Measuring partisan membership: What registrations say in county, state

The 2024 Presidential primary election in Maryland concluded last month, less than six months before the Nov. 5 Presidential General Election Day. President Joe Biden, a Democrat, and former President Donald Trump, a Republican, are scheduled to debate June 27 in Atlanta, Ga.

Noting the voter registration numbers in both Washington County and in the state of Maryland during the month of the primary provide one marker of partisan membership prior to the presidents, representing both major political parties, coming face-to-face for the first time this year.

The Herald-Mail plans to monitor these registration numbers in the months ahead until the election.

First, in Washington County: In May 2024, there were 44,448 registered Republicans, according to the Maryland State Board of Elections website. The county had 30,920 registered Democrats, according to the website at that end of month report, and 23,779 registered unaffiliated voters.

Adding registrations from a couple smaller parties (i.e.-the Libertarian Party, 661 registered), the county had 101,024 total registered voters at the end of May.

Political notebook

Political notebook

In the state, in May 2024, there were 1,000,668 registered Republicans, according to the state board’s website. 2,214,915 individuals were registered as Democrats, according to the website, and 907,899 were registered as unaffiliated. At the end of May, 4,198,504 individuals were registered to vote in the state in total.

As a point of comparison, during the end of the month of the last presidential primary (June 2020), the state of Maryland had 4,084,100 registered voters, according to the Board’s website.

But while total voter registrations in the state have gone up, the number of BOTH Republicans and Democrats registered voters statewide have gone down since then a decrease of 31,248 for the Democrats and 14,248 for the Republicans.

What has risen, sharply, since June of 2020, is the number of unaffiliated voters. In Maryland, these folks are not permitted to vote in the party primaries for statewide and national candidates.

In June of 2020, there were 761,756 registered unaffiliated voters. After this year’s primary: 907,899, over 100,000 more than who could have voted in the state for president in 2020.

So as each of the party’s presidential nominees from 2020 rise to take the debate stage this week, partisan sentiments may rise too. Not on the rise in Maryland, however, as measured in voter registrations since the last presidential primary, are the partisan affiliations in the nation’s two major political parties.

In essence: partisanship may rise, but the state’s numbers show partisan membership is falling.

(It should be noted that Republican registration in Washington County has increased. The GOP added 818 registered voters in Washington County between June 2020 and May 2024.)

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After Hogan cites ‘the rule of law,’ Trump tepidly endorses him

After meeting with Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill this month, former President Donald Trump was asked in an interview with a Fox News reporter if he would “support” former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan to win the state’s United States Senate seat.

“I’d like to see him win,” said the former president, who is again seeking the Republican presidential nomination after being defeated by President Joe Biden, a Democrat, in 2020. “We got to take the majority. We have to straighten out our country, so I’d like to see him win.”

Trump’s June 13 remarks in Washington came two weeks to the day after Hogan put out a statement prior to the verdict in a Trump legal case, in which Trump was found guilty by a New York jury of 34 charges related to a hush money payment made to a porn actress prior to the 2016 election.

“Regardless of the result, I urge all Americans to respect the verdict and the legal process,” said Hogan, in a statement after the jury reached a verdict, but before the outcome was announced.  “At this dangerously divided moment in our history, all leaders — regardless of party — must not pour fuel on the fire with more toxic partisanship. We must reaffirm what has made this nation great: the rule of law.”

The Republican National Committee co-chair Lara Trump, the daughter-in-law of the former president, called Hogan’s comments “ridiculous” in an interview with CNN on June 2, adding that “(Hogan) doesn’t deserve the respect of anyone in the Republican Party at this point.”

In the nation’s capital, where Hogan hopes to head, the Fox News reporter, Aishah Hasnie, said to Trump, the former president and now convicted felon: “So you’re endorsing him (Hogan)?”

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“Well, nobody has asked me that,” said Trump, on June 13 at the Washington, D.C.-headquarters of the Republican National Committee, “but essentially I would be endorsing him, yea.”

The same Fox News reporter published the following statement from the Hogan campaign on social media that day: “Governor Hogan has been clear he is not supporting Donald Trump just as he didn’t in 2016 and 2020.” A Hogan spokesperson confirmed that statement on June 17.

Dwight A. Weingarten

This article originally appeared on Salisbury Daily Times: Political notebook: Trump, Hogan, and the endorsement question

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