Maryland Democratic Party Talking Points

For Oct. 3, 2022

What’s MDP saying this week? We continue to hit the GOP from different angles every day, while simultaneously lifting our party and our ticket. Last week, we released three statements and held a well-attended press conference at our HQ in Annapolis alongside Senators Kagan and Hettleman to call on Dan Cox to accept election results in November, which he has refused to do.

We made it clear that Cox’s decision to file an appeal against the court’s ruling regarding the counting of mail-in ballots isn’t a surprise by any means. It’s straight from his cult leader’s playbook of deny and delay. It is, however, disheartening. When an election process is dragged out, confusion, misinformation and tension can lead to negative things. The election process is a pillar of the American experiment that is democracy. Without a free and fair election, the idea of democracy erodes. 

We applauded the court’s decision and we’re confident that everyone will see Cox’s appeal for what it is – an effort to please his extreme MAGA followers, rather than a legitimate appeal based on facts or process. And we reminded Marylanders that if Dan is already struggling to accept a loss in court in September, then November won’t be much fun for him.

Michael Peroutka doubled down on Cox’s appeal in a bizarre radio rant that included wild and ignorant claims about same-sex marriage, reproductive freedom, and the general way that democracy and law in this country works. 

It would be easy to write them off and ignore their rhetoric. But we can’t fight misinformation with silence. And we can’t fight fear or gaslighting with timidity or apprehension. Because we’ve seen the awful things that can happen when the extreme MAGA wing gets influenced and incited by people like Trump, Cox and Peroutka. 

What do we say to voters who think we have this election in the bag: Voters might see poll numbers or they might hear how we’re a blue state and assume this election is wrapped up. That kind of indifference won’t work and we don’t want that kind of complacency. The recent poll numbers are reflecting the Democratic momentum of our candidates and the campaign. Good news for us, but we have to remind them that polls have been wrong before, specifically in this same race in 2014 and 2018. We can’t get lost in the temporary snapshot of 700 Marylanders’ enthusiasm about this election, we need to continue to build on this momentum and give a decisive victory to our whole ticket. The only poll that matters is Nov 8. Additionally, we remind voters that reproductive freedom is on the ballot. Safety and equity are on the ballot. Economic and educational advances are on the ballot. A Maryland led by Dan Cox with a QAnon flag hanging outside the Governor’s Mansion is the biggest threat to democracy our state has seen. We’ve also seen how slim majorities in Congress lead to gridlock and we can’t afford that in Maryland if we want Governor Moore and our ticket to have a chance to make real change. This new era will need a supermajority in the General Assembly and as many Democrats in office as possible. 

Let’s talk (amongst ourselves) about that poll: I’d like to take a minute to discuss the Washington Post poll that was released this weekend showing our candidate up by 32 points on the GOP candidate. As we’ve said before, a poll is not good news, it’s not bad news, it’s just news. It’s just a poll. The only poll that matters is on November 8. 

What we CAN take from the poll was that the top three key issues on the minds of voters are economy, threats to democracy, and crime. We as a team must be clear with voters that our plans to improve the economy and combat crime are better options for Marylanders, and that Republicans under a QAnon, extreme MAGA leader like Dan Cox would be the biggest threat to democracy that our state has ever seen. 

Some other interesting facts from the poll just for our reference:

  • WaPo/UMD Poll 9/22 – 9/27
  • 810 registered voters, +/- 4% margin of error
  • Overall: 60% Wes – 28% Cox, 12% neither or undecided
  • 86% of Dems say they’d vote for Wes right now
  • 22% of GOP say they’d vote for Wes right now
  • 38% of Independents say they’d vote for Wes, 38% for Cox
  • Cox leads by 15% in Southern MD/Eastern Shore
  • 51% favorable opinion of Wes, 28% favorable for Cox
  • 17% dislike Moore, 41% dislike Cox
  • Support among women: 68-20 in favor of Wes
  • Support among men: 50-36 in favor of Wes

From the DNC: 

Republicans continue to push extreme national abortion ban: Yesterday, NRSC Chair Rick Scott opened the door to supporting a national abortion ban, saying there are “arguments to do” an abortion ban “at the federal level” on Meet the Press. National Republicans’ extreme agenda is clear: they want to ban abortion nationwide and will stop at nothing to take away women’s reproductive freedom.

At the federal level, Senator Lindsey Graham introduced an extreme national abortion ban bill that would roll back women’s reproductive rights. Under Senator Graham’s ban, doctors and providers could be criminalized for:

  • Performing an abortion to save the health of a mother
  • Offering a full range of miscarriage care
  • Providing an abortion to a woman carrying a fetus with little to no chance of survival
  • Treating a rape or incest survivor who has not complied with medically unnecessary delays or reporting requirements.
  • If passed and enacted, this bill would create a nationwide health crisis, imperiling the health and lives of women in all 50 states.

On the campaign trail:

Our outstanding comms advisor, Ernest Bailey, has put together a weekly talking points doc on our gubernatorial opponent – Dan Cox. A few key ones are below: 

  • Last week, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals rejected Cox’s motion for a stay to prevent ballot-counting from being allowed to begin this past weekend. His broader argument will be heard by the Court of Appeals on Oct. 7.
  • Cox’s entire argument is that he is concerned about process, going so far as to claim he supports early-counting of ballots but court-ordered changes in middle of an election undermines confidence. But Cox had no problem accepting the results of the GOP primary, the date of which was pushed back by court order.
  • Cox also voted against the legislative effort to fix the issue. He has opposed a smooth election process every step of the way.
  • The late counting of mail-in ballots in 2020 in Pennsylvania, where Cox worked for Trump’s legal team, spurred Trump supporters to claim fraud yet Cox made every effort to force that same situation on Maryland’s election this year. Cox still claims the 2020 presidential election was stolen. Cox doesn’t want to compete for votes, he wants chaos and fertile ground for his conspiratorial claims
  • Cox spent the last week lying about his record on issues ranging from his role in helping to stoke the insurrection to his actions on January 6th to his current effort to slow the counting of mail-in ballots.
  • On multiple occasions last week, Cox claimed to “support early counting” of ballots, positioning himself as standing “with the governor who vetoed the bill.” The reality is that he is on the record against mail-in balloting in general, voted against the legislation to fix the issue and he is not with Gov. Hogan, who has maintained throughout Cox’s challenge that he strongly supports the Board of Elections’ effort.
  • In the leadup to the insurrection, Cox boasted that he co-hosted buses to from Maryland to DC on January 6th to attend Trump’s Stop the Steal rally. Nearly two years later, barely a month ahead of the general election, he wants to convince everyone that it was a big misunderstanding and he’s just now getting around to correcting the record. His late efforts to re-write history don’t pass the smell test.

Andy Harris voted against veterans AND 9/11 victims this week. 

While Peroutka makes wild and ignorant claims on reproductive freedom, same-sex marriage, and overall democracy, Anthony Brown is hosting an upcoming roundtable on Abortion Access, on Saturday with Del. Ariana Kelly, Del. Jheanelle Wilkins, Planned Parenthood and Pro-Choice Maryland:

http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07ejej9ws5769a1dd6&llr=6icfrzabb

We have Aruna Miller coming on our podcast this week!

Maryland Democratic Party Talking Points

For Sept. 26, 2022

What’s MDP saying this week? Our message to Dems across the state this week has been that we’re 43 days from Election Day and our entire team – from the top of the ticket, down to our newest volunteers – is WORKING. We’re in every neighborhood, knocking on every door, talking to every Marylander. They all need to know how much we value them and want to make them proud. We leave no one behind. 

We’re the party of diversity and inclusion, and we’re proud to wish everyone a healthy and happy Rosh Hashanah. Shana Tovah!

Ballots will be hitting mailboxes soon so we’re officially in crunch time. And for those Marylanders who think this race is already over because of a few poll results, we remind them that November 8 is the only poll we care about. And that polls, specifically here in MD in 2014 and 2018 have been wrong before. We take nothing for granted. And it’s a monumental election here in Maryland with a chance to vote for a barrier-breaking ticket of our first female comptroller, our first black governor, our first immigrant lieutenant governor and our first black attorney general. When voters open their ballot, the choice will be very clear. Vote for Wes, Aruna, Brooke, Anthony, and our entire ticket because voting for them is voting for hope. It’s voting for integrity. And character. Diversity and unity. A real chance to put leaders in place who will leave Maryland in a much better position for our children and grandchildren. The alternative is a QAnon flag hanging outside the Governor’s Mansion and four years of Dan Cox – that’s simply unacceptable. 

Thanks to the courts, ballots will be able to be counted in a timely and efficient manner, rather than days after the election. It was an easily fixable situation and we applaud the courts for ruling on the side of the state board of elections. Mail-in ballots will now be counted starting in October as they’re received, rather than two days after the election which would’ve potentially led to a drawn out process lasting into early 2023. 

On the campaign trail:

Our outstanding comms advisor, Ernest Bailey, has put together a weekly talking points doc on our gubernatorial opponent – Dan Cox. A few key ones are below: 

  • Last week on DC News Now and again over the weekend on Sixty Minutes In Black America, Cox asserted that the 2020 election was stolen.
  • Less than 50 days from Election Day, Cox’s continued refusal to acknowledge the 2020 election results should put any speculation that he will ever moderate his MAGA rhetoric.
  • Cox has opposed a smooth election process every step of the way, voting against the legislative effort to fix the issue and opposing the emergency court solution strongly supported by Governor Hogan. Cox had no problem accepting the results of the GOP primary which was pushed back by court order but conveniently shifted his posture to an absolutist position against any court involvement for the general election. Cox doesn’t want to compete for votes, he wants chaos and fertile ground for his conspiratorial claims.
  • The late counting of mail-in ballots in 2020 in Pennsylvania, where Cox worked for Trump’s legal team, spurred Trump supporters to claim fraud yet Cox made every effort to force that same situation on Maryland’s election this year.
  • Cox is scheduled to join Trump in Florida just three weeks ahead of the eve of the election at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago Club.
  • Cox says he and Trump talk “regularly” about his campaign and Trump has “promised to carry [him] through the finish line.”

For any misguided individuals on the other side who may be excited by the idea of Trump helping Cox, I’d like to remind you that Donald Trump lost here in Maryland just two short years ago … by more than a million votes. He lost by 1,008,609 votes to be exact – which is more than the number of votes he actually received here in Maryland. If you’re running for Marylanders, I’d choose someone who’s actually respected by Marylanders for an event like that, but hey that’s not our business. We’re focused on what we can control on our side. Our work ethic, our drive, our joy is contagious on the campaign trail. We’re locked in.

Wes Moore’s service year plan is getting great publicity this week. Maryland would become the first U.S. state to offer a paid service year to every high school graduate under Wes’ plan. 

Brooke Lierman’s Build a Better Maryland Tour is off to a great start and makes two stops this week in Annapolis and Prince George’s County. If voters have questions about Brooke’s tour, or if you’re curious yourself, there’s more info here. She is participating in several roundtables around the state over the coming weeks. The roundtables will be an opportunity for Brooke to hear directly from Marylanders and to share her vision to ensure that Maryland’s families and more than 580,000 small businesses have the access and resources needed from the Comptroller of Maryland’s office to thrive.

Maryland Democratic Party Talking Points

For Sept. 19, 2022

What’s MDP saying this week? Our whole team’s energy and enthusiasm are being noticed around the state. We had two incredible events (which I’ll get to shortly) with almost 700 total guests combined. The major news outlets in MD were there and their feedback to us was how big of a difference the atmosphere and energy are between our events and the GOP events. It’s a wide gap. Alsobrooks, Hoyer, Brown, Lierman, Van Hollen, all the leaders we had in the house at our HQ opening in Prince George’s had the place fired up and it must’ve provided a little extra boost – our coordinated campaign team and volunteers knocked almost 4000 doors across the state Saturday and more than 8000 total last week. It’s clear in party leadership and across the campaigns that the energy from top to bottom in this campaign is just … different

Our messaging is clear and concise. Our organization from top to bottom is talented, hard-working and energetic. We’re united and stronger than ever. We’ve called the other side out every day on their dangerous ideas and we’ll continue to do so. You’ve seen that the other side doesn’t slow down. They’re dangerous and they don’t rest. And neither will we. We’re leaving no doubt this year that Democrats don’t take punches. We throw them. And we have a pretty strong right hook. 

Weekend update: For anyone who couldn’t make it to the HQ opening Saturday or the BBQ on Sunday, the atmosphere at both were incredible. Big shoutout to the campaign team, the organizers, ops, volunteers, and our Dems in Prince George’s County, Howard County, and across the state for crushing it with those events. The press and public were very impressed. And voters are taking notice, they enjoy seeing a team and a ticket of genuine, hard-working Marylanders moving toward one goal.

What do we say about the polls?

First, let me break down a summary of this morning’s Goucher Poll:

  • 1008 adults, including 748 likely voters, margin of error: +/- 3.6%
  • Moore 53-31 over Cox, 7% for 3rd party, only 9% undecided, 70% say they’re set in their choice
  • VanHollen up 56-33, 8% undecided
  • Brown up 53-31, 15% undecided
  • Lierman up 48-35, 16% undecided
  • 59-34 in favor of marijuana legalization
  • 35% called Cox ‘far or extreme right’, 24% called him conservative
  • 36% called Moore ‘progressive or liberal’ 22% called him moderate, only 13% called him ‘far or extreme left’
  • economy/taxes, crime/public safety, and education were polled as the three biggest issues for MD voters

Now that the info is in front of you, let me tell you how we’re addressing it as a party after consulting with our comms team and each campaign: We love the momentum and this poll shows how well you guys in the field are connecting with voters and how strong our campaign has been so far. But as our Party Chair said yesterday: It’s not good news, it’s not bad news, it’s just news. It’s just a poll. The only poll that matters is on November 8. Our party is full steam ahead with every resource and effort focused solely on sprinting through the finish line in November. These last few weeks and months have felt great, but we want November 8th, 9th, and every day after that to feel even greater. 

The key takeaways I want you to focus on from that poll are: 35 percent of Marylanders think Dan Cox is too far and too extreme right to lead us, the key issues MD voters are focused on are economy/taxes, crime/public safety, and education, and that our campaign is clearly connecting with Marylanders from all walks of life. But remember that polls were wrong on the governors race in 2014 and 2018. Don’t let anyone you know look at this poll and get complacent. We don’t have the luxury of assuming we’re going to win and go into cruise control. Absolutely not. You won’t see that from our side. We need to keep this momentum going and run up the score so we get Dems elected up and down the ballot. 

On the campaign trail:

Our outstanding comms advisor, Ernest Bailey, has put together a weekly talking points doc on our gubernatorial opponent – Dan Cox. A few key ones are below: 

  • Cox took legal action attempting to block the state Board of Elections’ request to be permitted to count mail-in ballots prior to Election Day. Maryland is the only state in the nation that prohibits mail-in ballots from being processed until after the election, which led to delays in ballots being tallied after this year’s primary election.
  • Last week, Cox asserted that “a centerpiece of his economic vision” is a radical tax scheme that would eliminate nearly half of all revenue collected from within the state, which would be a fiscal disaster that would dismantle the state budget and lead to brutal cuts to essential services.

Barry Glassman weighed in on the abortion debate and not only showed his anti-choice credentials, he got the job of the Comptroller wrong. The values Barry will bring to the office are dangerous for Marylanders. You can see Brooke Lierman’s great response here.

Glassman was also hit this week in the Sun for his support of developers hurting the environment and destroying a 330-acre ecosystem in Harford County.  

Andy Harris – a coward – finally agreed to a debate with our candidate Heather Mizeur at a televised forum in late October.