As a follow up to my endorsement of the Maryland GOP’s proposed redistricting map, I wanted to discuss what I referred to as the true political diversity of Maryland. It is often remarked that Democrats enjoy a 2-to-1 voter registration advantage over Republicans in the state. This is quite true, the table below shows party registration numbers as of June.
As the table shows, Democrats hold a 56 to 26.6 percent registration advantage over Republicans. But the table shows two other important things often overlooked in a discussion of Maryland politics: (1) though Democrats outnumber Republicans, they still make up only 56 percent of all voters and (2) independent or unaffiliated voters make up a sizable chunk of the state’s electorate.
Let’s stay for moment with that 56 percent figure. As the majority party, it makes sense that Democrats would hold all or most (in fact all) statewide offices — governor, comptroller, attorney general, both U.S. senators. But regional offices should be a bit more competitive, and still the Democrats hold six of eight seats in the state’s congressional delegation (75 percent), 98 of the 141 seats in the House of Delegates (70 percent), and 35 of the 47 seats in the state Senate (75 percent). This is a pretty impressive accomplishment for a party that lays claim to only 56 percent of voters.
There are two possible explanations for this impressive hold on offices within the state. (1) Independent and Republican voters actually vote for Democrats or (2) Maryland’s eight congressional and 47 legislative districts have been gerrymandered such that Democrats are able to outperform their actual voter registration advantage.
[Continue reading Todd Eberly’s post at The FreeStater Blog.]
Todd Eberly blogs at The FreeStaterBlog. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.