Reading the local newspapers over the weekend may have given you the impression that Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley was the big winner of last week’s election.
Although his name never actually appeared on the ballot, that may not be far from the truth. O’Malley championed the three big initiatives on the Maryland ballot—legalization of same-sex marriages, the Maryland Dream Act, and a gambling expansion—and all three of them passed.
The Washington Examiner had an article headlined “O’Malley stock rises, McDonnell’s drops with election,” comparing how the rivals -- who both head their respective party’s governors associations -- fared last Tuesday. While the GOP lost big in Virginia, O’Malley’s liberal social agenda was approved by voters.
"I've never been so relieved by an election outcome that I haven't been on the ballot for," O'Malley told The Washington Examiner. "It was a very positive night, very exciting night, and I hope a night that creates even more momentum nationally" for same-sex marriage and immigration reform.
The Post’s headline read, “Gov. O’Malley finds success in backing Maryland ballot initiatives.”
Some issues O’Malley clearly cared about more than others, but all had become closely identified with him and carried political consequences win or lose.
“It was almost as though he was standing for a second reelection,” said Thomas F. Schaller, a professor of political science at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. “To a certain degree, his administration was on the ballot.”
It’s no secret O’Malley has presidential ambitions and that his gubernatorial legacy was closely tied with the outcome of Tuesday’s election. But do his politics resonate with voters outside Maryland?
There’s no saying what will happen a few months down the line, but a new poll shows that right now O’Malley doesn’t stand up against big Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden.
A PPP poll surveyed Iowa Democrats right before the election to see who they would vote for in a hypothetical 2016 Democratic primary. Hillary Clinton dominated with 58 percent of the vote, followed by Biden with 17 percent. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo received 6 percent and Elizabeth Warner received 3 percent. O’Malley and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick received zero percent of the votes.
IN OTHER NEWS:
* SCOTUS will hear a case on the constitutionality of a provision of the Voting Rights Act that requires 16 states—including Virginia—with a history of racial discrimination to get approval from the DOJ before making any changes to their voting laws.
* Did Gov. McDonnell keep his promise to seek tougher penalties for drug dealers?
* One more victory frees D.C. from judicial supervision
* A breakdown by state of how the election impacted the DMV region
* Obama, stop messing with D.C. school vouchers