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Post-Election Report and Analysis

Carol Krimm and Karen Young won the two State Delegate slots for District 3A in the November 4, 2014 General Election.  Although we do not have the count from the provisional ballots (which will be announced on November 12th), we know that the results will not change.

After counting the absentee ballots on November 6th, the current vote counts for District 3A are as follows:

  • Carol Krimm        11,408        28 %
  • Karen Young       10,680        26 %
  • Paul Smith              9,747        24 %
  • Vickie Wilkins       8,798        21.6%

I trail Karen Young by 933 votes (approximately 9% less than her count), and I trail Carol Krimm by 1,661 votes (approximately 14.5% less than her count).   During the last two months I was informed of four different polls, two of which reported similar results for me.  Two other polls had me in second place.  In all of the polls, I was either in second place or within 2% of second place.

In the beginning

When we kicked off this campaign a year ago we knew that it could be difficult to win in the newly defined District 3A.  The district had more Democrats than Republicans before the Legislature’s redistricting two years ago; and the newly constituted district was made to be even harder for a Republican to get elected in it.  We knew this up front, but we hoped to get some extra support due to the governor’s race, and we thought there may be some Democrat votes that would come my way due to the lingering upset following the Karen Young-Galen Claggett primary election battle in 2013.   But we also knew that there was some discontent among voters over some of my decisions as a County Commissioner—e.g., the sale of Citizens/Montevue and the approval of some development projects.

The campaign

We campaigned hard for a year—especially during the last six months.  We published an excellent, tri-fold flier, and hand-delivered them to over 20,000 homes.  I personally visited about 10,000 of them.  I believe that this personal, door-to-door contacting was very helpful.  But it was not enough.  Carol and Karen are both smart and hard workers; they are respected in the community; and they don’t have any major political baggage.  I believe they each had their full time to devote to campaigning, while I had my law practice and my County responsibilities that also took a lot of my time.  I have the impression that any schism between Carol and Karen was patched up.

During the two weeks just before Election Day, the Maryland House Democratic Committee Slate mailed out six large pieces of campaign literature attacking me—presenting me as anti-women and anti-gay.  I estimate that they spent at least $60,000 on these mailers.   In addition to the slanted propaganda they presented, they made multiple misrepresentations about me.  But I’m not sure what impact these had.  It was a close election, so they may have swayed enough votes to defeat me.   If those fliers convinced 467 voters to vote for Karen Young instead of me, then that would account for the difference.   I don’t think it will be possible to calculate this with any certainty.    Because I am fairly well known, and because many of the negative accusations were old news, the mailers may have had little impact.  Some people reported to me that they were greatly upset by the meanness and falsehoods in those mailers.  I don’t have any numbers on how many people may have voted for me just because of the attack mailers.

During the last week of the campaign I mailed out two sets of fliers, and there were another couple of fliers mailed from State Republicans to try to help my campaign.  I had good ads in the newspaper and on the radio.   I had regular letters to the editor during the last six months.  I conducted four seminars on the issues in this campaign—for which I got some positive publicity.   I also had an excellent website and Facebook presence for any who wanted a more thorough understanding of issues.

A comparison of votes received in District 3A

A comparison of how my total votes (before adding absentee & provisional votes) in the District 3A stacked up against the votes for Governor Hogan, Corey Stottlemyer, Blaine Young and Billy Shreve shows the following:

  • Candidate – Total Votes in District 3A
  • Hogan – 10,808
  • Stottlemyer – 9,684
  • Smith – 9,435
  • Young – 8,231
  • Shreve – 8,114

These results show that none of us got a significant boost from Larry Hogan’s success.  This may be because the voters were already well enough informed about the issues in our races, such that Larry Hogan was a non-factor in them.   This is certainly plausible because the Young-Gardner campaign got a lot of publicity.  Stottlemyer polled a little better than me (249 votes), but even he did not get seem to get a big boost from Hogan’s coat tails.

Another interesting point is that in District 3A I polled 1204 votes more than Blaine Young and 1321 votes more than Billy Shreve.  To me this shows that many voters differentiated between me and both Blaine and Billy.   All three of us hold similar views on most substantive issues.  Therefore the difference in results appears to be about personal differences between us.

Redistricting secures two seats for two Democrats

In the end, I believe that the biggest factor in my election results was the fact that there are more Democrats than Republicans in District 3A.

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