Maryland's political professionals, accustomed to worrying about voter apathy, found themselves wrestling with a new problem in the aftermath of Tuesday's primary elections: how to appeal to voters who come to the polls but shun the major candidates.

Nearly two-thirds of the state's Republicans and Democrats never bothered to vote at all -- far more than in the last two presidential primaries. Of those who did vote, one in 10 took advantage of a new outlet on the Democratic ballot and voted "uncommitted," or, if they were Republican, voted for Rep. John Anderson, an independent who himself rejected the political establishment last month.

Although President Carter and Ronald Reagan won the Maryland popular vote with unexpected ease, further contorting the long shot strategies of challengers Sen. Edward Kennedy and George Bush, the larger message of Tuesday's vote was gloomy for winners and losers alike.

"I don't think the undecided voters have a clear image in their mind's eye of what they want," said Prince George's County Councilman Francis campaign. But "they clearly are not willing to buy any of the public relations packages that are being offered.

When all the ballots had been counted yesterday morning, the unofficial results gave Carter a 47 to 38 percent win over Kennedy, while Reagan scored his victory over Bush by a margin of 48 to 41 percent.

Carter was expected to capture 32 of Maryland's 59 Democratic delegates, compared to 26 for Kennedy and at least one delegate who will remain uncommitted. For the Republicans, Reagan won at least 15 delegates and Bush at least 12.

In Baltimore County's 2nd Congressional District, final unofficial returns showed Bush leading Reagan by 87 votes, but several hundred absentee ballots must be counted before Bush is awarded that district's three delegates.

The results, combined with those of Nebraska, which also held primaries yesterday, left both front-runners within 150 delegates of their parties' nominations with more than one-third of the total still to be chosen.

The focus among state politicians yesterday already had passed from those numbers to the general election, and the concensus seemed to be that the Democrats -- and Carter -- had more to worry about than anyone else.

"These are storm warnings, and they show we have our work cut out for us as Democrats," said Stan Gildenhorn, the Montgomery County party chairman who backed Kennedy. "It shows that we are really going to have to work to stop both Anderson and Reagan."

Gildenhorn's anxiety is supported by a poll of 300 county residents compiled last week by Democratic party officials. It showed that if the general election were this month, Anderson would win Montgomery County, while Carter would come in third behind Reagan with only one-quarter of the vote.

"If in Montgomery County Carter is neck-and-neck with the most conservative person the Republicans can nominate, than he's clearly in trouble around the state," said Lanny Davis, another leader of the Kennedy campaign who plans to support the president. "After all, this is the land of Mac Mathias."

Reagan's state supporters were quick to agree with that assessment, as were those of Anderson, who began their drive Tuesday to get the 55,517 signatures of registered voters to put Anderson's name on the November ballot.

In Maryland, like four other states, the deadline for filing the first of these signatures had expired before Anderson forsook his bid for the Republican nomination and declared as an independent.

But his supporters are trying to get the necessary signatures of 3 percent of Maryland voters, anyway, with an eye to challenging the election laws if the petition drive is successful. MARYLAND PRIMARY RESULTS STATEWIDE (TABLE) 02,00,09 *2*Presidential-Democratic Jimmy Carter(COLUMN)221,656 Edward M. Kennedy(COLUMN)178,517 Uncommitted(COLUMN)44,714 Edmund G. Brown(COLUMN)14,014 Cliff Finch(COLUMN)5,191 Lyndon H. LaRouche(COLUMN)4,446 *2*Presidential-Republican Ronald Reagan(COLUMN)79,116 George Bush(COLUMN)66,786 John B. Anderson(COLUMN)15,540 Philip Crane(COLUMN)2,202 *2*U.S. Senate-Democratic Edwart T. Conroy(COLUMN)78,457 Victor L. Crawford(COLUMN)52,191 Robert L. Douglass(COLUMN)42,143 Dennis C. McCoy(COLUMN)40,338 R. Spencer Oliver(COLUMN)35,046 John A. Kennedy(COLUMN)19,987 Frank J. Broschart(COLUMN)19,542 Kurt Summers(COLUMN)18,843 James A. Young(COLUMN)16,922 Richard J. Taranto(COLUMN)12,325 Mello Cottone(COLUMN)11,404 David E. Shaw(COLUMN)10,617 *2*U.S.-Senate- Republican Charles McC. Mathias(COLUMN)79,507 John M. Brennan(COLUMN)24,410 V. Dallas Merrell(COLUMN)22,753 Roscoe G. Bartlett, Jr.(COLUMN)10,896 Jack Fortune Holden(COLUMN)5,030 Gerald G. Warren(COLUMN)3,406(END TABLE) PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY (TABLE) 02,00,08 *2*Presidential-Democratic *2*150 of 150 precincts reporting: Edward M. Kennedy(COLUMN)25,208 Jimmy Carter(COLUMN)20,878 Uncommitted(COLUMN)5,051 Edmund G. Brown(COLUMN)1,540 Lyndon H. LaRouche(COLUMN)491 Cliff Finch(COLUMN)454 *2*Presidential-Republican *2*150 of 150 precincts reporting: Ronald Reagan(COLUMN)9,496 George Bush(COLUMN)7,187 John B. Anderson(COLUMN)1,708 Philip Crane(COLUMN)203 *2*U.S. Senate-Democratic *2*150 of 150 precincts reporting: Edward T. Conroy(COLUMN)25,697 Frank J. Broschart(COLUMN)9,785 Victor L. Crawford(COLUMN)2,486 Robert L. Douglass(COLUMN)1,626 Dennis C McCoy(COLUMN)1,414 R. Spencer Oliver(COLUMN)1,374 John A. Kennedy(COLUMN)1,117 Mello Cottone(COLUMN)704 Kurt Summers(COLUMN)699 James A. Young(COLUMN)546 Richard J. Taranto(COLUMN)489 David E. Shaw(COLUMN)289 *2*U.S. Senate-Republican *2*150 of 150 precincts reporting: Charles McC. Mathias(COLUMN)7,568 John M. Brennan(COLUMN)3,374 V. Dallas Merrell(COLUMN)2,767 Jack Fortune Holden(COLUMN)1,625 Roscoe G. Bartlett, Jr.(COLUMN)583 Gerald G. Warren(COLUMN)281 *2*CONGRESSIONAL-DIST. 4 DEMOCRATIC *2*INCLUDING Anne Arundel County: James J. Riley(COLUMN)9,847 Jaye E. Bauckman(COLUMN)7,089 James Brianas(COLUMN)6,902 John Eugene Sellner(COLUMN)6,244 Robert Gali Bassette(COLUMN)5,576 Marvin O. Morris(COLUMN)3,738 *2*CONGRESSIONAL-DIST. 5 DEMOCRATIC *2*INCLUDING Montgomery County: Gladys Noon Spellman(COLUMN)32,817 Michael I. Sprague(COLUMN)4,425 *2*CONGRESSIONAL-DIST. 5 REPUBLICAN *2*INCLUDING Montgomery County: Kevin R. 2goe(COLUMN)4,735 William P. Guthrie(COLUMN)2,531 William A. Albaugh(COLUMN)1,530 George W. Benns(COLUMN)971 *2*BOARD OF EDUCATION DIST. 3 *2*15 of 15 precincts reporting: Catherine M. Burch(COLUMN)2,583 Malinda G. Miles(COLUMN)2,362 Chester E. Whiting(COLUMN)1,739 William T. Flahive(COLUMN)1,277(END TABLE) MONTGOMERY COUNTY (TABLE) 02,00,08 *2*Presidential-Democratic *2*190 of 190 precincts reporting: Edward M. Kennedy(COLUMN)35,368 Jimmy Carter(COLUMN)23,232 Uncommitted(COLUMN)12,746 Edmund G. Brown(COLUMN)1,377 Lyndon H. LaRouche(COLUMN)273 Cliff Finch(COLUMN)251 *2*Presidential-Republican *2*190 of 190 precincts reporting: George Bush(COLUMN)17,982 Ronald Reagan(COLUMN)17,525 John B. Anderson(COLUMN)4,071 Philip Crane(COLUMN)246 *2*U.S. Senate-Democratic *2*190 of 190 precincts reporting: Victor L. Crawford(COLUMN)26,984 R. Spencer Oliver(COLUMN)10,335 Mello Cottone(COLUMN)6,714 Edward T. Conroy(COLUMN)6,183 Kurt Summers(COLUMN)3,994 Robert L. Douglas(COLUMN)1,507 Dennis C. McCoy(COLUMN)1,228 Frank J. Broschart(COLUMN)966 John A. Kennedy(COLUMN)788 David E. Shaw(COLUMN)676 Richard J. Taranto(COLUMN)467 James A. Young(COLUMN)378 *2*U.S. Senate-Republican *2*190 of 190 precincts reporting: Charles McC. Mathias(COLUMN)23,629 V. Dallas Merrell(COLUMN)8,701 John M. Brennan(COLUMN)4,684 Roscoe G. Bartlett, Jr.(COLUMN)938 Jack Fortune Holden(COLUMN)443 Gerald G. Warren(COLUMN)282 *2*CONGRESSIONAL-DIST. 6 DEMOCRATIC *2*3 OF 3 PRECINCTS REPORTING: Beverly B. Byron(COLUMN)977 Thomas H. Hattery(COLUMN)110 Kent Sullivan(COLUMN)29 John J. Kubricky(COLUMN)27 William B. McMahon(COLUMN)26 Melvin C. Perkins(COLUMN)10 *2*CONGRESSIONAL-DIST. 6 REPUBLICAN *2*3 OF 3 PRECINCTS REPORTING: Raymond E. Beck(COLUMN)569 Clifford H. Andrews(COLUMN)133 *2*CONGRESSIONAL-DIST. 8 REPUBLICAN *2*181 OF 181 PRECINCTS REPORTING: Newton Steers(COLUMN)15,685 Constance Morella(COLUMN)12,701 Robin Ficker(COLUMN)7,219 Philip Buford(COLUMN)1,602 *2*BOARD OF EDUCATION *2*190 OF 190 PRECINCTS REPORTING: Marian L. Greenblatt(COLUMN)52,629 Blair G. Ewing(COLUMN)42,878 Suzanne K. Peyser(COLUMN)37,925 Sandra King-Shaw(COLUMN)33,309 Marilyn J. Praisner(COLUMN)30,564 Michael F. Goodman(COLUMN)26,509 Edward H. Gerstenfield(COLUMN)25,769 Jorge Luis Ribas(COLUMN)17,099 George Aument(COLUMN)11,068 David Raffe(COLUMN)6,930(END TABLE) All results are unofficial The Washington Post