Ur­ban re­gions help Clin­ton carry state eas­ily

Safely Demo­cratic, state re­ceived lit­tle at­ten­tion from ei­ther can­di­date

Baltimore Sun - - ELECTION 2016 - By Michael Dresser Bal­ti­more Sun re­porters Erin Cox, Pamela Wood and Liz Bowie con­trib­uted to this ar­ti­cle. mdresser@balt­sun.com

Hil­lary Clin­ton scored a thump­ing vic­tory Tues­day over Don­ald Trump in Mary­land on the strength of Demo­cratic votes in the state’s ur­ban re­gions.

Mary­land was one of the first states called in the pres­i­den­tial race af­ter the polls closed at 8 p.m. Never re­garded as a bat­tle­ground state, it re­ceived lit­tle at­ten­tion from ei­ther can­di­date in the gen­eral elec­tion.

The for­mer sec­re­tary of state ran up land­slide mar­gins in Bal­ti­more and the Wash­ing­ton sub­urbs, eas­ily over­com­ing Trump’s ap­peal in Repub­li­can strongholds such as the Eastern Shore and Western Mary­land.

Mary­land has not voted for a Repub­li­can for pres­i­dent since1988, when Ge­orge H. W. Bush de­feated Demo­crat Michael S. Dukakis in a na­tional rout. Mary­land gave Barack Obama some of his high­est mar­gins in the coun­try in 2008 and 2012.

Mary­land has the fourth-high­est con­cen­tra­tion of African-Amer­i­can vot­ers among the 50 states. Polls showed Clin­ton win­ning close to 90 per­cent of the black vote na­tion­ally.

Mary­land did not re­ceive as much at­ten­tion from poll­sters as states that were seen as com­pet­i­tive. An early Septem­ber poll by Opin­ionWorks in An­napo­lis showed Clin­ton lead­ing Trump by about 30 points, and win­ning among men, women, blacks, whites and all age cat­e­gories.

Katie Mackey, 46, who lives in Glenelg in western Howard County, said hers is a “di­vided house.” She went to Folly Quar­ter Mid­dle School with her 9-year-old daugh- Peo­ple cheer as states are an­nounced for Hil­lary Clin­ton dur­ing a Demo­cratic gath­er­ing Tues­day night at Mary­land Hall for the Cre­ative Arts in An­napo­lis. ter, Ann, to vote for Clin­ton. But she ex­pected her hus­band to vote for Trump, with her 13-year-old son cheer­ing him on.

Mackey said the ex­pe­ri­ence of vot­ing for a woman for pres­i­dent was “awesome,” and she was happy she could share the mo­ment with her daugh­ter.

Un­like Mitt Rom­ney in 2012, Trump did not en­joy the uni­fied back­ing of his party here.

Even before Trump won the Repub­li­can nom­i­na­tion, pop­u­lar Repub­li­can Gov. Larry Ho­gan said he would not vote for him.

Ho­gan’s of­fice said Tues­day night that he had writ­ten in the name of his fa­ther, for­mer Rep. Lawrence J. Ho­gan Sr. The vote won’t be tal­lied be­cause the se­nior Ho­gan isn’t a reg­is­tered write-in can­di­date.

Repub­li­can Howard County Ex­ec­u­tive Al­lan H. Kit­tle­man never with­drew his en­dorse­ment of Ohio Gov. John Ka­sich.

While some Repub­li­can elected of­fi­cials here sup­ported their nom­i­nee en­thu­si­as­ti­cally, oth­ers gave him only nom­i­nal back­ing while do­ing lit­tle to ad­vance his cam­paign. Some said their pri­or­ity was 2018, when Ho­gan will be up for re-elec­tion.

One of Trump’s sig­na­ture is­sues, im­mi­gra­tion, never seemed to gain the trac­tion here that it did else­where. In some parts of the state, such as Howard County, it ap­peared to cut against him.

Tyler Petrini, a 30-year-old teacher at Howard High School, pointed to the is­sue in ex­plain­ing his vote for Clin­ton.

“I teach Span­ish, and my heart is with the Latino peo­ple,” said Petrini, who adopted a son from Mexico.

Petrini was also im­pressed with Clin­ton’s vice pres­i­den­tial choice, Span­ish-speak­ing Sen. Tim Kaine.

“I ac­cepted the char­ac­ter flaws of Hil­lary Clin­ton, and with Tim Kaine I found it to be a very at­trac­tive ticket,” he said.

But Trump’s call to build a wall along the Mex­i­can bor­der helped him with Michele Fran­cis.

The 58-year-old Mary­del woman cast her vote for the Repub­li­can at the Golds­boro Fire Hall in ru­ral Caroline County with her 31-year-old daugh­ter, Michele Bur­ris.

Fran­cis said im­mi­gra­tion is her great­est con­cern. Caroline County is see­ing in­creas­ing num­bers of Latino im­mi­grants. She has sym­pa­thy for them, she said, but doesn’t think that al­low­ing so many to come to the United States is the best choice.

Some vot­ers backed Trump de­spite mis­giv­ings. Kenny Blevins, owner of Blevins Heat­ing and Cool­ing, said out­side his Fall­ston polling place that he went over to Trump af­ter back­ing Ben Car­son in the GOP nom­i­na­tion con­test, de­spite con­cerns about the busi­ness­man’s flaws.

“He is not a model cit­i­zen,” said Blevins, 54. He said he thought of “jump­ing par­ties,” but doesn’t like Clin­ton. And he wants to clean up Wash­ing­ton.

“The good old boys’ club isn’t work­ing,” he said.

“They roll in there and roll out mil­lion­aires.”

MATTHEW COLE/BAL­TI­MORE SUN MEDIA GROUP

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