Anthony Brown addresses supporters on election night after conceding the Maryland governor's race to Republican Larry Hogan. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun)
Many Baltimore Democrats weren't wild about Anthony Brown as their candidate for governor, a review of city voting records makes clear.
Brown carried the solidly Democratic city over victorious Republican Larry Hogan — but with 18,000 fewer votes than Kathleen Kennedy Townsend received in 2002 after what was regarded as a woeful campaign.
Like Brown, she received 75 percent of the city vote – far below performance of Democrats in a good year. Townsend's appeal in Baltimore was dampened by her decision to bypass African-American political leaders and choose a white Republican admiral as her running mate. This year, Brown's late appeal to voters to make him the state's first African-American governor failed to energize black voters.
Brown carried the city with 102,219 votes compared to 30,069 for Hogan. Turnout in city was just 35 percent, the lowest in state, as thousands of Democrats stayed home. Brown received over 30,000 fewer votes in the majority black city than Martin O'Malley did in 2010.
Before last week, Townsend's bid was regarded as the most egregious example in recent memory of a Democrat squandering the party's 2-1 numerical advantage. Tuesday's numbers suggest Brown's campaign may have been even worse.
Statewide, Brown received about 47 percent of the vote in his loss to Hogan, where Townsend received 48 percent in her loss to Republican Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.
Turnout alone does not explain Brown's loss. Hogan ran what experts regard as a brilliant campaign that tapped into voters' desire for change after eight years under Gov. Martin O'Malley. Brown's sharply negative campaign turned off voters, perhaps explaining the fall off in turnout in key areas.