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Tipsheet

Momentum Much? Evans-Novak Marks Steele Race 'Leaning Republican Takeover'

Well, I declare (emphasis mine).

Maryland: The momentum in this race has all been going one way for weeks now. The problem is that for a Republican in Maryland, there is always such a long way to go. Not only has Lt. Gov. Michael Steele (R) run a near-flawless campaign, he has also benefited from several gaffes by his opponent, Rep. Ben Cardin (D) -- particularly one debate performance that can be described only as disastrous for Cardin.

Near the end, the two are tied in the polls. The question here is whether Steele will get the 12 percent of the black vote that those public polls suggest, or the 20-plus percent suggested by his internals.

The Braynard Group did a late poll for us showing Cardin leading, 48-38, and Steele attracting just 12 percent of the black vote. We had to consider this an outlier, particularly when Mason-Dixon, Survey USA, and the Baltimore Sun all showed a much closer race. However, the others may be missing something, and it is interesting how they share the 12 percent number in common.

The problem is that 12 percent would be consistent with a year in which Republicans did not win a single new black vote, and Steele has been collecting key endorsements from Democrats in the black community, and should do much better than the average Republican.

Steele may well outperform Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R) on tomorrow's ballot, and we believe that both will win.

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My earlier Steele update, here. Bring the beatdown, Mr. Steele.

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