Monday, February 20, 2017

Kasemeyer: Vulnerable in a Contested Primary?

First, Happy Presidents’ Day.  C-SPAN released their 2017 Survey of Presidential Leadership.  For the first time since C-SPAN began their rankings (2000 being the premiere year, and 2009 being the second), John Tyler slipped behind William Henry Harrison. (39th and 38th respectively).  This is mockery and a sham.  Say what you will about the miserable Confederate bastard, he faced down a surly Cabinet and insisted that he was, in fact, President upon the passing of Harrison.  Not “Acting” not still “Vice President,” but the full deal with all of the powers of the Office.  This set an important precedent.  For that, he deserves to finish ahead of Old Tippecanoe.  Slightly ahead.

Turning to the “just for fun” 12th State Legislative District survey I recently fielded, it is vital to recall that it is not statistically valid.  It may, in fact, possess just a hint of directional value.  I made this clear from the outset so don’t come whining to me about it being too small a sample or not methodologically grounded or some similar gripe.  Go buy a Natty Boh and weep in it.

A total of 19 individuals participated in the study, hopefully all according to the rules (only one vote per person, must be registered voters who reside in the 12th and plan on voting in the 2018 Democratic State Senate Primary Election).

The precise question verbiage was:

“Looking ahead to the 2018 Maryland State Senate Democratic Primary Election in the 12th Legislative District, would you prefer the Democratic nominee to be Ed Kasemeyer or someone else?”

The results are: 

Someone Else        63%
Ed Kasemeyer        37%

Something tells me that if I wrote this question for District 13, and the match-up was between Senator Guy Guzzone and “someone else,” Guzzone would have been the preference of 75%+ of the respondents (assuming a similar sample size and composition).

So what does this mean?  Perhaps absolutely nothing.  But maybe everything (as far as the known Universe consists of slices of two Maryland counties).  I think it means that a populist/progressive Democrat, with sufficient resources, could give Senator Kasemeyer a serious primary challenge.  At the risk of being reductionist: an outsider-y populist might play quite well in Baltimore County while someone more to the Left of Kasemeyer could appeal to the liberals who comprise a healthy percentage of the Democratic vote in Howard County.

In short, if Senator Kasemeyer wishes to seek re-election, he cannot take his base for granted.  Those numbers (albeit from a sample as large as two focus groups) are reminiscent of any one of a number of long-term incumbents who aren’t as connected with the grassroots as they should be.

Definitely something worth watching.

Stay tuned, as more will follow.




  1. Hard for most low information voters to know if Kasemeyer is progressive/moderate/conservative. He has little to no visibility in his own district, especially in more liberal Howard.

    Because of my last point, any D willing to put up the money to run a race may be able to seriously challenge him.

  2. Democrats in Howard County have lost touch with traditional Dems and moderates. The few elite on the Central Committee will continue to drag the party to the far left at the expense of winning back the county executive's position and maintaining the council.