Way Too Early Analysis of the Primary Election
Just because the results aren't in doesn't mean that we can't speculate and analyze the results
But there are plenty of other things to analyze and speculate about based on the early result. Let’s talk about them.
Larry Hogan for President 2024 is a Dead Issue: That Larry Hogan couldn’t (or didn’t) help Kelly Schulz across the finish line pretty much slaughtered the argument that he was making for his Presidential campaign.
Len Foxwell meant a lot to Peter Franchot’s political operation: I wondered when Peter Franchot split with Len Foxwell what the impact would be on Franchot’s political operation. What wasn’t obvious at the time was the fact that it was the beginning of the end of Peter Franchot’s political career. In 36 years, Peter Franchot was 19-1 in elections, losing only to Connie Morella for Congress in 1988. Now he’s 19-2.
Democrat Voters love neophytes: I wrote this back in March about a poll that came out at the time:
It’s interesting to see that the Democratic electorate is following the same pattern they did in the 2018 primary; hedging on frontrunner candidates before siding with the political neophyte with a national following but no Maryland practical knowledge. That helped Ben Jealous get nominated in 2018, and will probably help Wes Moore get nominated in 2022.
Democrats did the same thing this year that they did in 2018. They nominated a candidate with little knowledge of state government. Is Wes Moore more charismatic than Bean Jealous? Yes. Is Wes Moore as gaffe-prone as Ben Jealous? So far, no. But before we count absentee ballots, it looks like Moore is cruising toward the Governor’s Mansion at this point; that’s a position, that of favorite, that Ben Jealous never found himself in.
The O'Malley Name is Toxic: Last October I said it made no sense for Katie Curran O’Malley to leave her judgeship and that her name was going to be a liability in the Democratic Primary. Told you1.
John Grasso cost Herb McMillan the Win: The Anne Arundel County Republican Primary turned into a battle of text messages, mailers, and people trying to spin all sorts of nonsense stuff. John Grasso got far more traction than I anticipated he would. And it was obvious that I wasn’t the only one; McMillan started attacking Grasso over the rain tax, and a PAC propped up Grasso as more Trumpy than McMillan (probably accurate). But right now, Haire leads McMillan by roughly three percent and Grasso is sitting at twelve percent. It seems to reason that Grasso voters would have more likely moved to McMillan than Haire. If Grasso doesn’t run, McMillan likely wins.
Democrats Have a Shot to Win in Wicomico County: Remember when the Wicomico County Council screwed the pooch in not naming Carl Anderton to replace the late Bob Culver in 2020? Twice? They left acting executive John Psota in the spot, who ultimately decided to run, and then ultimately lost to teacher Julie Giordano in yesterday’s primary. Wicomico County Republicans apparently don’t have the memory of Richard Pollitt serving two terms as County Executive, winning in 2006 and 2010. Giordano’s nomination just breathed life into Democratic Councilman Ernest Davis’s campaign.
Competitive Republicans in Competitive Races Have no Chance: I feel bad for Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, the best Republican Chance to win a Comptroller’s race possibly ever. And yet he has to carry these two anchors, Cox and Peroutka, around his neck everywhere he goes.
Republican challengers in Congressional Districts 3 and 6, the two best Republican pickup opportunities, pretty much saw those vanish last night with Cox’s victory.
Running as a Social Media Influencer Doesn’t Get You Far: Remember James Tarantin, who ran absolutely goofy campaign commercials like this one? Remember how I said that I couldn’t tell whether or not he was running for Senate or running to be an influencer? Remember how he couldn’t remember what state he was running in?
Sixth place? Ouch babe.
Cutting the Dead Weight: Weirdly, a lot of bad candidates did manage to lose last night.
Marilyn Mosby lost, which is not really her biggest problem right now.
Valerie McDonough was a distant 5th in District 6.
Rick Impallaria lost handily to Lauren Arikan in District 7B.
Jay Jalisi lost his Senate Primary in District 10
Saqib Ali took another L on the Democratic slide.
Max Socol and his music team lost soundly.
Socialist Richard DeShay Elliott managed less than 4% in District 24.
Democrats finally jettisoned Mary Ann Lisanti in District 34.
Shekinah Hollingsworth was obliterated in District 34A.
Two knucklehead challengers to Steve Hershey in District 36 went down, and hard.
Perennial candidates like George McDermott, Donna Edwards, McKayla Wilkes and Ray Bly lost their Congressional Primaries.
A Lot of Bad Candidates Still Won: I mean, just look at some of the wild things that did happen:
Pat McDonough not only was nominated by Baltimore County Republicans but pulled 40% of the electorate.
Robbie Leonard leads Scott Shellenberger for the Democratic nomination for Baltimore County State’s Attorney.
Frederick County’s Education Not Indoctrination Slate moved on to the General Election.
Cox-related candidates were elected to Republican Central Committees across the state. 2
There will certainly be more things that come out that provides us with additional context.
I mean, at least I was right about SOMETHING in this primary.
Realistically, this is as much the reason that I’m leaving the party than anything. And it’s not because I lost; I expected that once polls closed. But four years of chuckleheads on the Central Committee is going to ensure that Republicans are in the same screwed position in 2026 as the party was in 2022.