Maryland Gov. Harry Hughes and U.S. Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes, who faced uncertain reelection prospects just over a year ago, were easily returned to office yesterday at the top of a Democratic ticket that swept the state by lopsided margins.

With all precincts reporting, Hughes and his lieutenant governor running mate J. Joseph Curran Jr. had 62 percent of the vote to 38 percent for Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert A. Pascal. Hughes beat Pascal in nearly every jurisdiction, with Baltimore City and Prince George's County providing the greatest margins. Pascal made his strongest stand in Anne Arundel County, where he is finishing a second term as county executive, and in Baltimore County, where he was narrowly edged.

Sarbanes piled up even larger margins, despite a $650,000 media effort by the National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC) that tried to tar him as "too liberal" for Maryland. Sarbanes handily defeated GOP nominee Lawrence J. Hogan, the combative Prince George's County executive, by a margin of 63 percent to 37 percent. Sarbanes, like Hughes, scored his biggest gains in Baltimore City and the Washington suburbs, even beating Hogan in his home county. However, Sarbanes also proved extremely popular in Baltimore County.

Hughes, appearing before 450 supporters at Baltimore's Lyric Theater, said his victory was a rejection of President Reagan and an endorsement of the Hughes administration's focus on "making ends meet when Washington can't; reaching out to people when Washington won't."

Flanked by his wife, Pat, and his running mate, a buoyant Hughes gave special thanks to "those who stood by me when my leadership was questioned, those who stood by when people criticized the government for not moving fast enough."

Pascal, who spoke to Hughes by telephone for only a minute at 9:30 p.m. before making his concession official, told his supporters, "The sun will come up tomorrow, the birds will sing and there'll be another challenge, don't you forget it. You take your victories and your defeats the same way -- graciously."

Sarbanes, jubilant, said his victory sent "two strong clear messages across Maryland and to the country . . . that the politics of deception, the negative attack by NCPAC of distortion and manipulation has no place in the politics of Maryland or this country." Like Hughes, Sarbanes sounded the anti-Reagan theme that he stresed throughout his campaign, saying that Maryland's Democratic landslides reflected the voters' sense that Reagan is "cutting back on fairness and opportunity."

Hogan, in his concession speech before tearful family members and supporters, said, "We had the opportunity and we didn't do the job." While Hogan was loathe to blame NCPAC for his defeat, he said, "The national trends were against us. It was an uphill battle."

With voter turnout heavy on an unusually balmy day, Democratic incumbents running for attorney general, comptroller and seven congressional seats won reelection against mostly minor challengers.

The closest congressional race occurred in Baltimore County, where Democratic Rep. Clarence D. Long, the 73-year-old dean of the state's delegation in the House of Representatives, held off a stiff challenge by Republican Helen Delich Bentley. Bentley, who was running against Long for the second time, won about 47 percent of the vote.

In Montgomery County's 8th Congressional District, Democratic Rep. Michael D. Barnes won in a landslide as did Democratic freshmen Rep. Steny H. Hoyer in Prince George's 5th District.

Rep. Marjorie S. Holt, the only Republican in Maryland's House delegation, won a sixth term. The conservative Holt, who represents Anne Arundel and southern Prince George's, defeated former Democratic state legislator Patricia Aiken.

In local races, Democrats racked up similar lopsided wins. Charles W. Md.'s Hughes, Sarbanes Sweep Races By Alison Muscatine and Margaret Shapiro Washington Post Staff Writers

Maryland Gov. Harry Hughes and U.S. Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes, who faced uncertain reelection prospects just over a year ago, were easily returned to office yesterday at the top of a Democratic ticket that swept the state by lopsided margins.

With all precincts reporting, Hughes and his lieutenant governor running mate J. Joseph Curran Jr. had 62 percent of the vote to 38 percent for Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert A. Pascal. Hughes beat Pascal in nearly every jurisdiction, with Baltimore City and Prince George's County providing the greatest margins. Pascal made his strongest stand in Anne Arundel County, where he is finishing a second term as county executive, and in Baltimore County, where he was narrowly edged.

Sarbanes piled up even larger margins, despite a $650,000 media effort by the National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC) that tried to tar him as "too liberal" for Maryland. Sarbanes handily defeated GOP nominee Lawrence J. Hogan, the combative Prince George's County executive, by a margin of 63 percent to 37 percent. Sarbanes, like Hughes, scored his biggest gains in Baltimore City and the Washington suburbs, even beating Hogan in his home county. However, Sarbanes also proved extremely popular in Baltimore County.

Hughes, appearing before 450 supporters at Baltimore's Lyric Theater, said his victory was a rejection of President Reagan and an endorsement of the Hughes administration's focus on "making ends meet when Washington can't; reaching out to people when Washington won't."

Flanked by his wife, Pat, and his running mate, a buoyant Hughes gave special thanks to "those who stood by me when my leadership was questioned, those who stood by when people criticized the government for not moving fast enough."

Pascal, who spoke to Hughes by telephone for only a minute at 9:30 p.m. before making his concession official, told his supporters, "The sun will come up tomorrow, the birds will sing and there'll be another challenge, don't you forget it. You take your victories and your defeats the same way--graciously."

Sarbanes, jubilant, said his victory sent "two strong clear messages across Maryland and to the country . . . that the politics of deception, the negative attack by NCPAC of distortion and manipulation has no place in the politics of Maryland or this country." Like Hughes, Sarbanes sounded the anti-Reagan theme that he stresed throughout his campaign, saying that Maryland's Democratic landslides reflected the voters' sense that Reagan is "cutting back on fairness and opportunity."

Hogan, in his concession speech before tearful family members and supporters, said, "We had the opportunity and we didn't do the job." While Hogan was loathe to blame NCPAC for his defeat, he said, "The national trends were against us. It was an uphill battle."

With voter turnout heavy on an unusually balmy day, Democratic incumbents running for attorney general, comptroller and seven congressional seats won reelection against mostly minor challengers.

The closest congressional race occurred in Baltimore County, where Democratic Rep. Clarence D. Long, the 73-year-old dean of the state's delegation in the House of Representatives, held off a stiff challenge by Republican Helen Delich Bentley. Bentley, who was running against Long for the second time, won about 47 percent of the vote.

In Montgomery County's 8th Congressional District, Democratic Rep. Michael D. Barnes won in a landslide as did Democratic freshmen Rep. Steny H. Hoyer in Prince George's 5th District.

Rep. Marjorie S. Holt, the only Republican in Maryland's House delegation, won a sixth term. The conservative Holt, who represents Anne Arundel and southern Prince George's, defeated former Democratic state legislator Patricia Aiken.

In local races, Democrats racked up similar lopsided wins. Charles W. Gilchrist was reelected to a second term as Montgomery County executive. In Prince George's, Parris Glendening, a Democratic member of the County Council, was elected to replace Hogan as the new county executive.

Prince George's voters turned down a ballot initiative that would have slightly lifted the county's property tax limit, but approved a bond issue for a new jail. All of the county's incumbent Democratic legislators were reelected.

In Montgomery, incumbent legislators did nearly as well. State Sen. Laurence Levitan, a Democrat, held off a serious challenge from state GOP Chairman Allan C. Levey, and Republican Sen. Howard A. Denis won a fight for survival against Democratic newcomer Brian Frosh. Republican gadfly Del. Robin Ficker lost his race for reelection.

In the hotly contested Montgomery school board races, a slate of progressive candidates won, ousting two conservative incumbents, Joseph Barse and Carol Wallace. The outcome is certain to change the complexion of the board.

Yesterday's elections appeared to confirm Maryland's position as one of the most solidly Democratic--and liberal--states in the nation. With its strong labor unions and 3-to-1 Democratic registration, Maryland has been mostly inhospitable territory for Republicans, even rejecting Ronald Reagan in 1980.

While Pascal, 48, and Hogan, 54, were touted as the GOP candidates most likely to beat the odds, neither was able to pose a serious threat to either Hughes or Sarbanes, both of whom seemed to capture the voters' desire for honest and noncontroversial--if somewhat colorless--leadership.

Yesterday's overwhelming victory by Attorney General Stephen H. Sachs over an obscure challenger kept Sachs on schedule for an expected run for governor or senator in four years. The state's voters also returned Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein for a record seventh term.

Despite initial appraisals that both Hughes and Sarbanes were weak, the two Democrats organized campaigns earlier and were able to raise more money than either challenger.

In the governor's race, Hughes' march to a second term had a charmed quality to it. Having confounded the odds makers in 1978 by winning the fractious Democratic primary and then coasting to victory in the general election, Hughes, 55, had been transformed into the golden boy of Maryland politics. A lawyer from a small Eastern Shore town, Hughes first attracted statewide attention when he resigned as state secretary of transportation to protest the actions of then governor Marvin Mandel, who later was convicted of political corruption. That action and his surprise endorsement by the Baltimore Sun, propelled Hughes to a 1978 triumph. Hughes appears in polls today as the state's most popular politician, courted by the power brokers who shunned him just four years before.

Pascal publicly predicted two years ago that he would upset Hughes. But as recently as last summer he had no full-time campaign staff, little money and few issues with which to arouse an electorate that seemed content with a Democratic governor who made integrity his main theme.

Pascal's money problems became more acute as the campaign wore on because of wide publicity about disorganization in his campaign. In the last month, he put nearly $100,000 of his own money into the campaign but even that infusion was insufficient to pay for needed media exposure.

The problems Hughes had--a prison policy that veered across the spectrum, indecisiveness on new taxes and an often stormy relationship with the legislature--evaporated in this last year of his term, well before the campaign began.

Hughes also ran a smart campaign that began more than a year ago with a conscious effort to raise his profile as a strong and decisive leader and to use the powers of his office to win media coverage and political support.

After a successful 1982 legislative session, Hughes' new image took hold. It was reinforced when the governor successfully convened an extraordinary session of the legislature late in the summer to grapple with federal cuts in unemployment benefits, a move that even Pascal conceded was a major political victory for Hughes.

From then on, Hughes was able to brush aside Pascal's charges that he was weak on crime, inaccessible and a weak leader.

The Senate race, a textbook liberal-conservative contest, became an equally lopsided race early on, even though the seat was targeted by the national GOP a year ago as one of its top priorities. But state GOP leaders were never enthusiastic about Hogan and, partly as a result, he was unable to raise the $1 million he targeted for his campaign.

Hogan, a staunch supporter of Reaganomics, also found lukewarm support at the White House, which he had hoped would send Reagan to Maryland and bolster fund-raising efforts. But top GOP strategists felt a presidential visit was risky because Sarbanes appeared likely to retain his seat in the face of high unemployment and federal budget cuts.

Sarbanes, like Hughes, also ran an effective campaign. Faced with NCPAC's expensive media assault, Sarbanes 15 months ago began to raise money among his traditional supporters: Labor unions, liberal Democrats and Greek-Americans. He also began criss-crossing Maryland then.