The Maryland Democratic Party has a new chair, Bruce Poole, and a new executive director, Pat Murray. And now, reports the Post, the planning for winning back the governorship in 2018 has begun.
The task for Murray and Poole is to energize and refocus the party after stunning defeats that cost it the governorship and seven seats in the legislature last year.
One challenge they will face is bridging the gap between liberal Democrats in the Washington suburbs and Baltimore, and those from the outer suburbs and rural areas, where Gov. Larry Hogan (R) made inroads with independents and moderates by promising greater fiscal restraint and economic growth.
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Despite the Democratic losses in last year’s elections, Maryland’s outer suburbs are experiencing an ideological shift that benefits the party, much the same way Northern Virginia has become less conservative with a growing and diversifying population.
Murray sees an opportunity to pick up votes in that environment.
“We have to raise the floor in the suburban and rural jurisdictions,” he said. “Every vote matters, whether it’s coming from a swing voter in Carroll County or a good base Democrat in Prince George’s County or Baltimore City.”
The article discusses some of Poole’s and Murray’s ideas. There are others as well, and the Party is going to need a variety of approaches to win in 2018. A loss in that election will leave the post-2020 redistricting in the hands of Republicans, which will be catastrophic for the legislative lansdcape for the next decade.