Brown’s ‘molehill’ problem

It’s not quite to the level of Senate President Mike Miller’s 2006 comments about burying Republicans upside down, but Anthony Brown showed the arrogance of the current state regime recently in a Washington Post story by John Wagner:

Brown told the crowd Thursday that he considers the primary “the bigger objective” in a state in which registered Democrats outnumber Republicans more than 2 to 1.

“We take that hill, and then we’ve got a little bit of a mole hill to take in November,” Brown said.

Larry Hogan has been trying to make fundraising hay out of Brown’s remarks:

We’ve seen a wave of support in the last 48 hours, further solidifying what we’ve known for a long time: Marylanders are sick and tired of arrogant career politicians like Brown who are more concerned with their own political goals than the wellbeing of average families and job creators. We are ready for honest leadership that is focused on the serious problems facing our state.

It’s clear that despite what he may think, Marylanders do not believe that Anthony Brown deserves a promotion to be the next governor of our great state.

Granted, it’s a little harder to define Brown as arrogant or say anything else negative about him without being possibly defined as racist or even anti-veteran since Brown served in the Army, including a stint in Iraq as a legal consultant. (The subject of the Wagner article was a new veterans’ support group backing Brown.) Given that a persistent problem facing returning veterans is finding work in the civilian workforce, one would think they would refrain from supporting a candidate who saw so many jobs and so much wealth leave the state, doing little to stop either from happening. Yet, despite that fact, many Marylanders don’t care until it affects them and if you live in the I-95 corridor the chances are pretty good that it doesn’t – or at least not enough to get riled up and vote for the opposition party.

But I contend there is a formula for success in this state, and it involves some bold new initiatives. For example, eliminating the income tax is one piece of the puzzle, but it presents a chicken-and-egg question: assuming a Republican win shows there’s a mandate for the change, one has to show there’s the prospect for a Republican win that’s broad enough to scrape off about 20-25 Democrats in the House and 8-10 in the Senate to create a workable coalition. I’ve run the numbers: splitting all the contested General Assembly races 50-50 leaves Republicans with deficits of 50-91 and 18-29 in the House of Delegates and Senate, respectively. We would have to win a vast majority of contested races to secure even a bare majority. (That can be a project for 2022, once we re-elect a governor who will draw fair districts.) In the TEA Party election of 2010, the Democrats won 62 of 101 contested House races and 20 of 28 for Senate, so 50/50 would be a huge win.

The other day I gave some turnout statistics, and they showed that gubernatorial election turnout is trending downward among all parties. As uninspiring as the current crop of Democrats appears to be, there’s somewhat of a chance that turnout among Democrats will fail to make 50% – it was under 55% in 2010 and has slipped downward for several cycles in a row. (Note also that a certain percentage of Democrats cross over in top-ticket races.) If Republicans can be excited enough to bring turnout to a level achieved in Presidential years (roughly 80%) they have a great chance of success. It’s that simple, because all the polls in the world are done based on what the pollsters believe the turnout will be on Election Day. If they assume 60% of Republicans turn out and we get 80%, that will shock the world because that predicted double-digit defeat will become a whisker-close win. And make no mistake: the media will be polling to favor their editorial slant and dispirit the opposition.

So if you couple the bold new initiatives with the explanation of why they will succeed in making the average Marylander’s life better, victory can be achieved. I’d like to come out of the ground a couple years early and see that shovel shoved right back into Mike Miller’s face. Let’s show the arrogant bastards that we can win this state, and leave that little molehill as the pile of dirt we displaced in our resurrection.

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