Van Hollen and Edwards. The Republican candidates, too, also better represent the rising tide of conservatism among Maryland voters.

No, it won’t be an easy election, especially in a Presidential election year. But Hohmann’s writing-off Republican chances is borne of an ignorance of recent history and a lack of understanding of Maryland’s new normal.

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