A Loss for Maryland

Sometimes it is entirely rational to vote for an inferior candidate for public office if his or her election might affect the balance of power in a legislative chamber. Assume, for example that you largely agree with policies of candidate A. However, if the election of candidate A would aid the party with which one largely disagrees with, it makes sense to consider voting against candidate A. More could be accomplished by the party of one’s preference than by a single representative one prefers.

In the last election, the unpopularity of the Iraq War had this effect on Congressional Republicans. People could not vote for against the author the policy, President George Bush, so they used Congressional Republicans as a proxy. This combined with the facts that the Liberal leaders in the Congress like Representative Nancy Policy and Senator Harry Reid were deliberately inconspicuous and that many Democrats ran as conservatives made is easier from normally reliable Republican voters to switch tickets. Nonetheless, some Republicans were undeserving victims of the purge.

One obvious political casualty was Governor Robert Ehrlich Jr. of Maryland. The moderate Republican managed to earn a 55% approval rating in a state where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans two-to-one. After inheriting a surging budge deficit from the previous Democratic governor, Paris Glendening, Ehrlich managed to bring the state’s budget into surplus without raising taxes and while increasing aid to education. He also managed to finally start up an important transportation project, the Intercontinental County Connector, which had been lingering in legislative limbo for decades. Ehrlich is the sort of attractive and successful governor that soon finds himself on the short list of possible presidential and vice-presidential candidates.

Ehrlich is young enough and charismatic enough that he might be called upon for public service in the future, but for now he is one more casualty of Republican losses in 2006. Not only was this a loss for Republicans, it was a loss for the residents of Maryland as well.

Last week, Ehrlich threw a party to thank his supporters. Here are some photos from the event.

Bob Ehrlich Jr.
Bob Ehrlich Jr. speaks to crowd.
Kendal Ehrlich
Kendal Ehrlich waves to crowd.
Crowd and Ehrlich thank you party.
Supporters listen to Ehrlich.

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