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Top Race Ratings Agency Ranks Maryland “Most At Danger Of Flipping Parties” in 2022
According to Cook Political Report, Maryland is the state “most at danger of flipping parties” in 2022. The race ratings agency ranked the state as a “toss up” next year, indicating it could be a good pickup opportunity for Democrats.
More Marylanders favored Joe Biden over Donald Trump in the 2020 election than they favored Clinton over Trump in 2016, “which could signal that Democrats might have the footing to take back the governor’s mansion in 2022.”
Enhancing Democrats’ chances of winning there is the fractured state of the Maryland Republican party. GOP Gov. Larry Hogan has angered many Trump activists with his criticism of the Trump administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the election. Hogan even went after Maryland Congressman Andy Harris who voted to undermine the results of the 2020 election – saying he was “outraged” by Harris’ behavior. Hogan also said he was “embarrassed and ashamed” by the members of his party who fueled rumors that the election was rigged, sparking a deadly attack at the Capitol.
Harris is suspected of eyeing a gubernatorial run in 2022, along with Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford and several other contenders. Republicans in Maryland prefer Donald Trump to the current governor by 10 points, so the candidates will likely try to court Trump’s base. No matter who the nominee is, Trump will certainly be looming over the primary.
One political science expert commented, “It’s just not a pretty picture looking forward.”
“The Maryland Republican party will have an uphill battle in 2022,” said DGA Communications Director David Turner. “Donald Trump is more popular with the Republican base than the current GOP governor, meaning the primary will likely be a race to the far right. And if Joe Biden’s performance in Maryland is any indication, a far-right candidate will be out of touch with Marylanders’ values. We look forward to fulfilling Cook’s prediction and flipping Maryland blue in 2022.”