United States Senate election in Maryland, 2006

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United States Senate election in Maryland, 2006
Maryland
2000 ←
November 7, 2006 → 2012

  Ben Cardin portrait.jpg Michael Steele.jpg
Nominee Ben Cardin Michael Steele
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 965,477 787,182
Percentage 54.2% 44.2%

MDSen06Counties.png

County results

U.S. Senator before election

Paul Sarbanes
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Ben Cardin
Democratic

The 2006 United States Senate election in Maryland was held on Tuesday, November 7, 2006. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes, Maryland's longest serving United States Senator, decided to retire instead of seeking a sixth term. Democratic nominee Ben Cardin won the open seat.

Democratic primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Campaign[edit]

Kweisi Mfume, a former congressman and NAACP President, was the first to announce for the position, in March 2005. Ben Cardin, then a congressman since 1987, was the only other major candidate until September 2005, when Dennis F. Rasmussen, a former Baltimore County Executive, American University professor Allan Lichtman, and wealthy Potomac businessman Josh Rales entered the contest. Thirteen other candidates subsequently also entered the primary. As of August 2006, Cardin had raised more than $4.8 million and collected endorsements from a number of Democratic politicians, the AFL-CIO, and The Washington Post; Mfume had raised over $1.2 million and collected endorsements from the Maryland State Teachers Association, Progressive Maryland, former Maryland Governor Parris Glendening, the National Organization for Women, and Maryland Congressmen Elijah Cummings and Al Wynn.

On August 31, 2006, Maryland Public Television (MPT) and the League of Women Voters (LWV) sponsored a debate between the two leading Democratic Primary Candidates.[3][4] The LWV of Maryland and MPT arbitrarily excluded most of the FEC qualified candidates from the only televised debates in the primary election. There were 18 candidates in this race, only 2, Ben Cardin and Kweisi Mfume, were allowed to debate, despite the strenuous protests of the excluded candidates. Lichtman, Rales, and Rasmussen petitioned MPT and LWV for inclusion in the debate, but received no response. On the day of the debate, Lichtman, his wife, and a campaign aide were arrested for trespassing while protesting during the taping of the debate.[5] They were found not guilty on all charges. The judge in the case said it should never have been brought to court and was a gross violation of the parties' constitutional rights.[citation needed]

Polling[edit]

Source Date Cardin Kaufman Lichtman Mfume Rales Rasmussen
SurveyUSA September 11, 2006 47% 38% 7%
SurveyUSA August 31, 2006 38% 42% 7%
Gonzales Research August 30, 2006 43% 30% 6%
Public Opinion Strategies August 1–2, 2006 31% 25% 4% 6%
Baltimore Sun July 17, 2006 32% 1% 1% 28% 1% 1%
Washington Post June 25, 2006 26% 2% 4% 33% 0% 4%

Results[edit]

Democratic Primary results[6]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Benjamin L. Cardin 257,545 43.67%
Democratic Kweisi Mfume 238,957 40.52%
Democratic Josh Rales 30,737 5.21%
Democratic Dennis F. Rasmussen 10,997 1.86%
Democratic Mike Schaefer 7,773 1.32%
Democratic Allan Lichtman 6,919 1.17%
Democratic Theresa C. Scaldaferri 5,081 0.86%
Democratic James H. Hutchinson 4,949 0.84%
Democratic David Dickerson 3,950 0.67%
Democratic A. Robert Kaufman 3,908 0.66%
Democratic Anthony Jaworski 3,486 0.59%
Democratic Thomas McCaskill 3,459 0.59%
Democratic George T. English 2,305 0.39%
Democratic Bob Robinson 2,208 0.37%
Democratic Lih Young 2,039 0.35%
Democratic Blaine Taylor 1,848 0.31%
Democratic Joseph Werner 1,832 0.31%
Democratic Charles Ulysses Smith 1,702 0.29%
Totals 589,695 100%

Republican primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Campaign[edit]

Michael S. Steele was expected to win the Republican primary, and the Baltimore Sun wrote the month before that he faced "only nominal opposition".[7] Among a field of nine other candidates, the only Republican receiving sufficient media coverage was Daniel Vovak.

Results[edit]

Republican primary results[8]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Michael S. Steele 190,790 86.96%
Republican John Kimble 6,280 2.86%
Republican Earl S. Gordon 4,110 1.87%
Republican Daniel "Wig Man" Vovak 4,063 1.85%
Republican Thomas J. Hampton 3,946 1.80%
Republican Corrogan R. Vaughn 2,565 1.17%
Republican Daniel Muffoletto 2,335 1.06%
Republican Richard Shawver 2,298 1.05%
Republican Ray Bly 2,114 0.96%
Republican Edward Raymond Madej 902 0.41%
Totals 219,403 100%

General election[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Campaign[edit]

This was Maryland's first open Senate seat since 1986, when junior Senator Barbara Mikulski was first elected.

Michael Steele won the Republican nomination after facing little competition in the contest for the Republican ticket. With mostly unknown secondary candidates, Steele received 87% of the Republican Primary vote.

Third District Congressional Representative Ben Cardin won the Democratic Party nomination after facing tough competition in the contest for the Democratic ticket from former congressman and NAACP President Kweisi Mfume, businessman Josh Rales, former Baltimore County Executive Dennis F. Rasmussen, and several lesser known candidates. Cardin received 44% of the Democratic Primary vote to 40% for Mfume, his next closest competitor. All other candidates received percentages only in the single digits.

Kevin Zeese, the nominee for the Green, Populist and Libertarian Parties, was also on the ballot.

Though Steele lost the general election by 10%, a much wider margin than predicted, his was the best showing for a Republican in a Senate race in Maryland since Charles Mathias, Jr. was reelected in 1980 with 66% of the vote.

Controversies[edit]

Both Steele and Cardin made controversial statements and advertising throughout the campaign.

Debates[edit]

The first debate of the race was held Tuesday, October 3, 2006. All three candidates were present and participated. The evening was hosted by the Baltimore Urban League, and moderated by Charles Robinson from Maryland Public Television and Doni Glover from BMORENEWS.[11]

The first televised debate of the campaign was broadcast on News Channel 8 on the program "News Talk". All three candidates participated in the debate, and were moderated by Bruce DePuyt, the host of the program. There was no audience. This debate was widely reported because of the constant bickering between the three candidates, who often interrupted and talked over one another.[12]

Another debate took place between Steele and Cardin on Sunday, October 29, 2006 as a part of the Meet The Press Senatorial debate series. Moderated by Tim Russert, the debate focused primarily on the Iraq War and stem-cell research, amongst other issues.[13]

The three candidates all participated in the final debate of the campaign on Friday, November 3, 2006. The event was sponsored by the Collective Banking Group and held at the First Baptist Church of Glenarden.[14]

Tactics[edit]

Cardin primarily attacked Steele over his close relations with President Bush, including pictures of Bush and Steele in Cardin's TV ads.[15] Steele focused on low taxes, less government spending, free markets and national security.[16]

Polling[edit]

Source Date Cardin (D) Steele (R) Zeese (G)
SurveyUSA November 6, 2006 49% 46% 3%
Mason-Dixon/MSNBC November 5, 2006 47% 44% 1%
SurveyUSA November 3, 2006 47% 47%
Baltimore Sun/Potomac Inc. November 2, 2006 49% 43% 2%
Reuters/Zogby November 2, 2006 49% 44%
Washington Post October 29, 2006 54% 43% 1%
Rasmussen October 26, 2006 49% 42%
Garin Hart Yang (D) October 23–24, 2006 52% 40%
VC Research (R) October 22–23, 2006 41% 39%
SurveyUSA October 18, 2006 46% 46% 3%
Rasmussen October 16, 2006 53% 44%
USA Today/Gallup October 6, 2006 54% 39%
Reuters/Zogby October 5, 2006 45% 37%
Public Opinion Strategies (R) October 2–4, 2006 47% 43%
Mason-Dixon/MSNBC October 2, 2006 47% 41% 1%
Zogby/Wall Street Journal September 28, 2006 52% 39%
VC Research (R) September 27–28, 2006 44% 39%
Baltimore Sun/Potomac Inc. September 25, 2006 51% 40%
SurveyUSA September 20, 2006 47% 48% 4%
Rasmussen September 19, 2006 50% 43%
Zogby/Wall Street Journal September 10, 2006 49% 40%
Gonzales Research August 30, 2006 44% 39%
Zogby/Wall Street Journal August 28, 2006 50% 41%
Rasmussen August 18, 2006 47% 42%
Public Opinion Strategies (R) August 1–2, 2006 43% 35%
Zogby/Wall Street Journal July 24, 2006 50% 42%
Rasmussen July 17, 2006 47% 41%
Baltimore Sun/Potomac Inc. July 6–10, 2006 47% 36%
Washington Post June 25, 2006 49% 39%
Zogby/Wall Street Journal June 21, 2006 51% 40%
Rasmussen April 25, 2006 45% 35%
Gonzales Research April 18, 2006 49% 35%
Zogby/Wall Street Journal March 31, 2006 49% 39%
Rasmussen February 22, 2006 49% 35%
Zogby January 20, 2006 49% 43%
Rasmussen January 13, 2006 40% 45%
Rasmussen November 21, 2005 49% 41%
Baltimore Sun October 25, 2005 47% 38%
Baltimore Sun April, 2005 41% 37%

Results[edit]

Maryland United States Senate election results, 2006[17]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Ben Cardin 965,477 54.21 -9.0
Republican Michael S. Steele 787,182 44.19 +7.5
Green Kevin Zeese 27,564 1.55 n/a
Write-ins 916 0.05 0
Majority 178,295 100.00
Turnout 1,781,139
Democratic hold Swing

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mosk, Matthew (April 22, 2006). "Van Susteren Quits, Citing Fundraising Lag". The Washington Post (washingtonpost.com). Retrieved 2010-01-13. 
  2. ^ "Joseph Werner". Archived from the original on 2008-02-03. Retrieved 13 January 2010. 
  3. ^ Mosk, Matthew (September 1, 2006). "Mfume, Cardin Stress Contrasts In TV Debate". The Washington Post (washingtonpost.com). Retrieved 2010-01-13. 
  4. ^ "Free Campaign websites, Free Candidate Search engine, 24/7 elections and politics". Vovak.politicalgateway.com. Retrieved 2010-01-13. 
  5. ^ Mosk, Matthew (September 1, 2006). "Mfume, Cardin Stress Contrasts In TV Debate". The Washington Post (washingtonpost.com). Retrieved 2010-01-13. 
  6. ^ http://www.elections.state.md.us/elections/2006/results/primary/office_US_Senator.html
  7. ^ "Maryland: Politics – Senate candidates get national airing". The Baltimore Sun. August 26, 2006. Retrieved September 25, 2013. 
  8. ^ http://www.elections.state.md.us/elections/2006/results/primary/office_US_Senator.html
  9. ^ David Nitkin on state politics issues; Editor addresses energy rates, upcoming elections, personnel probe, Baltimore Sun, May 16, 2006.
  10. ^ John Wagner, Zeese Wins the Triple Crown, Washington Post, June 13, 2006.
  11. ^ "Zeese, Steele, Cardin Debate". Video.google.com. Retrieved 2010-01-13. 
  12. ^ Matthew Mosk and Ann E. Marimow (October 26, 2006). "Cardin, Steele Square Off in Televised Debate". The Washington Post (washingtonpost.com<!). Retrieved 2010-01-13. 
  13. ^ Matthew Mosk and Ann E. Marimow (October 30, 2006). "Debate Puts Steele on Defense". The Washington Post (washingtonpost.com). Retrieved 2010-01-13. 
  14. ^ "Final Debate For Maryland U.S. Senate Race". Video.google.com. Retrieved 2010-01-13. 
  15. ^ http://progressivemaryland.org/files/public/images/SteeleHuggingBush051130.jpg
  16. ^ Steele, Michael (2008-02-08). "Michael Steele : Now Is the Time to Act". Townhall.com. Retrieved 2010-01-13. 
  17. ^ "Official 2006 Gubernatorial General Election results for U.S. Senator". Maryland State Board of Elections. 2006-12-19. Retrieved 2010-01-13. 


Preceded by
2004
Barbara Mikulski (D)
Maryland U.S. Senate elections
2006
Ben Cardin (D)
Succeeded by
2010
Barbara Mikulski (D)