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Maryland - 7th District

Incumbent -- Elijah E. Cummings (D) ; Running for re-election

Safe Democratic
Race Ratings Key
 

CQ Politics rates this race as "Safe," meaning the incumbent party is virtually certain to win the seat.

 

District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

The 7th takes in both the largely poor neighborhoods of West Baltimore and much of downtown, with the bustling retail center of the Inner Harbor. The district then heads west to include Baltimore County's middle-class southwestern suburbs and the bulk of Howard County, including the western portion of Columbia, a liberal-leaning planned community between Baltimore and Washington.

Efforts to improve Baltimore's poor neighborhoods have been slow, and urban problems -- such as crime, drug abuse, teen pregnancy and unemployment -- prompted many of the city's middle-class residents to head to the suburbs. The 7th is the only district in Maryland to have shed population since 2000. But the picture within the city is not all bleak. Many of Baltimore's most identifiable landmarks and businesses are in the 7th, and there are middle-class black communities along Liberty Heights Avenue in West Baltimore.

The 7th takes in the Mount Vernon area, home of the Walters Art Museum and the Peabody Institute, which is affiliated with Johns Hopkins University and is one of the nation's major academies for professionally trained musicians. Farther north are Johns Hopkins University and the Baltimore Museum of Art. West of the downtown hub, the old retail section around Lexington Market and the 1st Mariner Arena still survives. Just southwest of the city, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County campus and its adjacent research area are attracting technology companies. West of Baltimore County are sprawling suburbs in racially diverse and mainly wealthy, well-educated Howard County.

The 7th, which has a slight edge over the 4th for the state's highest percentage of black residents, gives an edge to Democrats in national and local contests throughout most of the district, but the GOP can win locally in parts of Howard County.

Major Industry

Health care, technology

Cities

Baltimore (pt.), 334,834; Ellicott City (unincorporated) (pt.), 65,834; Columbia (unincorporated) (pt.), 52,442; Catonsville (unincorporated), 41,567

Notable

The 7th's portion of Baltimore is home to NAACP national headquarters, author Edgar Allan Poe's grave site and the National Aquarium.

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