Maryland’s first election cycle since the state redrew its district maps last year provided a lot of firsts for the state. Maryland elected its first Black governor, Democratic candidate Wes Moore, and its first woman independently elected to statewide government, Brooke Lierman, as comptroller.
Here are four other major takeaways from the 2022 general elections:
1. Red and blue counties in Maryland remained consistent in the gubernatorial race.
Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore had higher votes for the Republican candidate Dan Cox while central Maryland has remained a stronghold for the Democratic Party. Allegany County had the highest percentage of votes for Cox, while Montgomery County, closely followed by Baltimore City, had the highest votes for Moore.
Baltimore City and Baltimore, Montgomery, and Prince George’s counties remained blue for this year’s gubernatorial race, making the Democratic candidates Wes Moore and Aruna Miller the governor-elect and lieutenant governor-elect, respectively.
2. Marijuana won big in Maryland.
Over 65 percent of Marylanders voted to legalize the adult use and possession of marijuana. Nearly 60,000 more Marylanders voted for the legalization of recreational marijuana than they did for governor-elect Wes Moore. The passing of Question 4 means anyone 21 years and older can expect to legally use, carry and grow recreational marijuana beginning July 1, 2023.
3. Democrats won across the board statewide by about 60%.
After eight years with a Republican governor, Democratic candidates in Maryland won across the board this election cycle. On average, Democratic candidates won with about 60% of votes in the gubernatorial race and congressional races.
In congressional races, Democratic candidates won by a smaller margin than in the 2020 elections, with 65.1% of the votes. FiveThirtyEight has found that redistricting has significantly affected the competitiveness of three of Maryland’s eight congressional districts. This might dilute Maryland’s reputation as a solidly blue state.
4. Maryland is no longer as gerrymandered as it once was.
Though redistricting helped make Congressional District 6 highly competitive, polling by FiveThirtyEight still expected the incumbent Rep. David Trone to have a 72% chance of winning his seat. Trone beat his challenger, Republican Del. Neil Parrott, with only a 3.6-percentage-point margin.
Parrott previously lost his challenge against Trone in 2020 by a nearly 20-point margin, suggesting Maryland’s history with gerrymandering played an especially significant part in deciding elections in Maryland’s conservative western regions.**
** Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Democrat Rep. David Trone lost to Republican Del. Neil Parrott in Maryland Congressional District 6. This is incorrect. Trone beat Parrott with a 3.6-percentage-point margin.