Republicans make gains in Va.; O'Malley wins in Md.

The Washington Post's Ann Marimow analyzes Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's victory over former Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.
By Michael E. Ruane
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 2, 2010; 11:05 PM

Republicans seemed headed for a string of election victories in Virginia Tuesday, with several GOP incumbents projected as winners and a prominent Democratic incumbent congressman headed for defeat.

In Maryland, Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley was headed for victory over his Republican challenger, former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., according to data compiled by The Washington Post.

In Virginia, the Associated Press declared Republicans Frank Wolf , Eric Cantor , Rob Wittman, Morgan Griffith, Bob Goodlatte, Robert Wittman, Scott Rigell, and Randy Forbes victors in their U.S. House races, along with Democrats Bobby Scott and Jim Moran.

Fellow Democrat Tom Perriello, a major supporter of Obama administration programs, seemed headed to defeat at the hands of Republican challenger, state Sen. Robert Hurt.

In Maryland, the AP declared incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski an easy winner, along with Democrats Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Donna Edwards, Elijah Cummings, Chris Van Hollen, and Republican Roscoe Bartlett in House races.

"I think there's something wrong with people in this state," Nina Boniface, 47, a supporter of former governor Ehrlich, said after learning he was expected to lose.

"I don't think they're getting what's going on," said Boniface, a Harford County dental assistant. "They're not seeing the 'midnight run' tax increase," she said, referring to a late-night vote in the General Assembly that increased state taxes. "I'm frustrated."

Voting was brisk in Virginia, but turnout appeared lower in Maryland and the District, where many people took advantage of early voting.

In Maryland, the O'Malley campaign said late in the day that it had received complaints from voters statewide who received robo-calls urging them to stay home, evthough the polls remained open until 8 p.m.

The call, a copy of which was provided by the O'Malley campaign, said:

"I'm calling to let everyone know that Governor O'Malley and President Obama have been successful. Our goals have been met," a woman said in the recording. "The only thing left is to watch it on TV tonight. Congratulations and thank you."

Rick Abbruzzese, O'Malley's campaign spokesman, said the calls were designed to discourage Democrats from voting.

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