This is part thirteen in this series of current and past election data and early predictions in local races…this article I will look at Maryland State Delegate in District 9B. You can see the results from the 2018 primary here. Below are some numbers from the past couple elections for this office:
2014 Primary:

2014 General:

2018 Primary:

Why did I only provide 2014 and 2018 data? The redistricting of 2012 significantly changed this district. Prior to 2012…this district resided in Carroll County. In 2012, this district was carved out of District 9A and established around parts of central and eastern Howard County. Here is a map to show the new district lines (top map) and the old district lines (bottom map):

Many people I have spoken to feel that this was redrawn to turn this district into a swing district and provide an opportunity for Democrats to pick up this seat. Here is what the 9B General Election numbers looked like back in 2010 (prior to redistricting):

It is also worth reading the District 9A evaluation when looking at these numbers…here that is (CLICK HERE).
Some key items I will be watching that will play into the general election:

  • Unity – The Dem primary was a little heated and this can always cause some issues. In an election cycle where we have learned that every vote really does matter…party unity in the general election can be a key factor.
  • Money – watching campaign finance reports and seeing who is getting the most money…and what they spend it on. The last finance report showed that Flanagan held a slight money advantage…will it stay that way?
  • How other races (like the Governor and County Executive) play into this race. I believe that both of those races significantly influenced this race in 2014…and may again in 2018.
  • How negative will this race become between now and November. There are opportunities for both camps to attack the other on specific issues.
  • Voter turnout seems much higher in 2018…at least in the primary…will that trend continue in the general?

Prediction: (I am going to note Strong, Lean or Even based on my best guess at this point in the race).
I am calling this EVEN right now. Watson defeated Flanagan back in 2010 when they both ran for County Council in District 1…Watson was the incumbent in that race. Flanagan is the incumbent in this race and that is always helpful. They both have political name recognition (always a good thing in elections). I don’t have enough history to say with any certainty how this election cycle will go in 2018. I can see a lot of different things happening between now and November and this (to me) is the most interesting of all delegate races in Howard County this election cycle.
I will be breaking down additional numbers in the following days / weeks. So stay tuned and look for more data soon. I have much more to process and report out on for a while.
Scott E

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