Western Md. seat rated “toss up” by political observer
Political prognosticators in Washington have been quick to note the fast evolving dynamics in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District, with one stalwart analyst moving the race to the “toss up” category because of a proposed new congressional map.
Though it’s not yet clear whether Republican Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett will run for an 11th term in the new district -- or whether other candidates might emerge -- the editor of House races at the nonpartisan Cook Political Report predicted the proposed new map would make it “very difficult” for Bartlett to hold on.
Cook now includes the Western Maryland District among 11 Republican-held toss up seats across the country. The 1st Congressional District, which initially had been considered a possible target of the redistricting effort, was moved to the safer “likely Republican” category. The 1st District is represented by Republican Rep. Andy Harris.
Bartlett “has to introduce himself to areas that are culturally opposite,” said Cook’s David Wasserman. “If Western Maryland is fairly Cracker Barrel than Montgomery County is pretty Whole Foods.
“Democrats would have to end up with a fairly flawed candidate to lose to Bartlett,” Wasserman predicted.
An analysis of the new district shows that 51 percent of its voters chose Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley in the 2010 election, compared with 35 percent in the current configuration for the 6th District.