Maryland Polls LIVE: Obama Will Win Here, But Ballot Questions 6 and 7 Are Where the Real Race is At
Maryland is a predictable state, in terms of its presidential election results. Having only voted Republican three times in the last 10 elections, Maryland's 10 electoral votes are already more or less locked up by President Obama. The Democratic, urban centers of Baltimore and the Washington suburbs vastly out populate the conservatives in the south, west, and eastern parts of the state. A massive Republican landslide would have to occur for Obama to lose the Democratic stalwart. The Baltimore Sun's latest poll shows Obama leading Mitt Romney 55% to 35%.
Benjamin Cardin's Senate seat is also fairly safe. Cardin is not only likable, but the political tact and expertise gained during his eight-year stint in the House was certainly reflected in his first term as a Maryland Senator. The only competitive 2012 House election is that of 85 year-old Roscoe Bartlett (R), who was severely damaged in the redistricting process after the 2010 census. One of only two Republican representatives from Maryland, his 10th reelection bid is deadlocked with Democratic challenger John Delaney. A Democratic win would help chip away at the Republican majority in the House, so this is a race Democrats will be keeping an eye on.
Perhaps the options that have Maryland voters the most puzzled are the referenda referred on the ballot this year, especially questions 6 and 7. Governor Martin O'Malley approved same sex marriages earlier this year, but opponents fought to get the issue on the ballot, and it will now be put to the people for a vote under Question 6. The issue fundamentally comes down to the issue of religious liberty. Will Maryland become the first state in the country to approve a gay marriage referendum on a ballot? Analysts predict that Marylanders will side in favor of the measure.
Question 7 seeks to expand the gambling industry in Maryland by approving the construction of a brand new casino in Prince George's county, and allowing card and table games at Maryland's 5 previously designated slot locations. Marylanders flock to neighboring West Virginia and Delaware to gamble, so advocates for the measure reference its potential to add thousands of jobs and bring back that millions of dollars in revenue to the Maryland's economy. The money is supposed to help fund Maryland's public schools schools, but opponents believe the money will not end up where intended. A late October Washington Post poll has Marylanders evenly divided on this issue, so it looks like the result of Maryland's Question 7 will also be of note on November 6.
Live Updates- November 6th, 2012
10:15 PM: With the Maryland Presidential, Senate, and House races called, voters wait in anticipation for the results on hotly-debated ballot Questions 6 and 7. Both are too close to call with 51 percent voting for, and 49 percent against on both measures, with a third of all precincts reporting. Look out for a full recap and detailed analysis on Wednesday, November 7th.
9:30 PM: With 162 of 1848 precints reporting, AP has projected that the following Representatives will retain their House seats: Rep. Steny Hoyer (D, MD-5), Rep. Donna Edwards (D, MD-4), Rep. Elijah Cummings (D, MD-7), and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D, MD-8). No surprises here.
8:55 PM: The Washington Post is reporting the following results:
Congressional District 6: Early voting shows Democrat John Delaney defeating Republican incumbent Roscoe Barlett, 67.65 percent to 30.2 percent.
Question 6: Same-Sex Marriage
FOR 53.5 percent
AGAINST 46.5 percent
Question 7: Gambling Expansion
FOR 49.12 percent
AGAINST 50.88 percent
8:20 PM: CNN is calling the Senate race in Maryland- Democratic incumbent Ben Cardin has defeated Republican Dan Bongino 62% to 37% percent with 2% of precints reporting.
8:10 PM: Polls have closed, Fox News projects that Maryland's 10 electoral votes will go to President Obama. With 2% of precints reporting. Obama leads Romney 65% to 34%.
7:15 PM: Polls have started to close in some states, but Maryland's remain open until 8pm.
3:00 PM: Not much to update, as Maryland polls do not close until 8pm EST and a reported 430,500 ballots already were cast in during early voting. Voters across the state have reported standing in lines up to two hours long. Maryland has a number of referendums on the ballot, which could be holding up the voting process. However these referendums have been so highly publicized that Marylanders have had ample time to read up on the issues beforehand. Regardless, it is great to see so many people flocking to the polls!
10:30 AM: Polls in Maryland have been open for 3 1/2 hours. Although early voting took place last week, Hurricane Sandy and her aftermath pushed the election to the back of many Marylander's minds. As a result voters are expected to head to the polls in large numbers today in the Old Line State.