Maryland Beverage Magnate Stays Ahead

News: US News
by Jim Ellis  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  February 1, 2024   

Democrat David Trone leads Senate race

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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - Democratic Maryland U.S. Representative David Trone, founder of Total Wine & More, has increased his lead in the U.S. Senate race according to internal polling, but how long will his advantage last?

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Rep. David Trone, D-Md.

The latest internal poll by Hickman Analytics for the Trone for Senate campaign indicates that the 6th District representative is leading Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks with a 45-34% margin in the Democratic U.S. Senate primary.

While the initial poll numbers are favorable for Trone, it's important to note that his campaign has strong financial backing. According to Inside Elections, the campaign has spent over $15 million to date, with $7 million of that expenditure occurring since November alone. Trone initiated his advertising campaign in May, a full year ahead of the primary election.

This substantial media presence has contributed to his lead over Alsobrooks in the densely populated Baltimore Metropolitan Statistical Area. Notably, he also leads 42-33% among the Black community segment within the region.

Alsobrooks' Senate candidacy has garnered support from prominent Maryland Democratic Black leaders, including Gov. Wes Moore, State House Speaker Adrienne Jones and U.S. Representative Kweisi Mfume.

Additionally, national figures like Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock and Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser, along with local leaders from Prince George's, have publicly endorsed her. This backing sets the stage for a significant effort to consolidate support within the Black community.

Although Blacks make up 32% of Maryland's population, they are expected to represent a substantial portion of the voters in the Democratic primary, according to turnout models. This underscores the extreme importance of Black voters in primary elections like this.

Despite the Hickman poll intentionally oversampling Blacks and women to emphasize the demographics where Trone is weakest, it will be difficult for the representative to maintain this level of support once the campaign hits full stride in late March and April as the candidates work toward the May 14 primary election.

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Angela Alsobrooks

In Maryland, early voting is scheduled for just one week, May 2-9, and it requires ballots to be cast in person. Due to this shortened voting window, the campaign will be forced to resort to a more conventional approach to campaign messaging.

Despite not having aired any advertisements yet, the Alsobrooks campaign trails by only 11 points, a notable achievement considering Trone's dominance in message delivery via airwaves and digital platforms.

Recognizing their inability to match Trone's substantial self-financing in an advertising battle, Alsobrooks' strategists are opting to delay their ad expenditures until later in the campaign, aiming for a strategic impact closer to the election.

The Alsobrooks strategy makes sense, especially since she will likely show a healthy campaign treasury once the Federal Election Commission quarterly fundraising reports are released next week.

Previous reports, as of the end of September, showed Alsobrooks had raised over $3.2 million, with $2.1 million still on hand. The forthcoming filing is expected to reveal a campaign balance exceeding $3 million, with additional time remaining to secure further contributions.

Delaying a major media campaign until later stages is a strategic move that could enable Alsobrooks to allocate resources effectively and potentially match Trone's advertising presence during the critical final days of the campaign.

As the May 14 primary approaches, and Alsobrooks increases her visibility through intensified campaigning and advertising, the gap in the Democratic primary contest is expected to narrow. Therefore, despite Trone's current lead in both polling and resources, the race remains competitive, and the outcome is still undecided.

Given the historical voting trends favoring Democrats in the state, the victor of this primary is likely to be strongly favored to succeed the retiring Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin when the new Congress convenes.

RFK Jr. Flirts With Libertarian Party

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Libertarian Party leaders confirm they are discussing the possibility of Kennedy becoming the party's presidential nominee.

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Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Though they are likely a long way from an agreement, mostly due to some of Kennedy's positions on major issues such as climate change and gun control, the move makes practical sense for both entities.

Becoming the nominee of the Libertarian Party would provide Kennedy with a significant advantage, namely, ballot access in all 50 states. This achievement is difficult for independent candidates to attain. In the 2020 election, the Libertarian Party was the sole non-Democratic or non-Republican entity to secure universal ballot status.

Jo Jorgensen, the 2020 Libertarian nominee, appeared on the Libertarian line in 48 states and the District of Columbia, with Independent status in Alabama and Tennessee. A similar outcome is expected if Kennedy became its nominee.

Moreover, by featuring Kennedy as its candidate, the Libertarian Party is poised to potentially achieve its highest historical vote count. This outcome holds significant importance for the party's future, as many states use a party's performance in national elections as a basis for determining its future party status.

 

Jim Ellis, creator of The Ellis Insight website and senior political analyst for the Business-Industry Political Action Committee, analyzes and reports on U.S. electoral politics. He has a background in political consulting, managing political campaigns and action committees. Ellis is a regular speaker and media contributor on electoral topics, appearing on various radio shows and TV programs. He hosts Church Militant's The Ellis Insight — a video podcast identifying emerging campaign and election trends.

 

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