County Republicans Looking for an Upset
Democrats comfortable, hoping for a strong turnout.
At the Howard County Republican headquarters in Ellicott City on Monday, volunteers moved quickly around a nicely appointed office, bringing in yard signs, discussing issues.
"We're looking for an upset, that's what we want," said O.P. Ditch, vice president of the Howard County Republican Club.
On the other end of the political spectrum, at the Howard County Democratic Central Committee in Columbia, Michael McPherson, the chair of the committee, said he didn't anticipate any surprises on Tuesday.
"We started months ago, so today we have all the ducks lined up," said McPherson on Monday. "I don't see any upsets here."
McPherson, who has worked with the committee for 12 years, said the main concern he has is the weather.
"As long as the Nor'easter stays away, I think we're in good shape," said McPherson.
Registered Democrats in the county outnumber registered Republicans about 90,000 to 56,000, according to state election data, but there's also a contingent of 38,000 unaffiliated voters.
"What we need to do is turnout the Democrats [to vote]," said McPherson. "We're hoping to see record turnout."
The county Republicans are promoting challengers Dan Bongino for Senate and Frank Mirabile, Nancy Jacobs and Eric Knowles for Congress, against Democratic incumbents Ben Cardin (Senate), Elijah Cummings (District 7), John Sarbanes (District 3) and Dutch Ruppersburger (District 2).
"Our candidates have been working really hard," said David Bates, of the Republicans' central committee, "but this is Maryland."
"I think they're going to have their numbers up from 2008," said Ditch.
But the Republicans were more hopeful about their presidential candidate, Mitt Romney.
"He's going to win," said Ditch.
Bates said there's one issue that will put Romney over the top—the economy.
"I hate to quote a Democrat, but he was correct," said Bates. "It was James Carville who said, 'It's the economy, stupid.'"
At Democratic HQ, it was the opposite.
"I see the president winning," said McPherson, "but it's going to be close."