In last Tuesday’s Maryland GOP presidential primary, 444,204** Republicans voted compared with 248,468 in the Maryland 2012 presidential primary: an increase of 195,736!
Also in last week’s Maryland GOP primary, Donald Trump prevailed among Republicans in every Maryland congressional district and county.
This increase in voters likely came from cross-over Democrats and independents; from Republicans disillusioned with their party’s leadership who had been staying home at election time; and even from long-time citizens who had not previously voted.
Trump was clearly the energizer here as he was in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.
(Readers may click here for Maryland State Board of Elections numbers and information. See also The Green Papers here.)
So what are some of the key concerns driving Trump voters everywhere?
Putting American interests at home and abroad first:
- specifically getting control of the levels of legal as well as illegal immigration (including a pause in the admission of Muslims);
- negotiating trade deals that benefit our workers and preserve our sovereignty;
- rebuilding our defenses while avoiding reckless overseas conflicts.
Senator Jeff Sessions spelled out several of these concerns in February (click here to see the “Sessions Test” and Donald Trump’s responses).
Breitbart News explained—
“In recent years, Sessions has emerged as the intellectual thought leader of the nation-state conservative movement. Sessions has articulated how mass immigration combined with reckless trade deals is compressing wages and decimating America’s middle class.
Sessions’ questionnaire consisted of five straightforward questions addressing immigration, trade, and crime in the United States.”
To put it as charitably as we can, we haven’t seen the Maryland GOP leadership or the winners of the Maryland GOP primaries for the House or Senate spend much time addressing these matters obviously important to Trump voters.
So what will the Maryland GOP leadership do with these new or returning 195,000-plus Republicans who voted in last week’s presidential primary?
Welcome them into the Party’s activities at the local and state level?
Pretend they don’t exist?
Or if they get too pushy, tell them to go play in the street?
One early test will be at the Maryland GOP Spring Convention.
In addition to the delegates to the Republican national convention elected last week, on Saturday May 14 in Annapolis-–
“There will be 11 delegates and 11 alternate delegates elected at-large at the MDGOP 2016 Spring Convention on May 14, 2016. They are elected by the members of the Republican State Central Committee of Maryland. They are bound to the winner of the statewide Presidential contest in Maryland.”
(Click here for a summary of the “Maryland Delegate and Alternate Delegate Selection Process”.)
Sending mostly non-Trump delegates-at-large to Cleveland will send a message that the Trump-inspired portion of the 195,000-plus new or returning 2016 Republican presidential primary voters are unwelcome in the Maryland Republican Club.
On the other hand, if some Maryland GOP nominees for the House and Senate endorse Trump now, they will be telling these new or returning voters they have gotten their message and should help with their campaigns.
**Numbers as of May 1, 2016. Reportedly official Maryland Board of Election results will be available on Friday, May 6.