The Democrats this year had reasonably lively three-way races for both governor (Brown v. Gansler v. Mizeur, 51-24-22) and attorney general (Frosh v. Cardin v. Braveboy, 50-30-20). County-by-county results are available here. (Two weeks ago I analyzed the Frederick County primary results.) The results confirm much of the conventional wisdom about the various candidates’ appeal, and add a cautionary note for Democrats: their gubernatorial candidate, Anthony Brown, is running into trouble in the Baltimore suburbs.
Governor. Brown rolled up huge margins in Prince George’s, Charles, and running mate Ken Ulman’s Howard County, won Montgomery and Baltimore City big, and carried Frederick, Anne Arundel, and Calvert comfortably. Across the rest of the state he was at least competitive everywhere, running third only in Carroll. But Brown significantly underperformed his statewide 51 percent in suburban Baltimore County (38-30-29), perhaps signaling an opening for Republicans there — more on that below — as well as adjacent Harford (34-32-29) and Carroll.
Mizeur easily bested Gansler for second place in Baltimore City (53-16-29) and won narrower second-place finishes in Frederick and Howard. She ran extremely poorly, at less than 10 percent, in P.G. (77-15-7), despite picking a running mate from that county, and in Charles (64-23-9).
Gansler was not exceptionally strong anywhere, but managed to carry three counties where all three candidates ran competitively, Carroll, Cecil, and Queen Anne’s. Among his weakest showings were Baltimore City (53-16-29), Prince George’s, and Howard (59-18-22).
Attorney General. Cardin carried 11 mostly rural counties, including the three westernmost and most of the Eastern Shore. Braveboy carried her home Prince George’s handily but ran a weak third in Baltimore City, one instance among many of these two jurisdictions going off in different directions. Charles County was a close three-way race with Cardin ahead. Otherwise, Frosh carried all the central and urban counties and won by crushing margins in his home Montgomery County and in Howard, reflecting his dominant position with the educated liberal vote.
At a precinct level, I looked at Baltimore County, where Brown showed unusual weakness (38-30-29). The county gave Mizeur her best performance in any large jurisdiction other than Baltimore city; she ran strongly in precincts in Catonsville, Towson, and Lutherville, all with college-town, hip, or affluent voters. Gansler likewise found Baltimore County his best large county, and Jewish communities in Pikesville and elsewhere were just one of his sources of strength. In fact Brown, while sweeping African-American neighborhoods, often ran a distant second or even third in other parts of the county. There were more than 65 precincts around Baltimore County where Brown’s share of the vote was only in the teens, many of them in places like Arbutus, Essex, Dundalk, Phoenix, and Overlea.
Republican campaigners will no doubt be eyeing those areas as they begin considering how to peel away Gansler Democrats to vote for Larry Hogan in November.