Clin­ton, Trump cruise to vic­to­ries in Md., county

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By RACHEL BLUTH, DAN RUSSO, ALEXAN­DRA PAMIAS and RE­BECCA RAINEY Cap­i­tal News Ser­vice and TA­MARA WARD tward@somd­news.com

COL­LEGE PARK — Former Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton and busi­ness­man Don­ald Trump won their party pri­maries in Mary­land Tues­day, fur­ther ce­ment­ing their sta­tus as pres­i­den­tial frontrunners and mak­ing it more than likely they will be op­pos­ing each other in the fall.

Clin­ton de­feated her ri­val, Ver­mont

Sen. Bernie San­ders, in Mary­land’s Demo­cratic pri­mary. On the GOP side, Trump eas­ily turned back Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Ka­sich.

With 62 per­cent of the state’s precincts re­port­ing, Clin­ton led San­ders 64 per­cent to 32 per­cent. Trump had 55 per­cent to Ka­sich’s 22 per­cent and Cruz’s 19 per­cent.

In Charles County, Repub­li­cans over­whelm­ingly sup­ported Trump with 6,238 votes, com­pared to the 2,220 votes and 1,535 votes they handed Cruz and Ka­sich, re­spec­tively, ac­cord­ing to State Board of Elec­tions data. Charles Democrats sup­ported Clin­ton with 15,132 votes, and San­ders re­ceived 6,246 county votes.

The Young Repub­li­cans of Calvert County were once di­vided in their sup­port for pres­i­dent, ac­cord­ing to pres­i­dent Mi­randa Jones.

Jones, 20, who also in­terns for 5th con­gres­sional district can­di­date Sam Fad­dis’ cam­paign, started the GOP youth group in June 2015. The up­start now has 30 mem­bers.

“We’re pretty con­sti­tu­tion­al­ist as a group. Most of the group has ral­lied be­hind Cruz, es­pe­cially since the field nar­rowed down,” said Jones.

Jones said while the group does not en­dorse can­di­dates un­til af­ter the pri­mary, she was orig­i­nally a Marco Ru­bio fan, but went over to Ted Cruz. She said a cou­ple of mem­bers used to be Trump sup­port­ers, but even­tu­ally moved to Cruz as well.

“The divi­sion hap­pened early in the pri­mary, but as the states started vot­ing, you started see­ing us unite,” she said.

Jones made it clear she will be happy when the pri­mary is over and they can rally be­hind the ac­tual Repub­li­can nom­i­nee for pres­i­dent.

“On a per­sonal level, I am a Hil­lary sup­porter,” said Duane Rager, pres­i­dent of the Young Democrats of South­ern Mary­land. “[How­ever,] young peo­ple in gen­eral … are frus­trated with es­tab­lish­ment pol­i­tics and par­ties and I com­pletely un­der­stand.”

Rager said there is se­ri­ous grid­lock on Capi­tol Hill and things aren’t get­ting done.

“Bernie San­ders of­fers some­thing very dif­fer­ent, and there’s noth­ing wrong with that. It’s go­ing to pull peo­ple into the po­lit­i­cal process that weren’t be­fore; that’s a great thing,” Rager said. “If for some rea­son Hil­lary were to lose in the pri­mary, then I’d be more than happy to fight for Bernie all the way, as well.”

There was lit­tle doubt about the out­come: Tele­vi­sion net­works called Mary­land for Clin­ton and Trump less than a minute af­ter the of­fi­cial 8 p.m. clos­ing time, even though a hand­ful of Bal­ti­more precincts still were open by court or­der.

At an Ir­ish pub in a strip mall in El­li­cott City, most of Clin­ton’s sup­port­ers hadn’t even ar­rived at her cam­paign’s watch party when net­works de­clared her the win­ner.

Sen. Ben Cardin, a Demo­crat, said he wasn’t sur­prised at Clin­ton’s vic­tory, as he ad­dressed sup­port­ers in front of a Mary­land state flag and be­hind a “Hil­lary” sign at the watch party.

“I think Mary­land vot­ers live very close to D.C., they un­der­stand pol­i­tics, they un­der­stand this pri­mary process and they know that Hil­lary Clin­ton is the per­son they want as pres­i­dent,” Cardin said.

Clin­ton, who had the sup­port of ev­ery mem­ber of Mary­land’s con­gres­sional del­e­ga­tion, was the fa­vorite in the state: The Real Clear Pol­i­tics av­er­age of polls had her win­ning by 24 per­cent­age points go­ing into the pri­mary.

Is­abel Langs­dorf, 78, of Kens­ing­ton voted for Clin­ton. The re­tired tour guide said “there’s an eli­gi­bil­ity fac­tor go­ing on here.”

“I think that she’s a heck of a lot bet­ter than the ones who are run­ning on the Repub­li­can side,” she said of Clin­ton. “She’s a sen­si­ble per­son. We all make some lit­tle mis­takes but I’ve al­ways liked her.”

But Marie Hen­der­son, 84, of Columbia Heights said she cast what she called a “protest vote” for Trump. Con­cerned about govern­ment cor­rup­tion and the pres­ence of so much money in pol­i­tics, she couldn’t see back­ing Clin­ton.

“Any­body but Hil­lary,” Hen­der­son said. “What she did to all the peo­ple in the se­cu­rity field with her email server con­tro­versy, I don’t trust her.”

Be­sides Mary­land, vot­ers went to the polls Tues­day in Con­necti­cut, Delaware, Penn­syl­va­nia and Rhode Is­land.

Mary­land’s role in the pri­mary sched­ule this week was most im­por­tant among the five mid-At­lantic and New Eng­land states that voted, ac­cord­ing to Mileah Kromer, a po­lit­i­cal sci­en­tist from Goucher Col­lege.

“So goes Mary­land, so goes the rest of the pri­maries that are vot­ing to­day,” Kromer said.

At stake in Mary­land were 95 Demo­cratic del­e­gates and 38 Repub­li­can del­e­gates. Only reg­is­tered Democrats and Repub­li­cans could vote in their re­spec­tive party’s pri­mary.

In both par­ties, pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates were awarded at-large del­e­gates based on statewide re­sults as well as re­sults in each of Mary­land’s eight U.S. House dis­tricts.

Repub­li­can vot­ers in Mary­land were an­i­mated by their an­i­mos­ity to­wards their neigh­bor, the fed­eral govern­ment in Washington.

About half of GOP vot­ers in Mary­land said they were “dis­sat­is­fied” with the govern­ment, while another 38 per­cent de­scribed them­selves as “an­gry” at the govern­ment, ac­cord­ing to exit polling by Edi­son re­search for the As­so­ci­ated Press and tele­vi­sion net­works.

As a mea­sure of Clin­ton’s strength — and San­ders’ weak­ness — in Mary­land, 73 per­cent of Demo­cratic vot­ers con­sid­ered them­selves “some­what lib­eral” or mod­er­ate, ac­cord­ing to the exit polls.

Repub­li­cans didn’t en­joy the same level of unity as the Democrats. Mary­land’s only Repub­li­can con­gress­man, Andy Har­ris, en­dorsed Dr. Ben Car­son in Fe­bru­ary be­fore he dropped out of the race.

Even as polling started on Tues­day, Cruz’s cam­paign didn’t show much con­fi­dence in Mary­land: The Texas se­na­tor cam­paigned in In­di­ana Tues­day. That state holds its pri­mary next week.

“The five states, five blue Demo­cratic states vot­ing to­day, are go­ing to­ward Trump,” Cruz’s Mary­land state chair Michael Hough ex­plained as the day’s bal­lot­ing be­gan. “We’re just try­ing to de­prive Trump of some del­e­gates.”

Immigration was a key theme when Cruz was cam­paign­ing in the state last week, hold­ing ral­lies in Fred­er­ick and Tow­son. But the pres­i­den­tial can­di­date in re­cent days has joined forces with Ka­sich aimed at deny­ing Trump a first-bal­lot nom­i­na­tion vic­tory at the GOP con­ven­tion.

Like Cruz, Ka­sich had moved on to In­di­ana.

San­ders spoke from West Vir­ginia shortly af­ter Mary­land’s re­sults came in. The Ver­mont se­na­tor re­counted the enor­mous strides his cam­paign has made in the last year to pose the only re­al­is­tic chal­lenge to Clin­ton in the Demo­cratic Party.

He also em­phat­i­cally re­as­sured his sup­port­ers, de­spite the mount­ing del­e­gate count in fa­vor of Clin­ton, that he isn’t go­ing away any time soon.

Former NAACP Pres­i­dent and San­ders sup­porter Ben Jeal­ous echoed the can­di­date’s per­sis­tence.

“We’re go­ing to do ex­actly what Clin­ton did in 2008. [We will] stay in till the very end,” Jeal­ous said at the San­ders watch party in Bal­ti­more. “This is about mak­ing sure that ev­ery voter in ev­ery state in this coun­try gets a chance for their voice to be heard.”

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