Before I begin, let me reiterate the admonition that I started with in D20 but left out of the D18 post: the precinct numbers that I’ve been reporting DO NOT include those who participated in early voting. Given the enormous increase in the use of early voting this year, it is entirely conceivable that in some cases, the precinct results may not accurately reflect the actual voting patterns of the residents of that precinct. I think this is yet another problem with the way the Board of Elecfions reports results, and I intend to see if there is some way to reallocate early vote results back to the precinct in which the person resides. In addition to more accurate precinct data, such a process would also show the precincts where early voting was most frequently used. Thanks to Senator Rich Madaleno for reminding me of this important consideration.
Perhaps more than any other area, District 16 shows the impact that David Trone had on the CD8 race. Jamie Raskin won 27 of the 31 precincts, Matthews 3 and Trone 1. But in 22 of them, the combined Matthews/Trone number exceeded that of Raskin, and not by a little, but a lot, over 60% in two precincts, over 50% in three, over 40% in five, over 30% in two, and over 20% in eight. In only two precincts was the margin under 20%.
So it’s clear that more than anywhere else, Raskin benefited from the fact that he had two strong opponents, but it was also here that one opponent was much stronger than the other. Trone outperformed Matthews in two D16 precincts, and finished 13 points behind her. But what he did, in precinct after precinct after precinct, was deny her a majority in the district as a whole. Raskin relied heavily – and appropriately – on his endorsement from longtime senator and now AG Brian Frosh, who has been invincible and popular in D16 for over two decades. The strong likelihood is that the vast majority of Trone voters, having already rejected the Frosh endorsement, would have voted for Matthews had Trone not been in the race.
And when you look at the percentages and ratios of the Trone/Matthews vote compared to Raskin in D18 and D16, they work out to 45-36 in 18 and 51-40 in 16, an almost identical ratio of 5-4, or 25% more combined votes for the two candidate neophytes. The difference in actual numbers is accounted for by the better performances of Ana Sol Gutierrez and Will Jawando in D18 as compared to D16: a combined 4% in D16 but just under 15% in D18, primarily as a result of Gutierrez’s 10% in her home district.
So I think that a very compelling argument can be made that, contrary to some expectations, Trone took more votes away from Matthews than he did from Raskin, and it was in Districts 16 and 18 that this showed up most clearly. And I think it’s also very likely that absent Trone, Matthews would have won both of the largest two districts in the race, but particularly D16 where the pattern in precinct after precinct is just too consistent to have been some kind of fluke.