May 24, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 34 • By EMILY ESFAHANI SMITH
To win this time, Ehrlich has to reach out to Democratic voters generally, and to African-American voters in particular (about 30 percent of the state’s population). “If a Republican can get 20 to 25 percent of the African-American vote, Democrats will have a difficult time winning any election statewide.”
His challenge, says Ehrlich, is to show that “a Republican can do pro-business things and not turn off African-American voters.” During his tenure as governor, in addition to cutting spending, he courted minorities by, among other measures, backing a formal apology for Maryland’s role in slavery.
Unlike four years ago, Ehrlich’s Republican credentials may be a strength in this race. Nationally, Republicans are winning in unexpected places like New Jersey and Massachusetts. True, O’Malley is ahead in the polls. But among likely voters his edge is just 3 points—and Rasmussen reports that Ehrlich leads by a whopping 64 percent to 24 percent among the all-important independents.
Emily Esfahani Smith is an Editorial Assistant for the Weekly Standard.