You know this story is getting redundant when the only thing to be said is that President Carter and Ronald Reagan did better than expected.

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and George Bush might protest that interpretation of the voting in Maryland yesterday, but it's true. Not that it makes a big difference for the future of this campaign, but seriously, it's getting hard to impart much new meaning to the results in these late primary states.

Maryland once offered Bush and Kennedy hope. Now the two men are reduced to looking ahead to "tomorrow," while their aides continue to challenge for the George Orwell Award in Political Rhetoric.

Nebraska ran somewhat truer to form, with Reagan romping and Carter easily beating Kennedy.

In each state, about one Democratic voter in 10 said no to Kennedy and Carter, a sign of the discontent the president will have to overcome in the general election. But it is of little comfort to Kennedy, who appears not be an acceptable alternative to the public.

It's hard to believe there are more than a dozen primaries left before this season is over, but there is another way to look at the calendar: Four more Tuesdays (the fourth in November) and the whole 1980 presidential election will be history.