With the exception of the 1st District, Maryland has been consistently blue and there is no sign that Democratic dominance is coming to an end anytime soon. That being said, there are a few races worth watching. Here’s the situation:
On the Democratic side the clear favorite is Lieutenant Governor Anthony G. Brown, who has consistently lead in the polls since last September. His main opponent is MD Attorney General Doug Gansler, who trails Brown by nearly 20 percentage points in the latest Washington Post poll. Though there’s more than three months until the June primary, it’s hard to see how Brown loses. As for the Republicans, the field is wide open with folks like Harford County Executive David R. Craig, former MD cabinet member Larry Hogan, and former GOP official Charles Lollar all within the margin of error. All in all, this is the Democrats’ race to loose and is rated Safe Democrat.
MD-06: During the redistricting process after the 2010 census, Maryland Democrats aimed their sights at Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R), who had been in office since 1993. The result was that what was once a Republican friendly district became one that was tilted towards the Democrats. Bartlett lost his reelection campaign in 2012 and now the district is represented by first-term Democrat Rep. John Delaney. However, the Maryland Assembly didn’t totally stack the deck and the district sports a Cook PVI rating of only +4 Democrat (a guide to the PVI can be found here). So it is not outside the range of possibility for a skillful Republican in a good year to stand a chance at winning. With this year looking especially good for Republicans, this is a race to keep at least one eye on. The GOP looks set to nominate Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent and the 2012 nominee for US Senate. He was obliterated by Sen. Ben Cardin (R), but he also had to deal with a strong independent challenge by former Republican Rob Sohani. Bongino has natural talent as a politician and if he can utilize the experience he gained from his 2012 campaign, this race for this seat just might get interesting as election day approaches. But for now, this race is Likely Democrat.