At present, there are likely to be four big names (and what a rarity that is: four credible candidates) seeking the Democratic nomination, Attorney General Doug Gansler, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Howard County Executive Ken Ulman.

Only two Republicans have won statewide election since 1980 (can you name the two?) so the odds do favor a Democrat winning the general election, regardless of the Republican nominee.

Though many observers of state politics argue Gansler is the clear frontrunner, I would suggest that conclusion is anything but certain. If the 2014 primary were like a typical Democratic primary in recent years, with only two credible candidates, then certainly Gansler would be the favorite. But in a three man race, his odds drop considerably, and in a four-man race a clear new favored candidate emerges from the pack: Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown. In a multi-candidate race featuring Brown, the closest competitor will be the candidate who can appeal to rural Marylanders in Western Maryland, the Eastern Shore and Southern Maryland. That candidate is not (at least not yet) Doug Gansler.

[Continue reading Todd Eberly’s post at The FreeStater Blog.]

Todd Eberly blogs at The FreeStaterBlog. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.