Scenes from Ehrlich's party
Sun reporter Don Markus is at the Ehrlich party in Timonium and filed this dispatch a few hours ago (we should have posted earlier, we apologize):
Despite reports filtering into the Exhibition Hall at the Timonium Fairgrounds that Ehrlich was on the verge of defeat, the atmosphere at what was billed as a "Strong Leadership" victory party was surprisingly festive. The first song belted out by a band called "Mood Swing" was Frank Sinatra's "The Best Is Yet To Come."
Unfortunately for Ehrlich's supporters, it wasn't.
Jack Diamond, a 26-year-old medical student from Pikesville who came with his 2-year old son, Jacob, said that he was shocked at the recent polls that showed Erlich behind by as much as 14 percentage points.
"When you see all the signs in Baltimore County and Harford County for Bob Ehrlich, and then you see the polls, I don't know how it dovetails," said Diamond, an Ehrlich supporter since moving to Baltimore from Israel to attend Towson University eight years ago.
"I guess tonight is really the judgment day, whether we're going to find out that what we see on the street is going to pull Ehrlich through."
Diamond said that if O'Malley was reelected, he believed it had more to do with the "negative advertising" used by O'Malley than on the campaign waged by Ehrlich.
John Gowland, who worked in Ehrlich's first administration as the general manager of the MTA, agreed, adding that even in a year when a wave of anti-Obama sentiment helped defeat several prominent Democrats, ".it's a very tough state to get elected as a Republican."
Sandy Brock of Annapolis, the wife of former State Senator Bill Brock, said that he came to Timonium Tuesday night with "great hope" that the polls were wrong.
Brock said she realized it was going to be an uphill battle.
"Maryland is so different," she said. "There's no other state in the country with a 35 percent African American population who are educated, smart and involved like they are here in Maryland" and that because many work in government positions would likely vote for O'Malley.