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Showing posts with label poll results. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poll results. Show all posts

Sunday, February 21, 2016

What the Presidential Race Says About the Future of Maryland Politics // Through the Lens of Hillary Clinton vs. Bernie Sanders

GUEST POST - By Delegate David Moon

This year's presidential primaries have been taking place in the midst of the Annapolis legislative session. As a result, I've been far more focused on Maryland politics than the presidential race. But I've finally started tuning in to the national horserace, and I'm noticing some fascinating data points that Maryland politicos might want to consider. Indeed, without making any commentary or predictions on the presidential race itself, my thesis for Maryland is that the battle for the White House shows the impact of a recession-era (and growing millenial) electorate finally registering. Here are five emerging trends to note:

1) AMERICA'S DEMOCRATIC ELECTORATE IS NOW FIRMLY LIBERAL - I've noticed the historic wealth gap routinely discussed in the media, but we hadn't really seen the effects of this on Democrats nationally, in quite the same way the Tea Party has tilted the Republicans. It appears that is beginning to change. This clip from stands out: "Among the entrance poll numbers that help explain how Sanders became a serious threat to Clinton: 70% of Nevada's caucusgoers identified themselves as liberal. That's up from the even split in 2008 between liberals and those who called themselves moderate or conservatives. The movement mirrors the results in Iowa and New Hampshire, and make clear that the party's leftward drift is here to stay."
  • MY TAKEAWAY: It is a good time for Democrats to speak out forcefully on justice issues, and to do so with credibility. Doing so isn't a guarantee of victory in a 2018 General Election, but it seems harder for us to generate turnout from the base in Maryland, if we aren't speaking to our party's increasingly liberal instincts. At the same time, Maryland's would-be Democratic governors will have to find a way to address this "party-base" sentiment to win the nomination in 2018.

2) ESTABLISHMENT POLITICIANS ARE GOING OUT OF STYLE (THANKS TO INDEPENDENTS) - Bernie Sanders crushed Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire (where Independents can vote in either party's primary), but only came close to a tie in Nevada (where only registered Democrats can vote in the caucuses). Granted, Nevada has same-day voter registration, thereby allowing people to change parties on caucus day, but confirms Sanders' commanding lead over Clinton among these voters: he won over 70% of Nevada's Independent-minded caucus participants. Indeed, unaffiliated voters are growing at a faster rate than Democrats around the nation, including in places like Maryland. But the challenges this can pose for state Democrats are evident from this single data-point in : "If former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg jumps into the race as a third party candidate against Sanders and Donald Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Bloomberg would hurt Sanders more than either Republican." You heard that right, a bloc of voters would prefer either Independent socialist Bernie Sanders or Independent billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg to today's Republican candidates. This is a puzzling dynamic, given the two very different views of Bloomberg and Sanders. In a lower turnout gubernatorial election, these types of voters may be the key to victory in Maryland.
  • MY TAKEAWAY: All of this means, for example, to defeat Governor Larry Hogan during his re-election race, the solution might NOT be to simply find a more moderate Democrat. A better standard might be to find a candidate who is clearly NOT a party hack. In a 2018 General Election fight, a key question for Maryland voters will be "who actually stands for me?" For various reasons, I think Hogan answered this question better than Democrats did in 2014. But as the presidential race shows, only some of this message can be conveyed by substance, as opposed to style (or lack thereof). In my own case, people often say (without flattery) that I don't dress like a politician. But maybe that's exactly my point -- and I would never run for Governor, hahaha, but I myself like to vote for candidates who seem like "real" people. We often say that authenticity matters, but rarely do I see that statement followed-up with an explanation of why. This year's presidential race provides numerous opportunities to study this question, and we would be wise to pay attention in Maryland.

3) LATENT SEXISM IS ALIVE AND WELL IN PARTS OF THE ELECTORATE - If the race ends up being Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump, Clinton's lead among women is somewhere between a tie and a 9-point margin. But the also notes, "Men vote anyone but Clinton by margins of 8 to 16 percentage points."  Yikes!  I've cautioned my Democratic friends against complacency with Clinton as our nominee, because I predict the vitriol we will see against her will be similar to what Republicans have done to Obama. So we have to choose between either a socialist candidate or a polarizing candidate to serve as the punching bag for Republican craziness. That's not an endorsement of either Sanders or Clinton, but one key lesson here is that the Democratic Party establishment should NEVER attempt to scare candidates out of these primaries.
  • MY TAKEAWAY: We should embrace an organic dialogue within the party, and let these dynamics play out. It might've been useful to have a few more candidates in the race this year, and in 2018 Maryland Democrats should not attempt to artificially narrow the gubernatorial field for a chosen establishment candidate.

4) MILLENIALS ARE OUR GENERATION'S DEPRESSION-ERA VOTERS - It is not always easy to see historical trends happening when you're standing in the middle of them, but I believe we're witnessing a shift right now. The Great Depression had a lasting impact on voters who came of age during that period, and I imagine we're seeing the same from the millenial generation. This write-up on a provides a snapshot: "Among college-aged Americans, 58 percent report a positive view of socialism and 56 percent a positive view of capitalism." While this may sound like conflicting data to many people, it actually sounds awfully similar to how Northern European social democracies work. is as follows: "Social democracy is a political ideology that supports economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a capitalist economy, and a policy regime involving welfare state provisions, collective bargaining arrangements, regulation of the economy in the general interest, measures for income redistribution, and a commitment to representative democracy."
  • MY TAKEAWAY: In the future, Democrats should increasingly embrace a populist economic justice agenda. Today's college students who DON'T often vote will be tomorrow's 40-year-old's who DO often vote. The millenials are an emergent very large voting bloc, and voting habits form early and can last a long time.

5) THE RISE OF MELTING POT POLITICS - We've all been hearing how America is headed to a majority-minority future. But just as we're seeing in ‪Montgomery County‬, that doesn't mean that the nation is rehashing a 1960's black-white paradigm; rather we are witnessing the formation of a multi-racial electorate with large disparate blocs of races and ethnicities. Clinton is crushing Sanders among African-American voters, Sanders is supposedly leading among Latino voters, and . We see these types of political changes manifest earlier in diverse places like Maryland.
  • MY TAKEAWAY: Democratic aspirants won't be able to take these groups for granted in the future. In the past, party politicians seeking a promotion have been quick to throw certain groups under the bus. Here are a few examples -- Democratic support for deportations, pandering to dismantle welfare, voting for foreign wars (Iraq, ahem), cultural cues like the Sister Souljah incident, and of course racially disparate "tough on crime" policies like zero-tolerance, crack-cocaine disparities and the drug war. Staying on this path would be a grave error. Indeed, I was in the audience at the Netroots Nation conference last year in Phoenix when speeches by Martin O'Malley & Bernie Sanders were disrupted by #BlackLivesMatter protesters. I sat astonished as neither candidate addressed the issues raised by the activists, though all the Democratic candidates today are singing a different tune.

That's all I got. Fire away. 


QUINNIPIAC FEBRUARY 2016 POLL: Below you can see a clip from the latest Quinnipiac poll ():
Presidential matchups among American voters show:
  • Sanders over Trump 48 – 42 percent;
  • Sanders tops Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas 49 – 39 percent;
  • Sanders leads Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida 47 – 41 percent;
  • Sanders beats Bush 49 – 39 percent;
  • Sanders edges Kasich 45 – 41 percent.
  • Clinton with 44 percent to Trump’s 43 percent;
  • Cruz with 46 percent to Clinton’s 43 percent;
  • Rubio topping Clinton 48 – 41 percent;
  • Bush at 44 percent to Clinton’s 43 percent;
  • Kasich beating Clinton 47 – 39 percent.
If Bloomberg mounts a third party run, results are:
  • Sanders and Trump tied 38 – 38 percent, with 12 percent for Bloomberg;
  • Sanders tops Cruz 39 – 33 percent, with 14 percent for Bloomberg.
Sanders’ leads among key independent voters range from 45 – 35 percent over Kasich to 52 – 33 percent over Cruz. By comparison, Clinton’s best score among independent voters is 42 percent to Trump’s 40 percent.
Sanders’ leads among women range from 9 to 16 percentage points. Men are generally divided except in the Sanders-Bush matchup where the Democrat leads by 6 percentage points.

Clinton’s leads among women range from a tie to a 9-percentage point edge over Trump. Men vote anyone but Clinton by margins of 8 to 16 percentage points.

American voters give Sanders a 51 – 36 percent favorability. Kasich gets a 35 – 18 percent favorability with Rubio at a split 39 – 37 percent score. All other scores are negative:
  • 37 – 58 percent for Clinton;
  • 37 – 57 percent for Trump;
  • 36 – 45 percent for Cruz;
  • 21 – 26 percent for Bloomberg;
  • 37 – 48 percent for Bush.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

EMILY'S List Pumps $1 Million Into Edwards Campaign // SuperPAC Ads To Target Women, African American Voters

Christmas came early for Representative Donna Edwards.

With dwindling resources and a new poll showing the Prince George’s Congresswoman behind by double digits, the Edwards campaign desperately needed a game changer. And they got one.

EMILY’s List - the influential Democratic organization that supports pro-choice women - announced that they will spend more than $1.2 million on television, radio and online ads for Edwards predominantly in the Baltimore region. As reported by :
BALTIMORE SUN: The group will spend $875,000 on cable and broadcast ads alone, plus another $146,000 on radio and digital spots. The ads will run over six weeks and will target African American women. The ad campaign is paid for through WOMEN VOTE!, the group’s super PAC, which spent more than $12 million in the 2014 election cycle.
A MUCH NEEDED BOOST: EMILY's List ad buy - assuming the entire amount is spent - represents more than 3x the total amount of money the Edwards campaign has on hand, and allows her to finally respond to Representative Chris Van Hollen - who has been airing television ads unchallenged for the last month. Without this national bail out, it was likely Edwards’ path to victory could have become non-existent going into the homestretch.

DIGGING OUT OF A DEEP HOLE: Full crosstabs from the , shows the big hole that Edwards finds herself in, and why she needed EMILY's List to intervene now. She's losing women by 8 points (with 1 out 4 undecided), and doesn't even earn majority of African American support.

Men      Women
Van Hollen 51% 42%
Edwards 25% 34%
Other/Undecided      23% 25%

White      African American
Van Hollen
57%
28%
Edwards
21%
49%
Other/Undecided     
23%
22%

The impact of Edwards's lack of traction in Baltimore shows. She's only attracting a quarter of the vote in a region where more than 40% of Democratic electorate reside. 

Balt City    Balt Co    Balt Region    MoCo    PG      WestMD    SoMD    Shore
Van Hollen 44% 46% 49% 75% 23% 29% 49% 25%
Edwards 29% 24% 25% 12% 63% 16% 22% 24%
Other/Undecided    27% 29% 26% 13% 15% 55% 16% 42%

A POWERFUL PATRON: EMILY's List is a well resourced ally who has helped elect . In the first half of 2015, the organization raised - the most it has raised in an off-year. Jumping into the Maryland Senate primary is a signal that they are not abandoning Edwards -  a candidate they supported early and raised money for - in her time of need .

What may give some of EMILY's List supporters pause, are questions regarding whether they are spending their resources wisely with 2016 shaping up to be a historic year for women candidates. Putting aside Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign (), there's New  Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, Rep. Tammy Duckworth in Illinois, former Nevada AG Catherine Cortez Masto, Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick and former Pennsylvania Environmental Secretary Katie McGinty facing off in competitive Senate races critical to Democratic chances to retaking the upper chamber. Every dollar spent in Maryland, is one less attacking Donald Trump, Mark Kirk or Pat Toomey. 

HOW EFFECTIVE WILL IT BE? The positive biographical  touts her humble roots and pushes the progressive fighter image (though the bright flashes throughout the ad have been called ""). But there's a few things to note.

First, it is cheaper for candidates to advertise on television than for super-PACs. The rate EMILY's List is paying could be 1.5 or 2 times (or even higher) what the Van Hollen campaign paid. This price differential will only become greater as we approach the primary. More money for fewer ads. 

Second, advertising over the next 6 weeks puts the flight in the middle of the shopping season, the holidays and when most broadcast channels are playing reruns. This likely means fewer people are paying attention. Van Hollen's ads meanwhile played during November sweeps. 

Third, there's no guarantee that super PAC ad spending will be effective. Just ask Jeb! Bush. His Right to Rise super PAC has  Add to that the inability to officially coordinate with the official campaign, sync messages or film the candidate - makes this a tricky and costly enterprise. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Rep. Chris Van Hollen Jumps Into Lead in Maryland's Open Seat US Senate Race After Early Ad Campaign Spending


With 150 days left to go until Maryland’s April 26 primary, Representative Chris Van Hollen has leapfrogged over Congresswoman Donna Edwards to take a large lead in the Democratic primary according to a .

Vote
Van Hollen
45
Edwards
31
Other
3
Undecided
21

A BIG JUMP: A month after a random digit dial gave Edwards a large 10 point lead (38-28), Van Hollen is now up a whopping 14 points. 45% of likely primary voters choose him, while only 31% side with Edwards. An August for the Edwards campaign said Van Hollen was behind 37-42.

While one should be cautious when comparing polls by different organizations, the newest numbers suggest not only a significant uptick in support for Van Hollen but a dramatic erosion of support for Edwards. While the Sun has not released full crosstabs of their poll, they note that Van Hollen is performing “remarkably well” with women and African American voters. Van Hollen is winning female voters by 7% and is attracts almost 30% of support from black voters.

One of five voters remain undecided, and Edwards would need almost all of them to break for her.

REAPING THE REWARDS : Unknown in the Baltimore region - even though Ambassador Chris Van Hollen Sr. was born there - Van Hollen’s campaign decided to invest resources in early ads on broadcast and cable television in the relatively inexpensive Baltimore media market . In three introductory spots, Baltimore voters heard Chris Van Hollen was “,” is “” and “”

The exact size of the month long ad buy is unknown, they seem to have been incredibly effective. Van Hollen is leading by 16 points in Baltimore City - a jurisdiction that both Anthony Brown and Kweisi Mfume won convincingly in their primaries. In the wider Baltimore region, Van Hollen’s lead expands to 2:1.

STICK A FORK IN IT? The Edwards camp who had been loudly touting her strong poll numbers until now, cannot be happy. She was already running out of cash and this new poll is a broadside on her continued viability as a statewide candidate. The demographics may be on her side, but attracting new supporters could be difficult if they don’t believe she can win. And another disappointing fundraising quarter could give any national organization serious reservations about bailing out a floundering campaign facing an uphill climb.

Edwards likely knows the facts on the ground. She’s been and her campaign just opened up an office in the City last week. But unless she can compete on the airwaves, the campaign will not be able to reach enough voters to make a difference. The simply won’t do the trick.

STILL WAITING ON CUMMINGS: Everyone’s still formally waiting on Representative Elijah Cummings to make his intentions on the US Senate race publicly known, but signals still point to the Baltimore Congressman staying in the House.

This poll finds Cummings leading the field by 12 points with 40%, Van Hollen second at 28% and Edwards bringing up the rear with 19%.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

POLL: MD Supports Obama, Hogan, Pot & Immigrants (1 Is Not Like The Others) // PLUS: Marylanders on Presidential Race

Below Maryland Juice provides highlights from a new Goucher Poll on the Presidential race, Governor Larry Hogan and a few policy debates. You can see the summary data below. A few quick items of interest:
  1. Slim majorities of Marylanders approve of Larry Hogan & Barack Obama's jobs, but many residents don't yet have an opinion on Hogan.
  2. Governor Hogan's issue ratings are lower, and he receives his lowest marks on education -- the most important issues facing the state and the only issue where Democrats disapprove 
  3. Marylanders support marijuana legalization, and a super-majority of residents support a path to citizenship for undocumented residents.
  4. Marylanders disapprove of the job Congress is doing by a whopping 83%.
  5. It's early in the Presidential race, but Hillary Clinton tops the polls for Maryland Democrats & Martin O'Malley is scraping the bottom in his own state

Who Would Maryland Democrats Vote for in Presidential Primary?
  • Hillary Clinton: 43%
  • Joe Biden: 23%
  • Bernie Sanders: 17%
  • Martin O'Malley: 2%

Who Do Maryland Democrats Think Will Win Nomination?
  • Hillary Clinton: 54%
  • Joe Biden: 14%
  • Bernie Sanders: 8%

Marylanders' Approval of Governor Hogan's Job as Governor:
  • Approve: 58%
  • Disapprove: 18%
  • Don't Know: 23%

Marylanders' Approval of Governor Hogan's Handling of Issues (ranked by importance):

Approve Disapprove
Public education 40 33 +7
Taxes 51 29 +22
Economic growth 52 21 +31
Job creation 42 28 +14
Crime 43 32 +11
Transportation 50 29 +21
Environment 43 27 +16


Marylanders' Approval of President Obama's Job as President:
  • Approve: 53%
  • Disapprove: 38%
  • Don't Know: 7%

Marylanders' Approval of Congress' Job:
  • Disapprove: 83%
  • Approve: 9%
  • Don't Know: 7%

Marylanders on Marijuana Legalization:
  • Support Legalization: 52%
  • Oppose Legalization: 42%

Marylanders on Who Should Decide Marijuana Policy:
  • States Should Decide: 64%
  • Federal Government Should Decide: 31%

Marylanders on Redistricting:
  • Prefer Independent Commission: 73%
  • Prefer Redistricting by Electeds: 21%

Marylanders on Starting School After Labor Day:
  • Support Starting After Labor Day: 72%
  • Oppose Starting After Labor Day: 19%

Marylanders on Undocumented Immigrants:
  • Allow Them to Stay In Jobs With Path to Citizenship: 62%
  • Make Them Leave Jobs & the USA: 20%
  • Allow Them to Stay Temporarly In Jobs Without Path to Citizenship: 13%

Monday, February 17, 2014

JUICE: Governor Poll Results, MoCo Exec Debate, Minimum Wage Status, D17, Deportations, Pot, Reporter Shield, MD vs VA

Below Maryland Juice provides a quick round of updates on the status of high-profile legislative initiatives and campaigns of interest to politicos:

JUICE #1: GUBERNATORIAL POLL RESULTS - BROWN 35%, GANSLER 14%, MIZEUR 10% // PLUS: AG POLL RESULTS - CARDIN 18%, FROSH 6%, BRAVEBOY 4%, FRICK 3% - This week, showing the status of the Democratic Primaries for Governor and Attorney General. Take these numbers with a grain of salt, because candidates in both races have not yet spent funds on media. Correspondingly, there are large numbers of undecided voters in the races for Governor and AG, but the early results are still pretty interesting. Here's a snapshot of :

Democratic Primary for Governor
  • Undecided - 40%
  • Anthony Brown & Ken Ulman - 35%
  • Doug Gansler & Jolene Ivey - 14%
  • Heather Mizeur & Delman Coates - 10%
Democratic Primary for Attorney General
  • Undecided - 69%
  • Jon Cardin - 18%
  • Brian Frosh - 6%
  • Aisha Braveboy - 4%
  • Bill Frick - 3%
Meanwhile, . In an article last week, he sorted out support for Brown and Gansler in their home counties (excerpt below):
BETHESDA MAGAZINE: Gansler has the backing of 16 of Montgomery County’s 32-member General Assembly contingent, with four senators (Brian Feldman of Potomac, Jennie Forehand of Rockville, Richard Madaleno of Kensington, and Karen Montgomery of Brookeville) and 12 delegates publicly behind him. By the same token, Brown has the backing of 15 members (five senators, 10 delegates) from among the 30-member Prince George’s delegation.... 

There is, however, a striking disparity in the level of support for Brown and Gansler among their home county councils: While Brown has the public backing of six of the nine members of the Prince Georges Council, Gansler has yet to attract the endorsement of a single member of the Montgomery council....

Privately, it appears that policy differences are keeping some officials in the state’s most avowedly liberal jurisdiction from embracing native son Gansler, a long-time death penalty supporter who more recently has called for a corporate tax cut....
Lastly, Gansler announced in a press release today that he received the endorsement of the Montgomery County Firefighters union (excerpt below):
DOUG GANSLER (VIA PRESS RELEASE): During his remarks, Gansler announced that the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1664, AFL-CIO, CLC has endorsed the Gansler/Ivey ticket.

“It is with great excitement that the firefighters right here in this county are getting behind Attorney General Gansler’s campaign for governor. Doug’s strong record on public safety, his support for firefighters, dating all the way back to when he first became State’s Attorney in 1998, and his willingness to fight for the people of Maryland make him our choice for Governor,” said IAFF Local 1664 President Jeffrey Buddle. “We look forward to campaigning with him, making calls, knocking doors, whatever it takes....”

JUICE #2: MARYLAND IS BEATING VIRGINIA IN JOB GROWTH  / / PLUS: MARYLAND HAS MOST MILLIONAIRES IN THE NATION (PER CAPITA)  - In recent years, some Maryland politicians have justified regressive policy proposals and corporate welfare by pointing to the economic threat posed by the anti-tax politics of Virginia. But is all that hysteria and race-to-the-bottom policymaking actually connected to the real world? Two studies released this year would suggest not:
FIRST: . Though Maryland is by no means leading the nation in this category, we are ahead of Virginia. I repeat, Maryland is ahead of Virginia for job growth. Maryland is #22 in the nation for job growth, while Virginia is tied for #32. North Dakota is #1 for job growth right now, and Washington, DC is #2.

SECOND: Earlier this year, . It turns out Maryland is #1 in the nation for millionaires, while Virginia is #7.

JUICE #3: DEBATE BETWEEN MOCO EXEC CANDIDATES GETS HOT AS DUNCAN, ANDREWS & LEGGETT SPAR // PLUS: SEE VIDEOS OF THE CLOSING STATEMENTS - Maryland Juice attended an interesting debate between Montgomery County Executive candidates last week. The MoCo teachers union (MCEA), hosted a school policy forum with County Executive Ike Leggett, former County Executive Doug Duncan, Councilmember Phil Andrews, and GOP candidate Jim Shalleck. Though Shalleck (the lone Republican candidate) presented as an amusing and likeable guy, the sparks started flying between the Democratic candidates. (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: The question was when, not if, Doug Duncan would start throwing punches during Wednesday night’s first joint appearance of candidates for Montgomery County executive.... He consequently took every opportunity to depict County Executive Isiah Leggett as weak and ineffective, especially when it came to securing school funding from Annapolis....

Calmly but firmly, Leggett gave as good as he got, dismissing Duncan’s version of recent county history as “a parallel universe.” Money was easier to find in the go-go economy that existed during much of Duncan’s three-term tenure, he said. “The good old days are gone,” Leggett said. “It is the real days today.”

Duncan came prepared to make school overcrowding and construction issues the centerpiece of his attack..... “This is a problem we’ve known about for several years,” Duncan said. “What took you so long?...” “We’re in this mess because of a lack of leadership by my two primary opponents,” Duncan said.

“I think we need a little bit of reality,” Leggett responded.... Leggett framed the larger issue as Duncan’s triumphal view of his own record, which he said ignores profligate spending that placed the county in a serious financial hole even before the Great Recession.

“When I assumed this office [in 2007], the county was broke and getting broker,” Leggett said, referring to large deficits that he and the County Council had to close. Leggett touted significant increases in capital spending for schools during his tenure, along with reductions in emergency response times, advances in affordable housing and record cash reserves as proof of the sound management ability he brought to the job....
VIDEOS OF THE CLOSING STATEMENTS: Montgomery Community Media posted videos of the closing statements from all four County Executive candidates, and I encourage you to check out their comments below. You can see the back and forth between Doug Duncan and Ike Leggett in their final comments, but Phil Andrews closing statement is also worth a watch. Andrews lists a series of progressive legislation he authored, such as a living wage law, public smoking ban, and clean elections bill for local campaigns. He also takes a jab at Annapolis, stating that MoCo has increased costs because of "bad decisions by the General Assembly."

Doug Duncan Closing Statement

 
Ike Leggett Closing Statement

 
Phil Andrews Closing Statement


Jim Shalleck Closing Statement



JUICE #4: DELEGATE LUIZ SIMMONS SENDS ANOTHER MAIL PIECE IN D17 SENATE RACE - Delegate Luiz Simmons is running against former Delegate Cheryl Kagan for the District 17 State Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Jennie Forehand. He sent the following direct mail piece to voters last week:


JUICE #5: GOV. O'MALLEY QUESTIONING WHY MD'S SO-CALLED "SECURE COMMUNITIES" PROGRAM IS DEPORTING MANY NON-CRIMINALS - A few years ago, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security launched a sketchy new program called "Secure Communities" that gave local police the power to check the immigration status of people they encountered, and to process for deportation those without proper documentation. The program was built during the xenophobic policy wave that emerged during the recession, but in 2011 (excerpt below):
NEW YORK TIMES: A program that is central to President Obama’s strategy to toughen enforcement of immigration laws is facing growing resistance from state governments and police officials across the country.

Late Wednesday, Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois said he was pulling his state out of the program, known as Secure Communities, the first time a state has sought to withdraw entirely. In California, where the program is already under way throughout the state, the Legislature is considering a bill that would allow counties or police agencies to choose whether to participate.

In Massachusetts, Gov. Deval Patrick has held a series of heavily attended and sometimes raucous meetings on the program in an effort to vent criticism and build support for the administration’s approach. In Maryland, Montgomery County considered withdrawing, then concluded reluctantly that it had to take part....
Three years later, Maryland Juice is not surprised to see that the hysteria-driven "Secure Communities" program is doing exactly what we feared -- deporting residents who are not dangerous criminals. s, and that Governor O'Malley is now questioning the Department of Homeland Security's implementation of the program (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: Gov. Martin O'Malley on Tuesday demanded that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security explain why federal officials are deporting a higher share of noncriminals from Maryland than from most other states under a controversial immigration program called Secure Communities.

In a sharply worded letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, the governor called on the federal agency to document why the program has led to the deportation of undocumented immigrants with either no criminal record or only misdemeanor convictions, when its long-stated intent is to target dangerous criminals.

O'Malley, a Democrat, wrote to Johnson days after The Baltimore Sun reported that the share of noncriminals deported under Secure Communities in Maryland is twice the national average.
More than 40 percent of the immigrants who have been deported from Maryland under the program since 2009 had no prior criminal record, according to government data.

And the governor signaled that he is weighing legislation in the General Assembly that would limit the circumstances under which local jails agree to hold immigrants who have not been arrested for or previously convicted of serious crimes. Democratic governors in California and Connecticut have signed similar measures recently....

JUICE #6: DC COUNCIL PASSES MARIJUANA DECRIMINALIZATION WHILE MARYLAND HOUSE SPEAKER FORMS COMMITTEE TO STUDY MARIJUANA ISSUES - The future of marijuana policy in Maryland is beginning to take shape, as House of Delegates Speaker Mike Busch recently appointed a legislative task force to study the various reform bills being proposed. (excerpt below):
WASHINGTON POST: With the aim of taking a broad look at a range of proposed legislation on marijuana usage, Maryland House Speaker Michael E. Busch said Wednesday that he plans to appoint a work group of a dozen delegates to recommend a path forward this session.

A flurry of bills have been introduced since the 90-day session began last month that would either legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana or reclassify its use as a civil offense, rather than a criminal offense, subject only to fines of $100 or less....

“We want to fashion a work group to get as much information as we can on the full spectrum of ideas,” Busch (D-Anne Arundel) said in an interview. He said it is likely that legislation will emerge on medical marijuana and unlikely that a bill will pass this session legalizing marijuana for recreational use, as Colorado and Washington state have done. Busch said he expects robust debate on “decriminalization....”

In recent years, the House has been the more conservative chamber on reform of marijuana laws. Last year, the Senate passed a bill that would have done away with jail time or other criminal sanctions for those who use or possess only small amounts of marijuana. That legislation died in the House....
While Maryland continues studying this criminal justice reform issue, the District of Columbia is proceeding with marijuana decriminalization. (excerpt below):
CNN: The Washington City Council passed a measure on Tuesday that would move the District of Columbia one step closer to decriminalizing marijuana in most cases. Members approved the bill 11-to-1 in the first of two votes likely this month....

Despite the late change, the proposal is expected to receive final passage and become law because it has the support of a majority of and Mayor Vincent Gray.... For the council members who supported the plan, decriminalizing marijuana has become just as much about racial disparities as about sanctioning use of the drug....

JUICE #7: LIST OF MD LAWMAKERS WHO ARE SUPPORTING A $10.10 MINIMUM WAGE // PROPOSAL HAS MAJORITY IN HOUSE AND NEAR-MAJORITY IN SENATE  - Maryland lawmakers have been holding hearings on proposals to raise the state's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, indexed to inflation. Though it is currently unclear what the outcome of this debate will be, below Maryland Juice provides a list of the co-sponsors for the $10.10 legislation. Notably, the minimum wage increase appears to have a majority in the House and is one vote shy of a majority in the Senate. The list below includes lawmakers who have publicly endorsed a Raise Maryland minimum wage hike letter, alongside lawmakers who are co-sponsoring the minimum wage bills SB 331 and HB 295:

UPDATE: The list below did not originally include three additional minimum wage supporters, Delegates Jon Cardin, Frank Turner & Joe Vallario. These three Delegates are not listed as co-sponsors of HB295 (the administration's minimum wage bill), but they are co-sponsors of  . We have added their names below:

House of Delegates
  1. Frank Turner
  2. Joe Vallario
  3. Jon Cardin
  4. Emmett C. Burns Jr.
  5. Benjamin F. Kramer
  6. Tom Hucker
  7. Benjamin S. 'Ben' Barnes
  8. Michael L. Vaughn
  9. Aisha N. Braveboy
  10. Mary Ann 'MaryAnn' Love
  11. Keiffer Jackson Mitchell Jr.
  12. Cheryl D. Glenn
  13. Brian K. McHale
  14. John A. 'Johnny O' Olszewski Jr. *
  15. Charles E. Barkley *
  16. Adrienne A. Jones
  17. Shirley Nathan-Pulliam
  18. Dan K. Morhaim
  19. Dana M. Stein
  20. James E. Malone Jr.
  21. Elizabeth 'Liz' Bobo
  22. Guy J. Guzzone
  23. Anne R. Kaiser
  24. Craig J. Zucker
  25. Eric G. Luedtke
  26. Aruna Miller
  27. David Fraser-Hidalgo
  28. Kathleen M. Dumais
  29. Ariana B. Kelly
  30. C. William 'Bill' Frick
  31. Susan C. Lee
  32. Luiz R. S. Simmons
  33. Alfred Clinton 'Al' Carr Jr.
  34. Ana Sol Gutierrez
  35. Jeffrey D. 'Jeff' Waldstreicher
  36. Bonnie L. Cullison
  37. Heather R. Mizeur
  38. Sheila Ellis Hixson
  39. Barbara A. Frush
  40. Joseline A. Pena- Melnyk
  41. Alonzo T. Washington
  42. Anne Healey
  43. Tawanna P. Gaines
  44. Geraldine Valentino- Smith
  45. James W. Hubbard
  46. Marvin E. Holmes Jr.
  47. Carolyn J.B. Howard
  48. Darren M. Swain
  49. Kriselda 'Kris' Valderrama
  50. Veronica L. Turner
  51. James E. Proctor Jr.
  52. Peter F. Murphy
  53. Theodore John 'Ted' Sophocleus
  54. Rudolph C. Cane
  55. A. Shane Robinson
  56. Kirill Reznik
  57. Barbara A. Robinson
  58. Frank M. Conaway Jr.
  59. Shawn Z. Tarrant
  60. Jill P. Carter
  61. Nathaniel T. Oaks
  62. Samuel I. 'Sandy' Rosenberg
  63. Stephen W. Lafferty
  64. Curtis Stovall 'Curt' Anderson
  65. Maggie L. McIntosh
  66. Mary L. Washington
  67. Keith E. Haynes
  68. Melvin L. Stukes
  69. Nina R. Harper
  70. Luke H. Clippinger
  71. Doyle L. Niemann
  72. Jolene Ivey
  73. Michael G. Summers
  74. James W. 'Jim' Gilchrist *
  75. Kumar P. Barve *
  76. Jay 'Sky' Walker *
  77. Talmadge Branch *
  78. Peter A. Hammen *
* Co-sponsored 2014 Raise Maryland bill but did not sign letter.

Senate
  1. Brian J. Feldman
  2. Catherine E. Pugh
  3. Victor R. Ramirez
  4. Richard S. Madaleno Jr.
  5. Roger Manno
  6. Douglas J.J. Peters
  7. Ulysses Currie
  8. Nancy J. King
  9. Verna L. Jones-Rodwell
  10. Nathaniel J. McFadden
  11. Ronald N. Young
  12. Norman R. Stone Jr.
  13. Karen S. Montgomery
  14. Brian E. Frosh
  15. Jennie M. Forehand
  16. Jamie Raskin
  17. Jim Rosapepe
  18. Paul G. Pinsky
  19. Joanne C. Benson
  20. C. Anthony Muse
  21. Lisa A. Gladden
  22. Joan Carter Conway
  23. William C. 'Bill' Ferguson IV

JUICE #8: DEL. SANDY ROSENBERG PROPOSES LAW TO PROTECT ONLINE NEWSMAKERS & THEIR SOURCES - Maryland Juice has been operating for the last few years without a budget or staff, but has been able to keep insider information flowing to the public due to a network of anonymous sources. Delegate Sandy Rosenberg is now proposing a law () to protect the confidentiality between newsmakers and their sources. and wrote about their experience (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE BREW: ... Turns out, Maryland’s shield law for reporters does not fully include online journalists. Aiming to correct the problem, Del. Samuel I. “Sandy” (D-Baltimore) introduced HB-385. I agreed to go down, as the editor/publisher of Baltimore Brew, and chime in on its behalf....

The current Maryland law defines the news media as “newspapers, magazines, journals, press associations, news services, wire services, radio, television and any printed photographic, mechanical, or electronic means of disseminating news and information to the public....”

Rosenberg’s bill would add another category: “An independent contractor or agent of the news media in any news gathering or disseminating capacity, including a self-employed journalist....”

“What you may not know,” I told the House Judiciary Committee, “is the degree to which non-print, non-broadcast, web-only publications have become equal members of the national and local press corps....”

I talked about the downsizing of mainstream media and how The Brew puts more professional journalistic boots on the ground in Baltimore, participating in news conferences with our peers in print and broadcast, and regularly breaking stories they follow, etc....

After our presentation, Del. Luiz R. S. Simmons (D-Montgomery) led the cross examination. While organizations like The Brew might deserve shield protection ... others, Simmons thought, maybe don’t.... “I don’t like to see things so loosey-goosey,” Simmons said. “I’m unsettled by the reach of this bill.” Shield protection is “a privilege,” he observed, “not a right....” Simmons might have a low opinion of bloggers and freelancers but cash-strapped mainstream media organizations are using them more and more....

Some in the debate say that shield laws should protect journalism, not journalists. A remark by Rosenberg yesterday suggests he might be one of them. “Wasn’t the First Amendment set up to protect the rights of pamphleteers?”

JUICE #9: GLENN GREENWALD (JOURNALIST WHO BROKE NSA SPYING STORY) SPARS WITH REP. DUTCH RUPPERSBERGER OVER CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT - Maryland Juice just caught an interesting sparring match between Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger and Glenn Greenwald, the former Guardian journalist who broke the story on the NSA's mass surveillance program. Ruppersberger took issue with Greenwald's suggestion that the NSA failed to provide members of Congress with the information necessary to conduct proper oversight of the spying program. Greenwald responded with the following blistering commentary:



JUICE #10: HAPPY PRESIDENT'S DAY // THE GAZETTE PROFILES FORMER MOCO DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIR STAN GILDENHORN - To commemorate President's Day today, , who provided memories of President John F. Kennedy (excerpt below):
GAZETTE: Stanton Gildenhorn remembers the first time he met John F. Kennedy. It was 1958, and Gildenhorn had stopped at Kennedy’s Senate office on Capitol Hill to pick up a gift from his friend Evelyn Lincoln, the Massachusetts senator’s secretary. As Gildenhorn and Lincoln stood in the outer office, the door opened and out walked the future president.

Lincoln introduced Gildenhorn, and Kennedy greeted him warmly before apologizing that he didn’t have more time to talk and hurrying off to the next appointment on his schedule. The brief meeting left a mark on Gildenhorn, who would later work inside Kennedy’s White House. As the nation prepares to honor all its presidents Monday, Gildenhorn reflected on his time working with the 35th president.

“He was my hero then, and to get to meet him was one of the greatest moments of my life,” said Gildenhorn, 71, a longtime Montgomery County Democratic activist who lives in North Bethesda.

After Kennedy beat Richard Nixon in the 1960 election, Gildenhorn went to work for Larry O’Brien, one of Kennedy’s “Irish Mafia,” in a job for the Democratic National Committee.... Kennedy had a certain aura about him, Gildenhorn said. When he walked into a room, all eyes turned to him.

In a lifetime spent around politics, he said, he’s never met anyone else with that type of charisma. The president was down-to-earth, with a good sense of humor, Gildenhorn said. He was a voracious reader, devouring reports and memos....

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Closer Look at New Polling Numbers in Maryland's Race for Governor // Race, Gender & Political Party Divides in Name ID

Yesterday Maryland Juice published a polling memo from Goucher College that included early name identification data in the heated race for Governor. Today we decided to dig a little deeper into Goucher's poll to provide some early insight into any differences in name ID based on party identification, race and gender. Before we begin our discussion, it is worth noting that none of the candidates has invested any noteworthy amounts of spending on media at this early stage, so we expect these numbers to shift (perhaps dramatically) once the campaigning begins in earnest.

NAME ID AND POLITICAL PARTY: In our polling write-up yesterday, we noted the following name id for gubernatorial candidates among Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated/third party voters:
  • 62 percent recognize “Anthony Brown”
  • 58 percent recognize “Doug Gansler”
  • 49 percent recognize “Dutch Ruppersberger”
  • 31 percent recognize “David Craig”
  • 23 percent recognize “Charles Lollar”
  • 22 percent recognize “Ron George”
  • 13 percent recognize “Heather Mizeur”
But it is worth remembering that Maryland has closed political party primaries, so that only Democrats and Republicans can vote in their respective primary elections in June 2014. If you restrict the survey results to only Democrats and only Republicans, the results in the name ID poll shift in interesting ways. Note the name ID survey results when restricted to Democrats and Republicans below:
Name ID Among Democrats
  1. Anthony Brown 67%
  2. Doug Gansler 56%
  3. Dutch Ruppersberger 45%
  4. Heather Mizeur 15%
Name ID Among Republicans
  1. David Craig 39%
  2. Charles Lollar 26%
  3. Ron George 25%
Note: Gansler & Ruppersberger both have higher name ID among Republicans. When you restrict the survey to only Democrats, Brown and Mizeur both see increases in their name ID, while Gansler and Ruppersberger see declines. In the Republican field, all three candidates have higher name ID among Republicans than Democrats.


NAME ID AND RACE: The name ID results shift once again when you sort the results in the Democratic Primary by the race of the respondents (details below):
Name ID Among Black residents
  1. Anthony Brown - 68%
  2. Doug Gansler - 50%
  3. Dutch Ruppersberger - 47%
  4. Heather Mizeur - 11%
Name ID Among White residents
  1. Doug Gansler - 64%
  2. Anthony Brown - 59%
  3. Dutch Ruppersberger - 52%
  4. Heather Mizeur - 15%
Name ID Among Non-White/Black residents
  1. Anthony Brown - 64%
  2. Doug Gansler - 45%
  3. Dutch Ruppersberger - 38%
  4. Heather Mizeur - 9%
Note:  When factoring in race, Brown sees a fairly substantial advantage in name ID among black and non-white/non-black residents, while Gansler sees a healthy lead among white residents. But note that these results reflect the name ID among residents of all political parties, and we can surmise that Gansler's advantage among white residents is enhanced by recognition within the pool of white Republican residents.


NAME ID AND GENDER: The name ID results shift in interesting ways yet again when you sort the results in the Democratic Primary by the gender of the respondents (details below):
Name ID Among Males
  1. Anthony Brown 58%
  2. Doug Gansler 58%
  3. Dutch Ruppersberger 51%
  4. Heather Mizeur 13%
Name ID Among Females
  1. Anthony Brown 66%
  2. Doug Gansler 58%
  3. Dutch Ruppersberger 48%
  4. Heather Mizeur 14%
Note: When looking at gender, Anthony Brown and Doug Gansler both have equal name ID among male residents, abut Brown has an 8-point advantage among women over Gansler. Ruppersberger is slightly more known among men than women, and the same holds true (to a slight degree) for Mizeur. Maryland Juice expects the Democratic Primary voting population to skew disproportionately toward women.

The Goucher poll includes the following notice and disclaimer about methodology and funding:
GOUCHER POLL: To ensure all Maryland citizens are represented, the Goucher Poll is conducted using random digit dialing (RDD) of a stratified random sample using landline and cellular telephone numbers. The Goucher Poll is conducted under the auspices of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center, which is housed in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Goucher College. Directed by Mileah Kromer, the Goucher Poll conducts surveys on public policy, economic, and social issues in Maryland. The Goucher Poll is fully funded by the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center endowment and does not take additional funding from outside sources. The Goucher Poll seeks to improve public discourse in the state by providing neutral and nonbiased information on citizen perceptions and opinions.
You can see the polling memos on the race, gender and party crosstabs below:



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

POLL RESULTS: Maryland Gubernatorial Candidates' Name ID, Minimum Wage Hike & Pension Funding for State Employees

on various items of interest to Maryland politicos. Their survey results (below) highlight the current name id of gubernatorial candidates and show where voters are on issues ranging from the minimum wage to pension funding:
Name Recognition of Maryland Gubernatorial Candidates
  • 62 percent recognize “Anthony Brown”
  • 58 percent recognize “Doug Gansler”
  • 49 percent recognize “Dutch Ruppersberger”
  • 31 percent recognize “David Craig”
  • 23 percent recognize “Charles Lollar”
  • 22 percent recognize “Ron George”
  • 13 percent recognize “Heather Mizeur” 
MINUMUM WAGE #1: As you may know, the minimum wage in Maryland is $7.25 per hour. Would you [support or oppose] raising the state minimum wage to $10 per hour?
  • Support: 70 percent 
  • Oppose: 27 percent
MINUMUM WAGE #2: Would you [support or oppose] raising the state minimum wage to $10 per hour?
  • Support: 74 percent 
  • Oppose: 24 percent
PENSION #1: I’d like to ask you two questions about pensions. In Maryland, retired state employees receive an average annual pension of about $12,000 per year. Do you think the average pension for a retired Maryland state employee is [too little, too much, or about the right amount]?
  • Too Little: 59 percent
  • About the Right Amount: 26 percent
  • Too Much: 4 percent Don’t Know: 9 percent
PENSION #2: Next, I’d like to ask you two questions about pensions. Do you think the average pension for a retired Maryland state employee is [too little, too much, or about the right amount]?
  • Too Little: 36 percent
  • About the Right Amount: 21 percent
  • Too Much: 11 percent
  • Don’t Know: 31 percent
PENSION #3: Sixty-seven percent of respondents agreed that all Maryland workers, not just those employed by the state or local governments, should have a pension, while 28 percent disagreed.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

JUICE: Poll Shows Brown Lead for Governor & Cardin for AG, Gilchrest for Mizeur, Anti-Tax Gansler, Sen. Forehand Retiring?

Below Maryland Juice highlights several tidbits of news that may be of interest to Free State politicos:

JUICE #1: NEW POLL SHOWS LARGE ANTHONY BROWN LEAD FOR GOVERNOR, SMALLER LEAD FOR CARDIN IN ATTORNEY GENERAL RACE - This morning surveying voters on their views of the 2014 Governor and Attorney General contests, as well as issues ranging from death penalty repeal, gun control, the gas tax, and more (excerpt below):
MARYLAND REPORTER: Among Democratic voters, O’Malley’s political partner, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown has a wide lead in the race to succeed O’Malley as governor over Attorney General Doug Gansler and Del. Heather Mizeur, but a third of Democrats are still undecided. The results were 41% for Brown, 21% for Gansler and 5% for Mizeur. This is similar to the results of an internal Brown poll released earlier this month.

In the Democratic race for attorney general, Del. Jon Cardin had a clear lead with 25% support, versus 13% for Sen. Brian Frosh, 8% for Del. Aisha Braveboy, and 5% for Del. Bill Frick, but almost half are undecided....
You can read the full results of the Gonzalez poll below, and note that in deep Blue Maryland, Democratic voters overwhelmingly support death penalty repeal, gun control, and more, while most of the opposition to these measures came from Republican voters:


JUICE #2: FORMER GOP CONGRESSMAN WAYNE GILCHREST & EASTERN SHORE OFFICIALS ENDORSE HEATHER MIZEUR FOR GOVERNOR - Yesterday, and a few Eastern Shore officials for Governor (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN:  Democrat Heather R. Mizeur picked off the endorsement of a maverick former Republican congressman to go with the support of five other Eastern Shore leaders as she continued to show her appeal outside her home county of Montgomery....

Also endorsing Mizeur were Chestertown Mayor Margo Bailey, Salisbury City Councilwoman Laura Mitchell, Chesapeake City Councilman Harry Sampson, Easton Town Councilwoman Megan Cook, and former Queen Anne’s County Commissioner Carol Fordonski....

JUICE #3: ATTORNEY GENERAL DOUG GANSLER CRITICIZES TAX INCREASES IN FUNDRAISING LETTER - Maryland Juice received a copy of the following fundraising solicitation that Attorney General Doug Gansler is mailing to raise money for his gubernatorial campaign. The letter below highlights the alleged flight of businesses and revenue from Maryland, and makes an anti-tax argument:
DOUG GANSLER: Maryland has seen annual billion dollar deficits, a departure of businesses and wealth to neighboring states, 40 consecutive tax increases, and the worst traffic congestion in the nation. Economic opportunity and growth and shared progress are becoming things of the past. Hardworking people feel nickeled and dimed, and entrepreneurs are not building here in Maryland. We need to win back jobs and businesses, and we need to do it by growing our tax base, not our taxes


JUICE #4: MYSTERY POLL FOR DISTRICT 17 STATE SENATE // SEN. JENNIE FOREHAND UNDECIDED ON RE-ELECTION AS CANDIDATES PREPARE FOR BATTLE - District 17 (a Democratic stronghold in Montgomery County) is getting hot, with a round of political activity emerging in recent weeks. Below we provide information on a poll that an unknown group is conducting in the D17 State Senate race, along with a news report from Bethesda Magazine's Lou Peck indicating that D17 Senator Jennie Forehand is undecided on whether to run for re-election.

A Maryland Juice reader forwarded us a screencap of the following report on a D17 Senate poll from Gaithersburg City Councilmember Cathy Drzyzgula:


This poll could be prompted by news that next year (excerpt below):
BETHESDA MAGAZINE: District 17 Sen. Jennie Forehand, who has served in the state General Assembly for more than one-third of a century, is uncertain about whether she will seek another term.... If she does run, there is a widespread expectation among party activists that Forehand will face a primary challenge next June from veteran Delegate Luiz Simmons. Simmons Tuesday said only that he is “inching toward a decision” about a Senate bid, and will decide by the end of October....

The prospect that Simmons will vacate his delegate seat already has attracted three candidates to the latter contest. Former congressional aide Andrew Platt and Laurie-Anne Sayles, vice president of the Montgomery County Young Democrats, have announced for delegate, and former Rockville Mayor Susan Hoffmann expects to do so this month. 
For what it's worth, Delegate Luiz Simmons seems pretty serious about running for the D17 Senate seat. Last month a Maryland Juice source forwarded us a rough transcript of robocall that they received from Delegate Simmons' wife (excerpt below):
CLAIRE SIMMONS: Hi this is Claire Simmons and I'm calling you on behalf of my husband Delegate Lou Simmons and Lou's campaign to close Maryland's gun control loophole. Maryland's gun control loophole is a disaster waiting to occur....  If a gun owner commits a violent crimes like domestic violence, the law requires the gun owner to surrender the gun, but the law can't be enforced because we have computers in Maryland that won't communicate with each other. It's incredible but true. Lou is proposing legislation to close the gun control loophole and he really needs your help....

Monday, September 23, 2013

POLL: Anthony Brown Survey Shows 22 Point Lead in MD Governor's Race // PLUS: Rep. John Sarbanes Endorses Brown

One day before Attorney General Doug Gansler is set to officially announce his campaign for Maryland Governor, rival candidate Anthony Brown has released a double-whammy of press releases. Early today, the Lieutenant Governor's team released internal polling results showing Brown with a 22-point lead over his closest rival. Note that the gubernatorial candidates have not really spent money on major voter outreach, so the race could easily change in a few months (note that Joe Lieberman was leading in presidential polls early in the 2004 race, likely due simply to higher name recognition). Even still, Brown's poll shows that this early in the race, only 31% of voters remain undecided.

In any case, the release of the polling numbers appears to be part of a strategy to rain on Gansler's kickoff, because hours later, Brown's campaign issued a second press release announcing the endorsement of Congressman John Sarbanes. You can see both press releases and a polling memo below:

PRESS RELEASE #1

POLL: Anthony Brown has 22 Point Lead in Race for Democratic Gubernatorial Nomination

September poll shows Lt. Governor Brown backed by 43% of likely primary voters, compared to 21% for Attorney General Gansler and 5% for Delegate Mizeur

Upper Marlboro, MD: A mid-September poll by Garin-Hart-Yang has found that Lt. Governor Anthony Brown takes 43% of the vote in Maryland’s June 2014 gubernatorial primary election, compared to 21% for Attorney General Doug Gansler. 31% of voters remain undecided, while Del. Heather Mizeur receives the support of 5% of voters.

Furthermore, Lt. Governor Brown leads Attorney General Gansler by 22 points in a head to head survey, supported by 46% of voters to Attorney General Gansler’s 24% with 30% undecided.

“With a 22 point lead in the Democratic primary for Governor, the momentum is clearly growing for Anthony Brown,” said Justin Schall, Campaign Manager for Brown Ulman 2014. “The excitement around the Brown Ulman team has been incredible and, while we still have a lot of work to do, we are energized by the broad and diverse support our campaign has received.”

The results show that Lt. Governor Brown has significantly increased his lead in the Democratic primary election since a similar September 2012 poll, expanding from a 14-point lead a year ago to his current 22-point lead in the three-way trial heat. He has similarly expanded his lead from 16 points a year ago to 22 points currently in the two-way trial heat. Lt. Governor Brown also has double-digit leads in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore media markets, while earning strong name recognition, favorability, and supporter intensity marks.

The survey was conducted between September 11 and 15, 2013 by Garin-Hart-Yang, which interviewed a statewide sample of 608 likely Democratic primary voters. The survey has a margin of error of +-4.0 percentage points and is fully representational of a 2014 statewide Democratic primary electorate by key geographic and demographic factors.

.

###

PRESS RELEASE #2

Congressman John Sarbanes endorses the Brown Ulman Team

Sarbanes: Brown “is a proven and resourceful leader who will keep Maryland's recovery on track”

Baltimore, MD. - Today Congressman John Sarbanes announced his formal endorsement of Anthony Brown for Governor and Ken Ulman for Lt. Governor. In his endorsement, Sarbanes cited his work with Anthony Brown to implement the Affordable Care Act, and Brown’s commitment to investing in Maryland’s schools and infrastructure as well as his military service in Iraq.

“I am glad to support the Brown/Ulman team in 2014,” said Congressman John Sarbanes, “I have had the pleasure of working with Lieutenant Governor Brown on a variety of initiatives, including the effort to implement health care reform in our state and to ensure that the Baltimore region is maximizing the opportunities presented by BRAC.  He is a proven and resourceful leader who will keep Maryland's recovery on track with investments in infrastructure and education. The Lieutenant Governor's service to our country in the U.S. Armed Forces -- most recently in Iraq -- has set a powerful example of sacrifice and commitment. Ken Ulman and I have had the opportunity to collaborate on a number of health and environmental projects and I believe Ken will draw on his outstanding tenure as Howard County Executive for the benefit of all Marylanders.”

“I'm honored to have the endorsement of Congressman John Sarbanes, one of the hardest working leaders for Maryland's middle class families,” said Lt. Governor Anthony Brown. “Together, we've made health care more accessible and affordable, we’ve invested in our roads and schools and we’ve kept Maryland’s economy growing and creating jobs. We’ve made a lot of progress over the last seven years, and I’m looking forward to working with our growing and diverse coalition of supporters to build a better Maryland for more Marylanders.”

With this endorsement, Congressman Sarbanes joins Governor Martin O’Malley, Senator Barbara Mikulski, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, Congressman Elijah Cummings, Congresswoman Donna Edwards, State Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller, Jr., Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and more than half of Maryland’s Democratic elected County Executives, Councilmembers and Commissioners who have endorsed Anthony Brown and Ken Ulman.

.

###

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

JuiceBlender: Maryland Death Penalty Debate Brings Marriage Equality Dejavu, Garagiola vs. Cuomo, 60% of MD Dems Pro-Life

Below Maryland Juice provides a few updates on the status of the rapidly escalating movement for death penalty repeal in the Free State, but first we provide a little bit of context on the debate.

BACKGROUND: DEATH PENALTY DEBATE CREATES FEELINGS OF DEJAVU - The current drive to make government executions illegal in Maryland is giving me some serious dejavu. In particular, the fight to persuade lawmakers to support repeal is conjuring up parallels to our recent ridiculous debate about whether to grant equal marriage rights to same-sex couples. Just as happened with marriage, Senate President Mike Miller is allowing death penalty repeal to proceed for a floor vote, even though he personally opposes the proposal.

And just as happened with marriage equality last year, progressives are now breathtakingly close to changing state law to make Maryland a more civilized state. Meanwhile, many of the same Democrats who dragged their feet on marriage equality over the years are also supporters of state executions (surprise, surprise). And once again, a majority of Democratic voters are on one side of the issue (ie: Maryland state government should not commit murder), while a super-majority of Republican voters are on the other side of the issue (ie: Maryland state government should commit murder).

Similar to the marriage equality debate, there is a strong (but not perfect) correlation between an elected official's choice of party and their views on the death penalty. But just as happened with marriage equality, there are some exceptions to the rule. For example, in support of abolition. Notably, Kittleman was the only Republican to support marriage equality in the Maryland Senate. And just as with marriage equality, polling numbers are showing a rapid trend in the direction of social justice. Below we explore a few of these themes via JuiceBlender. Enjoy.


JUICE #1: STATE SENATOR ROB GARAGIOLA VS. MARIO CUOMO ON DEATH PENALTY REPEAL - Maryland Juice has been dismayed to see Democratic lawmakers representing safe, liberal districts voluntarily embracing legalized government murder as state policy in Maryland. For example, we've highlighted State Senator Rob Garagiola's support for taxpayer financing of Maryland state government employees committing premeditated murder, but we haven't yet heard why it is he's in favor of the death penalty.

KING MILLER'S POLICY LOGIC: Other pro-death Democrats like State Senator Mike Miller have stated why they want Maryland taxpayers to continue funding government executions. In this month, Miller basically stated he believes that some murder victims deserve more justice than others. He supports the death penalty for those who kill teachers in particular (excerpt below):
PATCH: Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller would like to add to the list of capital punishment eligible cases.... "If someone's going to go to an elementary school classroom and kill a teacher, in my opinion teachers are the front line of democracy," Miller said.... Miller said he has six sisters who are teachers.

Though I can appreciate that Miller's consent has allowed the death penalty to repeal effort to proceed, I find it impossible to hold my tongue on this sort of offensive policy logic. Though I value the role of educators immensely, I'm not sure what factor (other than being the profession of the Senate President's family members) warrants the law granting greater or lesser measures of justice to victims based on their profession. It is even more gross considering that we are talking about the application of murder by the state. I don't know about you, but I do not want the Democratic leader of Maryland's Senate making decisions about life or death in such a regal and biased manner.

ROB GARAGIOLA EXPLAINS HIS SUPPORT FOR GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES EXECUTING INMATES - In comments that appeared in The Baltimore Sun, Sen. Rob (excerpt):
ROB GARAGIOLA: "I think to myself, 'What if my daughter was a victim of one of these crimes, or a family member?'.... 'It's more from the gut,' Garagiola said."

MARIO CUOMO'S REBUTTAL TO ROB GARAGIOLA'S GUT  - Garagiola's explanation is an obvious and common argument from death penalty supporters. Perhaps influenced by , politicians often explain their views on capital punishment after imagining what they would want if the victim was their family member. This vengeance-based explanation is closely related to Mike Miller's impulse to expand the death penalty to include those who murder teachers. But former New York Governor Mario Cuomo -- often thought of as the conscience of the Democratic Party -- has handled this argument well for years.

Cuomo essentially asks policymakers not to make their decisions from the viewpoint of a crime victim's grieving loved one. He urges lawmakers to resist their negative impulses and instead govern from the best part of their hearts, rather than from the perspective of their darkest moments. He reiterated this view most recently in . Years after leaving public office in New York, Cuomo is still trying to get the law off the books, even though the death penalty has been effectively dismantled in the state. I must admit that his views track very closely to mine on this issue, and as a result, I find myself questioning the fitness for public office from those who believe executions are legitimate public policy tools. I hate to be harsh, but that's honestly how I feel about the matter (see below):
MARIO CUOMO: I have studied the death penalty for more than half my lifetime. I have debated it hundreds of times. I have heard all the arguments, analyzed all the evidence I could find, measured public opinion when it was opposed to the practice, when it was indifferent, and when it was passionately in favor. Always I have concluded the death penalty is wrong because it lowers us all; it is a surrender to the worst that is in us; it uses a power  - the official power to kill by execution  - that has never elevated a society, never brought back a life, never inspired anything but hate.

And it has killed many innocent people.... All states should do as the bold few have done and officially outlaw this form of punishment....

People have a right to demand a civilized level of law and peace. They have a right to expect it, and when at times it appears to them that a murder has been particularly egregious, it is not surprising that the public anger is great and demands some psychic satisfaction.

I understand that. I have felt the anger myself, more than once. Like too many other citizens, I know what it is to be violated and even to have one's closest family violated through despicable criminal behavior. Even today, I tremble at the thought of how I might react to a killer who took the life of someone in my own family. I know that I might not be able to suppress my anger or put down a desire for revenge, but I also know this society should strive for something better than what it feels at its weakest moments....

Cuomo also wrote about his efforts fending off the death penalty as New York Governor, despite the seeming bloodlust from the New York public:
MARIO CUOMO: For 12 years as governor, I prevented the death penalty from becoming law in New York by my vetoes. But for all that time, there was a disconcertingly strong preference for the death penalty in the general public....

New York returned to the death penalty shortly after I was defeated by a Republican candidate.... That law is a stain on our conscience. The 46 executions in the United States in 2008 were, I believe, an abomination....

Note that Cuomo's condemnation of vengeance-based policymaking is right on target with the death penalty, but it could also be applied to many other areas of policy where a stubborn minority of Democrats disappoint on issues (eg: war and militarism issues). Indeed, the death penalty has always been a primary proxy issue for Maryland Juice; I think it reveals much about a lawmakers policy mindset.


JUICE #2: POLL SHOWS 60% OF MARYLAND DEMOCRATS OPPOSE DEATH PENALTY VS. 77% OF REPUBLICANS IN SUPPORT - Now that we let Mario Cuomo have his say, we can get back to more tacky reasons to support death penalty repeal. Numerous news outlets are buzzing with commentary about . According to a recent Gonzales survey, 60% of Maryland Democrats oppose the death penalty and two in three respondents would support life in prison without parole instead of death. Indeed, support for executions comes heavily from Republicans and then some independents -- two groups that cannot vote in Democratic primaries. Bottom line: the death penalty is not even a winner for candidates in Democratic Primaries, and if anything it would appear to be a liability for a Democrat seeking statewide office in the 2014 primaries. Check out a quick summary from the below:



Maryland Juice recently appeared (via telephone) on Bruce Depuyt's News Channel 8 show to discuss these and other poll results:



JUICE #3: ACTIVISTS RALLY IN ANNAPOLIS FOR MARYLAND DEATH PENALTY  - Yesterday, dozens of , and some brought multiple affiliations to the event:



of the rally:




JUICE #4: DEAD MAN WALKING & HEATHER MIZEUR  - Del. Heather Mizeur, who is currently exploring a run for Governor, brought some advocacy starpower to the death penalty debate recently. She penned an op. ed. with Sister Helen Prejean of Dead Man Walking fame that appeared in The Baltimore Sun. (excerpt below):
SISTER HELEN PREJEAN & HEATHER MIZEUR: We are all united in the belief that capital punishment is a uniquely severe and irreversible component of our legal system that neither deters crime nor guarantees justice. States that impose capital punishment do not have lower rates of criminal homicide. Indeed, the Federal Bureau of Investigation reports that states with the death penalty generally have the highest murder rates. A national survey of chiefs of police ranked the death penalty as one of the least effective ways to reduce violent crime....

In Maryland, 76 percent of murder victims are African American, yet all of the men sitting on death row are there for killing a white person. A Maryland commission concluded that black offenders killing white victims were at greater risk of a death sentence because they were more likely to be charged with a capital offense by the state's attorney....
Life in prison is smarter economically, too. Taxpayers are expected to benefit from a $1.4 million reduction in litigation costs after the first year of repeal, and $800,000 in savings the year after.

Put simply, the death penalty does not make us safer; it does not save us money; it does not work; and it cannot be fixed. It must be abandoned....

JUICE #5: FLASHBACK TO KIRK BLOODSWORTH, AMERICA'S FIRST DEATH ROW INMATE EXONERATED THROUGH DNA - Many Free State residents seem unaware that the very first person to be exonerated from death row through DNA testing was a Marylander named Kirk Bloodsworth. , and I hope the story gives Maryland Juice readers pause about the death penalty (excerpt below):
CNN: Kirk Bloodsworth is a free man now. He is free to pursue a living as a crab and commercial fisherman in his hometown of Cambridge, on Maryland's rustic Eastern Shore. He got married last year and bought a new fishing boat two years ago.

He lives simply and works hard -- just the type of life he dreamed of when he was incarcerated for nine years, twice convicted of brutally raping and killing a 9-year-old girl outside Baltimore in 1984. He spent one year awaiting trial, two years on death row and six years serving a life sentence.

Bloodsworth, 39, won his freedom after taking a DNA test. In 1992, when the science of forensic DNA testing was in its infancy, Bloodsworth pushed for a test in which the DNA in a small semen stain on the girl's panties would be compared to his DNA. It was not a match. The state of Maryland set him free and paid him $300,000 for wrongful imprisonment.

"They basically railroaded me," Bloodsworth said. "They put me on a rail and let me go where they wanted me to go....I was not involved. It's not fair for Baltimore County to do what they did to me and still not give me an apology. To this day, they won't...."

Come on, are we really debating this???




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