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CQ Politics rates this race as "Safe," meaning the incumbent party is virtually certain to win the seat.
District Profile from Politics in America
The 2nd includes parts of northern and eastern Baltimore, suburbs on most sides of the city and most of the land east of Interstate 95 between Baltimore and the Susquehanna River, along the Chesapeake Bay coastline of Baltimore and Harford counties.
The district's Anne Arundel County portion, south of Baltimore, includes the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and Fort George G. Meade, home of the National Security Agency and the U.S. Cyber Command. Fort Meade was assigned thousands of jobs following the 2005 round of the Base Realignment and Closure process and has completed construction projects to accommodate the arriving divisions.
In eastern Baltimore County, the blue-collar industrial sector, including Dundalk, has struggled. The Sparrows Point steel plant is still a key employer, but steelworkers and local officials worry about the impact of sustained plant idling. Multiple recent sales of the plant, possible further consolidations, job losses, and health care and pension cuts are also concerns.
The district's northwest arm heads through the GOP-heavy northern suburbs but hooks west of Baltimore into largely African-American areas, including Randallstown, which has a core commercial center along state Route 26. Blacks overall make up one-third of the 2nd's population.
Solidly Democratic voters in Baltimore County and Baltimore city, which together make up 70 percent of the district's population, push the 2nd into the Democratic column. Former Baltimore mayor Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, won more than 80 percent of the city's vote in his 2010 gubernatorial re-election run.
Defense, manufacturing, product distribution
Fort George G. Meade (Army), 11,961 military, 24,108 civilian; Aberdeen Proving Ground (Army), 2,600 military, 10,250 civilian (2007)
Baltimore (pt.), 111,499; Dundalk (unincorporated), 63,597; Essex (unincorporated), 39,262; Randallstown (unincorporated) (pt.), 30,151
Aberdeen is home to Cal Ripken Baseball, a youth division of the amateur Babe Ruth League.
|2010||general||C.A. Ruppersberger (D)||134,133||64.2%|
|Marcelo Cardarelli (R)||69,523||33.3%|
|Lorenzo Gaztanaga (LIBERT)||5,090||2.4%|
|2008||general||C.A. Ruppersberger (D)||198,578||71.9%|
|Richard Matthews (R)||68,561||24.8%|
|Lorenzo Gaztanaga (LIBERT)||8,786||3.2%|
|2006||general||C.A. Ruppersberger (D)||135,818||69.2%|
|Jimmy Mathis (R)||60,195||30.7%|
|2004||general||C.A. Ruppersberger (D)||164,751||66.6%|
|Jane Brooks (R)||75,812||30.7%|
|Keith Salkowski (GREEN)||6,508||2.6%|
|2002||general||C.A. Ruppersberger (D)||105,718||54.2%|
|Helen Bentley (R)||88,954||45.6%|
|2008||Barack Obama: 60%||John McCain: 38%|
|2004||John Kerry: 54%||George W. Bush: 45%|
|2000||Al Gore: 57%||George W. Bush: 41%|