Control of the Senate appears to hinge on the results in one or two contests. There are no states in which Republicans have appeared likely to pick up a seat, although New Jersey remains a possibility. If Steele could manage an upset in the race for the seat of retiring Democratic Senator Paul Sarbanes, it could be the difference-maker. And Steele is undeniably close. The current RealClearPolitics poll average shows him trailing by 5.3 percentage points, and, in the words of University of Maryland political scientist Ron Walters, yesterday's endorsements are "going to go through the black community like a rocket. It's going to be the talk of the county, the state, maybe even the nation."
A new poll suggests that maybe just enough Maryland black voters are thinking this, too. About 25 percent of black voters registered as Democrats are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the Maryland Democratic Party's inclusion, or lack thereof, of black candidates. This is significant because Mr. Steele needs about 25 percent to 30 percent of the black vote to win.
If we take Mr. Curry and his fellow Democrats at their word that their endorsement of Mr. Steele marks the end of unquestioning allegiance to a single party, the dynamics of Maryland politics has changed remarkably -- and for the better.
And, Maryland is moving the right direction in the governor's race, as well.
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