Alex Sadler, JHU:
Last week, five states (Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and our very own Maryland) voted on what is being called Acela Tuesday. A significant day for the Hillary campaign, as former Secretary of State Clinton earned decisive victories in every state but Rhode Island, leading many to believe she finally extinguished the Bern. On the Republican side, businessman Donald Trump swept the five state and inched closer to clinching the GOP nomination.
In a strongly contested competition, candidates from both parties traveled throughout the state appealing to Maryland voters. Baltimore itself hosted visits from Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and former President Bill Clinton. Seeing little opportunity for votes in Baltimore City (only 8,382 votes were cast for Republicans compared to 119,825 for Democrats), Republican candidates operated outside the city. Ted Cruz held a rally in Towson, a town in Baltimore County, John Kasich spoke in neighboring Howard County, while Donald Trump campaigned in Hagerstown, a working-class town in northern Maryland. The campaigns were hard fought but the end results proved to be sweeping victories on both sides.
For the Democrats, Mrs. Clinton raked in exactly 63% of the Maryland vote while Mr. Trump pulled in 54.4% in a three-way race. John Kasich and Ted Cruz came in a distant second and third respectively. For the former Secretary of State, she tapped into her wildly popular history in courting black voters and relied on cities like Baltimore (composed of a 64.3% black population) to catapult her to victory. Baltimore proved to be a bellwether for the rest of the state as Clinton won 65.4% of the vote while Trump won 43.9%. Also taking place in Baltimore were primary elections for the senate seat left by retiring Democrat Barbara Mikulski, several congressional elections, and the hotly contested mayoral race. The Senate race, expected to be a competitive one proved to be a comfortable victory for Congressman Chris Van Hollen over Congresswoman Donna Edwards on the Democratic side. For the Republicans, Kathy Szeliga of the Maryland House of Delegates easily secured her party’s nomination. In the contested mayoral race, Maryland State Senate leader Catherine Pugh squeaked out a victory against former mayor Sheila Dixon. The Republicans did not hold a primary as there is typically very little competition from the GOP.
Moving ahead, the campaigns shift focus to Indiana where voting will take place next Tuesday, May 3rd. On both sides it is seen as one of the last chances to stop the frontrunners before the massive primary in California. While the math for Senator Sanders has become nearly impossible to overtake Secretary Clinton, he has vowed to stay in the race until the Democratic Convention in late July. For the Republicans, the quest to stop Donald Trump from reaching the majority delegate number of 1,237 continues as both the Cruz and Kasich campaigns have made drastic changes in their approaches to the campaign. On Sunday, April 24th, both Cruz and Kasich announced that they would be teaming up to stop Trump from reaching the delegate majority. What this means is that Governor Kasich would not campaign in Indiana and ask his Indiana supporters to vote for Senator Cruz while the Texas senator would do the same for the Ohio governor in Oregon and New Mexico. Ted Cruz took his Trump derailment strategy one step further by announcing Carly Fiorina as his running mate the day after Donald Trump’s string of victories in the Mid-Atlantic. An unprecedented move, the Cruz team hopes that the Fiorina announcement will help secure the votes of the Republican women feeling alienated by the Trump campaign.