The State of the Election: Mid-Atlantic

John McCain holds a rally in Hamilton, N.J., in February. His challenger is expected to win the solidly Democratic state.
John McCain holds a rally in Hamilton, N.J., in February. His challenger is expected to win the solidly Democratic state. (By Melina Mara -- The Washington Post)
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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Delaware (3 electoral votes)

Democratic vice presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden Jr. will deliver a big win in his home state for the ticket, and he should win a seventh Senate term handily at the same time. Biden has said he will resign from the Senate if he is sworn in as vice president. One potential replacement: Gov. Ruth Ann Minner, who is retiring. Democrats expect she will be replaced by Jack Markell, the Democratic state treasurer, who is favored over Republican Bill Lee, a retired judge.

District of Columbia (3)

The overwhelmingly Democratic city could give Barack Obama one of his biggest victory margins of the night. Eleanor Holmes Norton will be reelected as delegate to Congress. But Republican Carol Schwartz, running as a write-in candidate, probably will lose her at-large council seat to Michael Brown, the son of the late Clinton commerce secretary Ron Brown.

Maryland (10)

An easy win for Obama and another Democratic expansion opportunity in the House. The 1st District race to succeed retiring Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest will be an early bellwether Tuesday and has its quirks. Gilchrest is a Republican who is supporting Obama and has endorsed the Democratic candidate in the race to succeed him, Frank M. Kratovil Jr., a state's attorney in Queen Anne's County. Republicans have fielded anesthesiologist Andy Harris, who is counting on a strong performance in the wealthy St. Michaels area to counter Obama enthusiasm elsewhere in the sprawling Eastern Shore district.

In the heavily Democratic 4th District, which takes in most of Prince George's County, Donna Edwards, a lobbyist for nonprofits, is seeking a full term after knocking off incumbent Albert Wynn in the Democratic primary and then winning a special election for the seat after Wynn resigned.

New Jersey (15)

Obama should win with little difficulty in this reliably Democratic state, but two House seats are tossups, and a third is a potential upset. In the 3rd District, GOP Rep. H. James Saxton is retiring after 12 terms, but Democratic challenger John Adler, a state senator from Cherry Hill, has strong party backing and has assembled one of the best field organizations in the country against Chris Myers, a Lockheed Martin executive and Republican mayor of Medford.

The 7th District, also a GOP-created vacancy, had been viewed as friendlier to Republicans, but Democratic state legislator Linda Stender has proven a tough competitor against state Sen. Leonard Lance. Republicans are less worried about, but still distracted by, the 5th District race, featuring Dennis Shulman, a blind rabbi endorsed by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I), against GOP Rep. Scott Garrett. Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg is expected to win easily over former congressman Dick Zimmer.

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