Thursday, February 14, 2008

Don't Get Cocky

If I can give any one piece of advice to Republicans and the Harris campaign right now it's this: Don't Get Cocky.

The general electorate in the First District has been voting for Wayne Gilchrest for 18 years. They are not prepared to automatically go to the polls and cast a vote for Andy Harris in November. Yes, this is a roughly nine month general election cycle, and yes there is a long road between now and then. But this is no time for complacency. The Harris Campaign successfully made their case to the the conservative Republican primary electorate for the past nine months. The next nine months needs to be spent getting the rest of the electorate on board.

And my Red Maryland compadre Tim Patterson points out this potential roadblock:

Andy Harris lost every county on the Eastern Shore. From Port Deposit to Pocomoke City, Andy Harris lost every single county on the Eastern Shore. The only counties he won are on the Western Shore. Thanks to Parris Glendenning, Mike ManPerm Miller, and then House Speaker Cas Taylor, a State Senator from Baltimore County now will have a chance to represent the Eastern Shore in Congress. How do you think Eastern Shore Republicans will respond to that?

Eastern Shore Republicans are well-known for being quite territorial. I would not discount their displeasure come November. Wayne Gilchrest may have been a RINO, but he was THEIR RINO. One of them.

It's something that needs to be considered when plotting the course ahead for the next nine months. The likelihood of a Harris win is clearly above 50-percent, but it's going to take some effort to make it happen.

Everybody needs to get prepared. Because anybody who thinks that Frank Kratovil is going to be a pushover in the General Election is deluding themselves...



Anonymous said...

As noted on another blog-- he lost QA by 10 votes, Caroline by 13, Wicomico by 70 something and Cecil by 70 something. He shouldn't be saying he has it locked, but the point is sort of ridiculous.

Look at Kratovil. He lost Cecil, Dorchester, Wicomico and Worcester. Everyone is saying Andy shouldn't be complacent, and that's smart politics, but not one is saying gee whiz the Democrat's boy-to-beat barely won over unknowns!

bud said...

Both candidates only won with approximately 40% of the vote. Therefore, 6 in 10 voted against them. Both have work to do.

Marc said...

As an Eastern Shore Republican, I think it's ridiculous that some maintain that the CD-1 Representative must be from the Eastern Shore. Almost half the CD-1 voters live on the Western Shore, so it's a little arrogant for us to presume we "own" the seat.

Furthermore, I think ideology trumps territory. The notion that Eastern Shore Republicas are terrotorial is one that is accepted as fact in this race, but I don't really know if it's true. There are many people who live here who aren't from here. The notion of the Eastern Shore as some sort of insular region that hates outsiders is not true of today's Eastern Shore. Most of the Republicans I know care much more about a candidate's beliefs than his address.

Harris will certainly get fewer votes in the general election than Gilchrest. But that is because there won't be a large number of Democrats crossing over to vote for him. Harris will likely win with 52% or 53% of the vote. That's lower than the 60+% Gilchrest got, but so what? A win is a win.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

what percentage fewer marc?

Anonymous said...

Harris only received 53% of the vote in his last race for State Senate and that was when he was an incumbent Senator for two terms and in a far more conservative Republican district.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, was that when they poured how much $ against Harris in a moderate district (Essex is no Republican hot-spot)?

Bud is right, it'll be an uphill battle for both. I think Kratovil is toast because every photo of him on his website is with O'Malley. I would not want to be seen with O'Malley if I was in a liberal district, let alone a conservative district.