Monday, April 14, 2008

Last Pre-Election County D4 Round-Up

By tomorrow night, this race will be over. Here’s the state of play one day out.

On press, coverage has picked up in the last week. The Post has written its last wrap-up article. Maryland Moment discusses a spat over an email sent by MCEA to its members. Dan Reed at Just Up the Pike has interviews up with almost every candidate. He will post an interview with Don Praisner tomorrow morning. Politicker Maryland has posted interviews with Praisner, Pat Ryan and Nancy Navarro’s campaign manager in the last few days.

On the ground, it appears that Navarro has sent out more literature than the other candidates combined. Some District 4 residents have reported receiving more than a half-dozen mailers from her over the last three weeks. Recently, Navarro lit has been showing up with “Endorsed by the Washington Post” stickers. The signs are more balanced among the Democrats; Praisner probably has a narrow lead with Navarro and Ryan close behind. Republican Mark Fennel may have more signs up than all the Democrats combined, with each accompanied by a “Robin Realty” sign. The three largest MoCo unions - MCEA, SEIU Local 500 and UFCW Local 1994 (MCGEO) - have several thousand members inside the district and are no doubt calling and emailing them on Navarro’s behalf. Don Praisner will be drawing on a list of everyone who has contributed to or supported Marilyn Praisner over the years and his campaign will be asking them to show up one last time for the family.

The great unknowable is who will arrive at the polls tomorrow. In the special election to fill the County Council District 5 seat in Prince George’s County, only 8% of the registered Democrats showed up. If turnout is less than that, Don Praisner will have the advantage. All sides concede that the Praisners have a devoted base inside the district who are sure to vote. But if turnout gets into the mid-teens, Navarro will close the gap.

So now the great call-out begins. Over the last several weeks, each of the candidates has been identifying their voters and earning their loyalties. Now they have to make sure that their people show up. That will determine the course of the election, the holder of the council seat and the political direction of Montgomery County for the next two years.