I did a quick tour today of some of the precincts in my district in Maryland today and much to my dismay I found that the early voting only reinforced the stanglehold Democrats have over state politics.

Voter registration in Maryland runs approximately 2 to 1 in favor of the Democrats and in Montgomery County that advantage is slightly larger in most of the districts.  The result is that Republican candidates such as myself for state office face an almost impossibly high hurdle in an effort to win.

For example in my race for State Senate I calculated that would need the votes of 90% of the registered Republicans and Independents to even come reasonably close to winning.  I didn’t factor in receiving any crossover votes from Democrats as Montgomery County is so liberal that I figured this was not even remotely possible. The Democratic primary was very bitter but rather than vote for a Republican I was told from supporters of the losing candidate that they would most likely not vote in this particular race.

Now back to what I found today in visiting about 40% of the precincts in my district. 

In my old precinct 208 Democrats and 37 Republicans had voted by 10 a.m.  At another precinct Democrats had cast 176 votes to 76 for the GOP by mid-day.  The last precinct I visited showed 370 Democrats and 146 Republicans cast ballots by 3 p.m. 

All of these numbers are above the 2 to 1 ratio and in the case of my old precinct greater than 5 to 1 which doesn’t bode well for any Republican candidate today in the state but is extremely bad news for the former governor Bob Ehrlich who is seeking to recapture the job he lost four years ago.

What makes this even worse for Ehrlich is that he set up a headquarters in Montgomery County with the express purpose of improving his vote totals from four years ago which he considered vital for a victory this year.

Instead based on the early returns he may wind up doing far worse as his campaign has failed to gain much traction in the county and as he has spent less and less time campaigning here election day drew closer which isn’t exactly a sign that he is expecting to win.

With the Republicans expected to regain control of the House of Representatives tonight the Democratic victories will be one of the few bright spots for the party tonight and only reinforce how out of step the state is with the rest of the country.

The state is the epitome of one-party rule and after tonight the Democrats will only strengthen their grip on elected offices as they will be in charge of redistricting and will inevitably divide Republican voters up into even smaller chunks than currently exist ensuring that one-party rule will continue for at least another decade.

Yet even with this stanglehold on the electorate by the Democrats there were a couple of bright spots today in my travels.  One was that for the first time in some 42 years of observing precinct activity was the very noticable lack of effort by the teachers union in the county.  If nothing else  one could always count on a show of force by the teachers to push their liberal union backed candidates for the school board. On the surface it may be a non-partisan race but in reality the board is very political.  Yet in visits at a dozen precincts there was only one that had an active educator handing out literature. 

The other somewhat hopeful sign was that not all the precincts had manned Democrat party tables.  For a county with a very active Democrat base this was shocking to see.  In fact at one precinct their was only a box of sample ballots in a box on the ground and no person in sight to hand them out.

Maybe just maybe the enthusiasm gap that the media has spoken about has reached all the way down to the state political level which could prove to be problematic for the Democrats at some time in the future if it accelerates unexpectedly giving the Republicans a chance to snag a few seats down the line.

This could be one of those historic nights nationwide so be prepared for a long night.