Sunday, August 29, 2010

Maryland U.S. Senate Race

Race of the Day

Maryland U.S. Senate

August 29, 2010
65 Days Until Election Day

Status: Democrat Incumbent
2008 Presidential Result: Blue State (East)

Outlook: Safe Democrat

First elected to Congress in the Watergate year of 1974, Democrat Barbara Mikulski is an old school liberal, who moved up to the Senate back in 1986. At that time, there were not nearly as many women in that body as there are now, and at the age of 74, the longest serving female in Congress is expected to easily win a fifth Senate term.

Quite a long list of candidates appear to be on the ballot in both parties this year in Maryland for this office in the upcoming September 14th primary. While Mikulski will easily be re-nominated, her GOP opponent is a bit less certain. Among the candidates, attorney Jim Rutledge has some conservative support, and in a low profile primary, where Tea Party activists can hold sway, may be able to come out on top. However, the candidate with the most establishment support and who would appear to be the most formidable against Mikulski is Dr. Eric Wargotz, who is also a Commissioner in Queen Anne's County.

Wargotz appears to be the only Republican who has been matched up against the incumbent in polling, and a Rasmussen Reports survey from late August surprisingly shows, Mikulksi's lead dropping by nine points over the course of a month. The poll still has the Senator ahead by 16 points, but that would have to be closer than expected.

Time will tell if that poll might be an anomaly or not in regards to any GOP momentum. Wargotz would of course have to win the primary first. If he is nominated, he should be a respectable opponent, but there is really still no evidence at this point to suggest he could win this race. Most of the focus in Maryland this year will be on the race for Governor, and Mikulski, despite her liberalism, is still pretty popular statewide due to her folsky manner.

Wargotz campaign link:

2010 U.S. Senate races predicted thus far: 4 D, 15 R
Predicted U.S. Senate Balance of Power thus far: 44 D, 38 R