Fred Barnes called him the upset this weekend on Beltway Boys:
“Did you see that debate on television between....in the Maryland Senate race between the Republican Michael Steele and the Democrat Ben Cardin? Steele ate Cardin alive! Ate him for lunch! And as a result, Cardin didn’t show up for a debate the next day.
The truth is Steele is maybe the best Republican candidate of the year. He’s an underdog. My upset prediction is Michael Steele wins the Senate race in Maryland.”
I thought Steele once again outshined Cardin, even though they were talking a tough issue-- Iraq. The Post, predictably, disagrees. They say he's on the defensive, but with questions like this, how could he not be?
When Russert asked him, "Are you running as a proud Bush Republican?" Steele replied pointedly, "I'm a proud Republican."
Rasmussen shows the gap closing in polls:
Maryland: Both races are getting a bit tighter in Maryland. Ben Cardin (D) now leads Michael Steele (R) 49% to 42%. However, when leaners are included, it's Cardin by just five points, 50% to 45%. Two weeks ago, it Cardin by nine.
The RCP average has him down just over 5 points.
If the surge keeps up, get ready for some really nasty racist attacks from liberals. After all, it's kinda their M.O. Act like racists (click through for more liberal blackfacing!), project that racism on conservatives, and race-bait like all get-out to solidify the black vote. Men like Steele make that much harder, which makes liberals nastier. It could get ugly.
Update: PG County backs Michael Steele! This is a big, huge deal.
Former Prince George's County executive Wayne K. Curry, backed by five black members of the Prince George's County Council, today endorsed Republican Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele's campaign for the U.S. Senate.
Mr. Curry, a Democrat who became the first black Prince George's county executive in 1994, and served two terms, is influential in Prince George's, the state's second-largest county, with about 846,000 residents, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Council members David Harrington, Camille Exum, Samuel H. Dean, Marilynn M. Bland and Tony Knotts joined Mr. Curry in backing Mr. Steele, who is black.
Prince George's is also 65 percent black, and is expected to play a key role in Maryland's Nov. 7 U.S. Senate race between Mr. Steele, who is from Prince George's, and Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, who is white and from Baltimore.
Prince George's County is in the 4th Congressional District, which is 57 percent black, 96 percent urban, went for Kerry 78-21, and has a population of 662,000, according to the Almanac of American Politics.
Maryland's 7th District, which encompasses the state's other mostly black county-- Baltimore--has almost identical population and statistics. If one of those two counties goes Steele in any decent numbers, Cardin could be in for some major trouble. Let's see why Curry went for Steele, shall we?
Mr. Curry signaled his dissatisfaction with Maryland's Democratic Party last spring, when a Democratic poll was leaked to the press, calling Mr. Steele a "unique threat" to the Democrats.Yeah, all that Oreo-tossin' and belittling of Steele isn't gonna do you a whole lot of good in PG County, guys. I'm feelin' upset, here, more than ever.
The poll advised Democrats to "knock Steele down" by linking Mr. Steele to President Bush and national Republicans, to turn Mr. Steele "into a typical Republican in the eyes of voters, as opposed to an African-American candidate."
Mr. Curry was incensed by the poll, and said at the time that Mr. Steele's candidacy presented an "enormously historic" opportunity for blacks that "may ultimately break this sort of vices grip by Democrats who feel entitled to black votes regardless of how they treat black voters."
Democrats spurned black candidates for Maryland's lieutenant governor spot in 2002.