A shift in focus

The keys for both major candidates in Maryland's governor's race can be found in the voter-rich Washington suburbs. Former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), who was elected in 2002 but lost four years later, will have to find a way to improve upon his 2006 performance in Prince George's and Montgomery counties, where he is eyeing a large bloc of independent voters. For Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), the challenge will be motivating voters to get to the polls in November, particularly in Prince George's, where a high-profile county executive race will have been all but decided two months earlier.

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