The Hidden Democratic Defeat in Maryland

You may not know it, but there was a hidden Democratic defeat yesterday here in Maryland. And I’m not just talking about the Term Limits referendum in Montgomery County, which sailed to a smashing victory.

If you take a look at the election results of the Democratic candidates for President and Congress, every single candidate but two ran behind the pace of the Democratic nominee in the last Presidential election, the 2012 election:


  • 2012: Barack Obama, 62.0%
  • 2016: Hillary Clinton, 59.5%
  • Difference: -2.5%

U.S. Senate

  • 2012: Ben Cardin, 56.0%
  • 2016: Chris Van Hollen, 60.2%
  • Difference: +4.2%

Trending: Candidate Survey: Chris Chaffee for US Senate

Congress, 1st District

  • 2012: Wendy Rosen, 27.5%
  • 2016: Joe Wener, 28.0%
  • Difference: +0.5%

Congress, 2nd District

  • 2012: Dutch Ruppersberger, 65.6%
  • 2016: Dutch Ruppersberger,  61.8%
  • Difference: -3.8%

Congress, 3rd District

  • 2012: John Sarbanes, 66.8%
  • 2016: John Sarbanes, 62.7%
  • Difference: -4.1%

Congress, 4th District

  • 2012: Donna Edwards, 77.2%
  • 2016: Anthony Brown, 74.0%
  • Difference: -3.2%

Congress, 5th District

  • 2012: Steny Hoyer, 69.4%
  • 2016: Steny Hoyer, 67.1%
  • Difference: -2.3%

Congress, 6th District

  • 2012: John Delaney, 58.8%
  • 2016: John Delaney, 55.3%
  • Difference: -3.5%

Congress, 7th District

  • 2012: Elijah Cummings, 76.5%
  • 2016: Elijah Cummings, 74.7%
  • Difference: -1.8%

Congress, 8th District

  • 2012: Chris Van Hollen, 63.4%
  • 2016: Jamie Raskin, 59.2%
  • Difference: -4.2%

Out of ten federal races in Maryland, the Democrat underperformed in eight of them. And one of the two that did see a Democratic increase, the U.S. Senate race, was a different race in 2012 and 2016: 2016 was a mainly head-to-head matchup whereas the 2012 race had third-party spoiler Rob Sobhani get 16% of the race in an election where he siphoned off significant support from both the Democratic and the Republican candidates.

The most amazing thing about all of this is that fact that the Maryland Democratic Party kept their resources at home during the 2016 election cycle. They did not actively seek to send money or volunteers out of state. Yet despite all of these maneuvers, Maryland Democrats regressed in 2016 anyway, a story that no member of the local media is actually talking about.

We’ve talked for a long time about how the Maryland Democratic Party is failing all across the state of Maryland. It’s amazing to see that just how much trouble the Democratic Party is really in. The fact that Maryland Democrats kept their resources at home in 2016 and still performed worse across the board than in 2012 when they were sending money and volunteers out of state speaks volumes as to how much the Maryland Democratic Party is in disarray and why Governor Larry Hogan is considered the favorite by many to be re-elected in 2018.

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