After the 2000 census, the district was drastically extended by the Democrat dominated legislature. With the population of Baltimore City drastically declining, the 7th district was extended. The new district cut into Roscoe Bartlett’s territory of North Howard County as well as the liberal portion of the county represented by Ben Cardin. This resulted in the 6th district becoming more liberal without Northern Howard County. In order to cancel out Cardins loss of Columbia, the 3rd district was extended to cover more of Baltimore County. This created what is arguably the most egregious case of gerrymandering in the country.
Currently the district is gives about 75-80% of the vote to Elijah Cummings. The district is about 60% black, and 35% white. The district is based completely around the city and the urban areas of Baltimore County. Baltimore City and County are heavily democratic. Howard is more of a purple county, with the west and north being solidly Republican, and the south and east solidly democrat. The county is a mix of urban, suburban, and rural. The west is mainly agricultural, and the north is more small businesses. The east features the city of Columbia, and the south covers the urban area of North Laurel. The two key areas in county elections are Ellicott City and Elkridge. Ellicott City leans Republican, while Elkridge leans Democratic. Both areas include large pockets of Reagan-Democrats, mainly blue collar workers.
Cummings has been in office since 1996, constantly winning at least 70% of the vote. Any attempt to defeat him would take massive amounts of grassroots volunteers, as well as money. With the seniority he has acquired, many would be hard pressed to oust him. As chairman of the Black Caucus during the 108th, Cummings has strong support from the NAACP and the Black community as a whole. Cummings was in charge of Barack Obama’s campaign in Maryland.
After the loss of the governors mansion and the open senate seat, the state GOP is in disarray. A large gap exists between the county parties and the state party. Jim Pelura has a strained relationship with the GOP caucus in the legislature as well as other state leaders. Due to extreme gerrymandering in both the federal and state districts, the Democrat’s numbers are inflated. With the right leader, and support from the RNC as well as other donors, the state can become competitive in federal elections with a moderate candidate (this does not mean a RINO, more of a Norm Coleman, or a Judd Gregg). Many legislative races can also be won if a decent cash flow came into the state.
Economic issues reign supreme here, as well as county growth and city planning.
The party websites below take online contributions and have very active clubs, help turn a blue state red! Please!
The City GOP takes checks only: