the county’s changing demographics
play into the outcome? Will the county
worker unions, whose political clout is
debatable these days, play a crucial role
with their get-out-the-vote efforts?
In 2010, when the primary ballot in
Montgomery County was largely limited
to state legislative and county council contests, a little more than 25 percent of registered Democrats came out to vote. With a
gubernatorial as well as a county executive
contest on the ballot in 2014, Haller, the
political consultant, believes turnout will
be in the 25 percent to 35 percent range.
There are more than 345,000 registered
Democrats in the county, so that translates
to 86,000 to 121,000 voters.
“It appears that the higher turnout
will favor Ike Leggett, largely because
you will be bringing out younger, first-
time local voters who will not know
Doug Duncan,” Haller says. “It will likely
add more minorities voting—many of
whom voted in the Obama presidential
elections—also hiking the advantage to
the incumbent executive.”
But, Haller adds, “a lower primary
turnout in the low 20s may assist Dun-
can, since this likely electorate will be
much older—average age around 60—
and they will remember Duncan as
executive, and somewhat favorably.”
The biggest variable may be the day
of the primary itself. For the first time,
it was pushed back from September to
late June under a federal law designed to
ensure that general election ballots reach
military members and other overseas
voters in a timely manner. An early sum-
mer primary, scheduled for when school
is out and families are on vacation, may
well affect turnout and voting patterns.
As Haller puts it: “The $64,000 question is
going to reside with projecting Democratic
turnout in a first-time June primary.” n
Louis Peck, a Washington-based journalist,
has covered politics extensively at the local,
state and national levels for three decades.
He lives in Bethesda and is on the faculty of
Boston University’s Washington, D.C., Journalism Program. To comment on this story,
In an uncertain world,
The Meltzer Group provides
something that is difficult to
come by: peace of mind.
Whether it is individual life
insurance, estate planning,
property and casualty insurance,
or an employee benefits package
and retirement plan services for
your business, The Meltzer Group
has got you covered.
Call us today.
The Meltzer Group has got you covered.
ready to rumble
Law Office of
Hessler & Wills, LLP
110 N. Washington Street, Suite 300,
Rockville Maryland 20850
301-340-9090 | www.draggalaw.com
Serving families in Montgomery County, the District of Columbia, and
surrounding Maryland communities for more than 25 years, Dragga,
Hannon, Hessler & Wills, LLP is dedicated to providing clients with creative,
experienced representation in family law matters. The firm concentrates its
practice in the areas of divorce, custody, child support, alimony, and property
distribution. Our attorneys are skilled at all stages of representation, including
negotiation, complex trial practice, appellate advocacy, and all methods of
alternative dispute resolution. Our goal is to help each client navigate the
emotionally difficult, and often financially uncertain, legal process in the most
efficient and least stressful manner, while achieving a successful outcome.