Some Day After Musings

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I’ve started on an analysis of last night’s results, but it’s going to take some time to get my thoughts in order. So here’s some random thoughts.

Congratulations to the winners: Chris Van Hollen, Jamie Raskin and Anthony Brown. Lots of friends with all of those campaigns, congratulations to each and every one of them. Nik Sushka put her heart and soul into the Raskin campaign – as a campaigner, she has one speed, passionate and 100%. Happy for her and so many others. And Marshall Cohen did a great job navigating through an extraordinarily difficult campaign that shifted on its axis one day back in early February with the entry of the $12 million man, David Trone. Props to the Raskin campaign for that.

A special shoutout to Joseline Pena-Melnyk in CD4 – while she didn’t win, she proved all the doubters wrong and ran a campaign to be proud of. We haven’t heard the last of Joseline, and that’s a great thing.

The establishment won: Senate President Mike Miller bet correctly on all three marquee federal races. After the debacle of the governor’s race in 2014, Miller is back in the saddle again at age 74. He ruled the Senate forcefully in 2016, and we can expect that to continue into the future.
Hillary Clinton absolutely cleaned up in the presidential primary. That race is over. Sanders may continue, and that’s his right, but Clinton is the Democratic nominee.

As is Donald Trump for the Republicans. Just typing those words makes my skin crawl, but there it is.

Catherine Pugh will be the next mayor of Baltimore. Kudos to good friends Kevin Gillogly and Mark McLaurin for being big parts of that effort.

Another good friend, Shannon Sneed, romped to victory to earn a District 13 city council seat. Can’t wait to see her in office, she will be an enormous asset to the City.

Chris Van Hollen. The most gifted campaigner I’ve ever known, not to mention a policy wonk of the highest order. Could not be more pleased that he won. He will rise far and rise fast in the Senate. And I got to meet and become friends with so many people, like Yvette Lewis, Mollie Byron and a host of others. As well as old friends like Joan Kleinman, Karen McManus and the rest of the Van Hollen team.

On the flip side, Maryland’s congressional delegation is now all-male. Emily’s List had a terrible night in Maryland other than Hillary Clinton.

Not a good night at all: Kathleen Matthews, Glenn Ivey, Donna Edwards, Sheila Dixon.

And one teeny tiny little look forward, the first of many soon to come:

Whither David Trone? He outperformed late expectations hugely on Election Day and it appears that he also vastly broadened the electorate, something everyone talks about but nobody has really been able to do in recent years. Does he run again for office? Which one?

I’ll have more later today, including a one stop shopping list of key results from around the state. And as more detailed data becomes available, I’ll be looking at it for clues not just to who won, but how and why. Stick around.

3 thoughts on “Some Day After Musings

  1. good work

    Definitely a great job to Marshall (and Luke and Christina). This may have been one of the most difficult races to win in the country and Marshall ran the right kind of campaign: Grassroots organizing and data-based field targeting.

    Also, thanks to you Jon. I didn’t always agree with what you wrote. But you were the only one who wrote as often and passionately about Md politics to quench my thirst. Keep writing!

  2. Jeff Blum

    Scramblers, here’s my analysis. Jeff Blum, a Raskin volunteer

    Jamie Raskin won! On Tuesday, our MD 8th Congressional District voters struck a powerful blow for progressive politics.

    This election showed that, with the right candidate, it is possible for an unabashed progressive to win a Congressional seat. It’s not easy, but it can be done. Jamie won almost 34% of the vote, topping a 9-person field. He strongly beat wine merchant multi-millionaire David Trone by 7,000 votes – despite Trone becoming the biggest self-funder in US history with at least $12 million of his own money, and he defeated long-time TV anchor Kathleen Matthews, who was armed with the Washington Post’s powerful endorsement, by even more.

    “An election is not an auction,” Jamie frequently said. Nonetheless, he also raised $1.8 million from more contributors than any other challenger so far this year, almost 12,000, 80% of them local.

    Jamie’s victory is a victory for:
    • Principled progressive leadership. Jamie went to Annapolis 10 years ago pledging to take on tough issues – ending the death penalty, limiting gun availability, winning marriage equality, reducing Maryland’s climate-changing emissions. He accomplished all of these goals. Even Republicans in the legislature say they will miss his role on constitutional and judicial issues.

    • Proven record over talk. Jamie ran on his record, while his top opponents could only talk the talk. This was very important against the combination of Trone’s well-run big-money campaign (he inundated the district in every medium – massive paid canvass, targeted radio, mail, constant TV) and Matthews’s Post endorsement and her significant draw as the major female candidate, esp. with Hillary at the top of the ticket.

    o Jamie’s record earned him a wide range of endorsements that gave him credibility and volunteers – including the county-wide political action committees of African-Americans, Latinos and Asian-Pacific Americans despite candidates from each of those constituencies, and unions representing government employees, firefighters and teachers in a state where the teachers’ “Apple Ballot” is highly respected, often the one piece of paper voters want at the polls.

    o Scores of elected officials who had worked with Jamie supported him. The majority of the county Senators and Councilmembers. Attorney-General, Brian Frosh, a local liberal hero. Many local officials who had experienced his willingness to listen to their concerns and help out where possible. My own city’s mayor organized regular canvasses.

    • Grass-roots organizing. Jamie had by far the biggest organization. He had 169 house parties, which built support in their neighborhoods. We canvassed for months across the whole district, which stretches from DC to Pennsylvania, including deep into Matthews’s natural base. Many college and high school students became unpaid interns. Volunteers came from organizations representing gun-control advocates, environmentalists, LGBT activists, workers’ rights advocates, Balkan-Americans. Jamie inspires an impressive range of people he touches.
    In his typically big-picture, generous victory speech, Jamie stressed that it’s not the president, the Congressman, or any other elected official who is sovereign in our democracy, it’s the citizen. He appealed to our broadest goals as a community and a nation. It was Jamie the constitutional lawyer and Jamie the successful elected official and politician all rolled into one, and it was very moving.

    As a Congressman, Jamie will, I predict, be a leader with a national impact.


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