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Updated Oct. 14, 2010
After finishing fewer than 3,000 votes behind Kratovil in their 2008 race, state Sen. Andy Harris (R) thinks he can finish the job this time.Harris is two years removed from the brutal GOP primary that ended with his victory over former Rep. Wayne Gilchrest. But it was a primary that also left the party deeply divided. Many of those wounds have healed (though Gilchrest, who threw his endorsement to Kratovil last cycle, remains in the Congressman's corner this year). Harris will be bolstered by the strong Republican tailwind this cycle, especially in a district that gave Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) an 18-point victory in 2008. He has also kept pace with Kratovil in fundraising, preventing the incumbent from building a big money lead. Democrats are keen on holding the 1st district, especially because it lies in the home state of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen. It will be interesting to see how much the DCCC decides to put into the race. But Van Hollen has also warned that he will be ruthless in cutting funds to unwinnable races in the final weeks. And recent polling has shown Kratovil in peril. As in 2008, Harris has an additional obstacle to overcome in the fact that he lives in Baltimore County and not on the Eastern Shore. Harris has made a concerted effort this cycle to reach out more to Eastern Shore voters, but Kratovil has already worked to play up his own residence on the Eastern Shore in television ads.
District Profile from Politics in America
The 1st includes the mostly rural Eastern Shore and some Anne Arundel County suburbs across the Chesapeake Bay. It crosses the Susquehanna River in northeastern Maryland and grabs chunks of Harford and Baltimore counties. The Eastern Shore, which holds about three-fifths of the district's population, has a steady agricultural base, relying mainly on vegetables, fruit and chicken breeding. Ocean City is a popular beach town on the Atlantic shore.
The central, more rural part of the Eastern Shore is solidly Republican. The northern counties, closer to Baltimore and Philadelphia, and the southern counties have larger working-class populations but do not factor as heavily in elections. Across the bay, the 1st includes some GOP-leaning parts of Anne Arundel, including the predominately white, educated, upper-middle-class areas of Arnold, Severna Park and Millersville. Part of Baltimore's conservative northern suburbs also are included in the 1st.
Despite regional differences, all of the 1st's areas share a conservative bent that traditionally benefits Republicans. Every county wholly in the 1st supported Republican Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. in the 2010 gubernatorial race, and incumbent Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski lost in four counties here.
Agriculture, manufacturing, tourism
U.S. Naval Academy/Naval Station Annapolis, 592 military, 1,574 civilian (2011) (shared with the 3rd)
Bel Air South (unincorporated) (pt.), 43,284; Severna Park (unincorporated) (pt.), 32,736; Salisbury (pt.), 30,343
Wild ponies roam Assateague Island, a barrier island on the Atlantic Ocean.
|2010||general||Andy Harris (R)||155,118||54.1%|
|Frank Kratovil (D)||120,400||42%|
|Richard Davis (LIBERT)||10,876||3.8%|
|Jack Wilson (NPA)||158||0.1%|
|Michael Kennedy (WRI)||18||0%|
|2008||general||Frank Kratovil (D)||177,065||49.1%|
|Andy Harris (R)||174,213||48.3%|
|Richard Davis (LIBERT)||8,873||2.5%|
|2006||general||Wayne Gilchrest (R)||185,177||68.8%|
|Jim Corwin (D)||83,738||31.1%|
|2004||general||Wayne Gilchrest (R)||245,149||75.8%|
|Kostas Alexakis (D)||77,872||24.1%|
|2002||general||Wayne Gilchrest (R)||192,004||76.7%|
|Ann Tamlyn (D)||57,986||23.2%|
|2008||Barack Obama: 40%||John McCain: 58%|
|2004||John Kerry: 36%||George W. Bush: 62%|
|2000||Al Gore: 40%||George W. Bush: 57%|