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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Campaigns and Elections Names Top Influencers of Maryland Politics

Every month, Campaigns and Elections magazine profiles the Top Political Influencers in a given state. In May, they profiled Maryland.  The full report can be found at this link. As might be expected, Martin O'Malley, Doug Gansler, Steny Hoyer and a host of high profile Democrats top the list. On the Republican side, former Gov. Bob Ehrlich is tops - despite a dramatic 14 point loss in his rematch with Martin O'Malley. Ehrlich's primary challenger Brian Murphy made the list as well as House of Delegates Minority Leader Tony O'Donnell. Dig a little deeper into the list and you'll find Charles Lollar, the Republican who challenged then Majority Leader Steny Hoyer in Maryland's 5th Congressional District. I suspect that when Campaigns and Elections magazine comes round to Maryland again in 4 years Lollar will be on page 1.

The list of the Top Ten Democrats includes 4 names likely to battle for the gubernatorial nomination in 2014 (Franchot, Gansler, Smith, and Brown). On the Republican side you need to dig a bit deeper into the list. Though Murphy is likely to run again the other likely contenders did not make the top 10 (Lollar, Hogan, and Mary Kane).

This speaks to the fact that Democrats are going to face a brutal and divisive battle in 2014 among several well known and well connected political players each appealing to different elements of Maryland's Democratic Party coalition - the challenge will be reunifying the party after that battle. Republicans, on the other hand, will have no top tier power players in contention and the challenge will be motivating the party while attempting to appeal to Independents and conservative Democrats (of which there are many in Maryland).  Democrats will have the advantage in 2014, but then again, they always do in Maryland.

As a side note, I'm honored to note that I also made the list - you'll find me on the last page under miscellaneous - which is where they put folks like me who were unwilling to be listed under either political party.