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United States Elections

2020 Maryland House Races: Predictions and More

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2020 Maryland House Races

Time to make our predictions for the 2020 Maryland House races.

Maryland offers us one of the most notable examples, if not the most notable example, of statewide gerrymandering in the United States. We don’t just say that because we had to draw those difficult, strung-out district lines for the map below: it was even the subject of a lawsuit. In the end, it was decided that Maryland will not redraw its map for 20201, but redistricting is coming in 2022, anyway. There is no doubt that Democrats would have done well in Maryland either way, but that map is a straight-up mess.

What do the incumbents get out of all of this? Safety. Yet, if we are being honest, Maryland is a Democratic state and most of the seven Democrats representing it don’t need a lot of help getting re-elected. Connie Morella ain’t walking through that door for the Republicans, either.

Individual predictions of Maryland’s races are below.

US House Rating Scale

The 2020 Maryland House races are rated on the below chart; there are no tossups.

Election Rating Chart Maryland US House

2020 Maryland House Races Current Prediction Summary: May 3

2020 Maryland House Races - 5-3-20 predictions

Current Maryland US House Map

2020 Maryland House Races - pre-election map

Maryland-01

Maryland-01 US House

Republican Hold - Safe MD-01

This is the most Republican-leaning district under the current map by far, and the Democrats whiffed at taking down Andy Harris in 2018. The 1st District, including the many smaller towns and cities of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, is staying red. In theory, this is the most competitive of the 2020 Maryland House races, which says all you need to know because it isn’t competitive.

Maryland-02

Democratic Hold - Safe MD-02

This district would not be recognizable to someone who voted for Bob Ehrlich in the 1990s. It has gotten more Democratic over the years, both in terms of the sentiments in the state as well as with some help from district drawing. Dutch Ruppersberger has avoided danger here for quite some time.

Maryland-03

Maryland-03 US House

Democratic Hold - Very Safe MD-03

Try sketching this district out without computer software. Not that a more compact district would be any more favorable to Republicans given where this is in the BWI area, but John Sarbanes (or any Democrat) is very safe here.

Maryland-04

Maryland-04 US House

Democratic Hold - Very Safe MD-04

Any Democratic candidate could pull 70 percent in this district just by showing up on the ballot. Anthony Brown has nothing to worry about in the 4th District.

Maryland-05

Maryland-05 US House

Democratic Hold - Very Safe MD-05

There are parts of this district, such as going down the Potomac and into St. Mary’s County, that are much less Democratic than the reaches in the northern part. Despite some of the 5th District resembling much of the 1st District, two problems for the GOP: (1) they are not winning in places like College Park and Bowie, and (2) they are not beating Steny Hoyer, the House majority leader.

Maryland-06

Maryland-06 US House

Democratic Hold - Safe MD-06

Gerrymandering got this one hard. In fact, this district in particular was the subject of the previously-referenced suit. Western Maryland and the northern reaches of the state, away from the cities, is where someone like Roscoe Bartlett used to win. John Delaney, a Democrat, did narrowly win the district as configured in the 2000s, but when it got redrawn again in the 2010s, the 6th became much more friendly to Democrats, digging into the Washington suburbs. Like in the 5th District, there are definite pockets of GOP voters, but the seat overall is not favorable to any Republican success.

Maryland-07

Maryland-07 US House

Democratic Hold - Very Safe MD-07

Kweisi Mfume just got back into Congress with his special election win, and will have the seat as long as he wants it.

Maryland-08

Maryland-08 US House

Democratic Hold - Safe MD-08

Another district that is fairly different from what it used to be 10-20 years ago, though not in terms of it being Democratic. It’s HOW Democratic it is, even though when Connie Morella was winning here, Democrats (like Bill Clinton) did well. Since she’s been gone, the district has drifted Democratic and therefore Jamie Raskin is fine.

Maryland House References

1: Luke Broadwater, “U.S. Supreme Court rules in Maryland case that courts have no role in deciding partisan gerrymandering,” The Baltimore Sun, June 27, 2019, https://www.baltimoresun.com/politics/bs-md-supreme-court-maryland-redistricting-20190620-story.html/)

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