As the election comes down to the wire in Maryland in two days, I spent some time driving around my neighborhood looking for campaign signs.

My neighborhood isn’t the best bellwether for Maryland election results. If my neighborhood were representative, Bob Ehrlich would have won a second term in 2006  … with about 80% of the vote. Instead he lost to current governor, Martin O’Malley, despite Ehrlich’s maintaining an approval rating that exceeded 50%.

In any case lately these “Vote for the Democrats” (see the featured image above) signs have been popping up.

I guess in Maryland you vote for Democrats as a matter of faith. After all Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown wouldn’t have a chance if the election turned on his competence. But Maryland Republicans have an effective comeback. One sign right next a Larry Hogan (for governor)  asks if you’ve had enough tax increases under the O’Malley-Brown administration.

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O’Malley intent on being the Democratic nominee in 2016, used his two terms in office to turn Maryland into a Democratic paradise. In 2007 and 2012, O’Malley convened special sessions of the Democratic controlled legislature to raise taxes. (In 2007, the special session was called to address a $1.9 billion “structural deficit” out of a total budget of some $37.3 billion of spending, which amounted to roughly 5% of the budget.)

Perhaps the Democrats’ tendency to hike taxes as a first resort turned off a lot of unaffiliated voters. I’m guessing that the Republican message is gaining some traction.

But the other thing that I thought was remarkable was the relative lack of Brown signs. Even many homes and businesses, which had signs promoting local Democratic candidates didn’t have Brown signs. Like at the house below.

There were three signs: one for John Sarbanes (my Congressman) who’s a shoo-in for re-election, Shelly Hettleman running for state delegate (white sign), and Vicki Almond (red sign) running for county council.

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There were Brown signs in my area, but I was surprised of the number of Democratic residences and businesses that didn’t have a sign for the candidate at the top of the ticket. To be sure this isn’t a scientific survey, but I’ve noticed places that, in the past, had O’Malley or Obama signs do not have Brown signs. Maybe it’s an indication of a lack of interest. Maybe my own hopes and prejudices are coloring my observations.

For what it’s worth Monoblogue, looking at the latest polling, sees signs that Hogan might just pull this out.

But of course, more interesting than the signs or lack of signs, was the foliage. You can’t beat that.

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