O'Malley rallies base in Prince George's Co.
Democrats deployed green-shirted troops and signs to vote-thick Prince George's County yesterday, the final day of early voting. Gov. Martin O'Malley joined his supporters there in the evening for a series of cautiously optimistic rallies, as he enters the final weekend of the campaign trail.
O'Malley rendezvoused with Teamsters, members of his 1,000 Women for O'Malley group and others in a Bowie parking lot just after 5:30 p.m. The women erupted into a "four more years chant," but O'Malley -- who'd been in Hagerstown, Columbia and Baltimore earlier that day -- interrupted them: "But only four more days."
That evening, Route 450 was dotted with O'Malley sign-wavers. They repurposed giant Steny Hoyer for Congress signs to advertise early voting in thick black hand writing. They also hoisted huge "We've got your back" Obama signs urging passers-by to vote Democrat.
Later, O'Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown held a pep rally in the parking lot of the Bowie Library, the state's top early voting center in the primary and one of the leading spots in the general election, too. As they spoke, the line of early voters wrapped around the building.
Mayors of local municipalities extolled the Democratic gubernatorial candidate on loud speaker. "Don't be down, O'Malley-Brown's in town!" Edmonston Mayor Adam Ortiz cheered.
Brown and O'Malley used the occasion as a warning that they can't take their projected lead (double digits over Republican former Gov, Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. in three recent polls) for granted.
"We've got the ball," Brown said in a lengthy football analogy. "But we've got to play like we're down." He called O'Malley the "best quarterback" in the country.
O'Malley continued the admonishment: "I have a friend. His name is Ray Mabus."
Telling a story he also used in speeches earlier in the day, O'Malley explained that Mabus, now U.S. secretary of the Navy, was a one-term governor of Mississippi. Going into the home stretch of his reelection campaign, Mabus was "15 points up in the polls," O'Malley said.
But his supporters got too comfortable, O'Malley said, and he lost on Election Day.
To avoid a similar fate, the O'Malley campaign will be working overtime for the next four days. Brown called for 6,000 volunteers to pitch in and said the campaign hoped to make 150,000 phone calls to voters this week.
On Election Day, O'Malley said, as many as 20 sound trucks -- a tradition in East and West Baltimore -- will deploy across the state.
"It's a mad dash to the end," O'Malley said. Today, he spends much of his day in Montgomery County.