See 2012 Senate Elections - Who's Winning, Who's Losing for an overview of all 33 US Senate races, on a state-by-state basis.
The Incumbent US Senator
Sen. Ben Cardin was part of the Democrat-heavy Senate class of 2006 swept into office in the unpopular wake of the Bush-Cheney presidency and the failing Iraq War.
Before election to the U.S. Senate, Cardin served 20 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and 20 years in the Maryland House of Delegates.
In the 112th Congress, Sen. Cardin serves on the powerful Senate Foreign Relations, Finance, and Budget Committees. Cardin is a respected bipartisan legislator who voted against the Iraq War in 2002, and who believes that women, "not judges and politicians," should make the decisions about their reproductive health. (See Profile of Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland for more.)
Maryland's 2012 Senate Race
In November, incumbent Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin will be challenged by Daniel Bongino, who won 34% of the Republican primary vote over nine other candidates.
Republican Daniel Bongino served 12 years in the Secret Service, during the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations, after working for four years in the New York City Police Department. He bills himself as tough on immigration issues, stating:
"... disregard for the law is unacceptable. We must streamline the procedure for those who wish to come here legally. Our current policy is not a policy at all and I will work to make improvements... Securing the borders must be a national priority. The constant threat of terrorism and narco-trafficking through both our Southern and Northern border should have prioritized secure borders decades ago but unfortunately it has not. Token measures and platitudes have inflicted untold damage to what should have been a long term plan..."Who Will Win?
RealClearPolitics.com rates blue-state Maryland's 2012 U.S. Senate election as a "Safe Democratic Seat."
Recent Election Results
Maryland's two U.S. senators serving in the 112th Congress (2011 to 2012) are:
- Democrat Barbara Mikulski, serving her fifth term
- Democrat Ben Cardin, serving his first term
Both Governor Martin O'Malley and Lieutenant Governor Anthony are Democratic Party members.
In the last four presidential elections, Maryland voted as follows:
- 2008 - 62% for Democrat Obama, 37% for Republican McCain
- 2004 - 56% for Democrat Kerry, 43% for Republican Bush
- 2000 - 57% for Democrat Gore, 40% for Republican Bush
- 1996 - 54% for Democrat Clinton, 38% for Republican Dole, 8% for Other
Unemployment Rate as of June 2011 - Maryland's unemployment rate of 7% was well below the national average, and ranked 37th among all states
Foreclosure Rates as of June 2011 - Maryland's home foreclosure rate of 1 in every 1358 homes was far below the national average, and ranked 31st among all states.
State Residents Living Below Poverty-Level Income 8.1% of Maryland residents live below the poverty level, a rate far below the national average and ranks 49th among all states.
Labor Union Membership - 380,000 of Maryland employees, representing 14.5% of all workers in the state, are labor union members, which is the 15th highest state concentration of labor union members.
Senior Citizen Population - Only 12.3% of Maryland residents are 65 years old and over, a percentage that ranks 40th among all states.
Women as a Percentage of Maryland's Population - Maryland boasts the second highest state percentage of women in its population: 51.6%.
Hispanic Population - 8.2% of Maryland residents are of Hispanic heritage, which ranks 25th among all states.
African-American Population - Fully 30% of Maryland residents are African-Americans, a proportion that ranks 3rd among all states, behind only Mississippi and Louisiana and tied with Georgia.