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In the heart of Annapolis lies one of the most competitive districts in the Maryland Senate, State Senate District 30. Though this district has been held by Democrats since the 1980s, a neutral midterm environment and ticket-splitting in the area have opened the door for Republicans to flip this district.
Incumbent Democrat Sarah Elfreth was first elected in 2018, succeeding longtime incumbent Democrat John Astle, who had represented the district since the 1990s. She defeated former State Representative Ron George to hold the district for her party, though she ran behind what would be Biden’s 19.45% margin of victory by 10.65%, winning by a respectable 9.23% margin, outperforming Astle’s 2014 re-election by several points, though this was more than likely due to the large differences in electoral environments.
The new district hasn’t changed much, but it’s a tad more favorable to the Republicans now compared to the old lines. It went to Biden by 19.38%, and the candidates for State Senate in 2018 underperformed that margin by 11.16%.
As you can see by the map above, there’s a notable difference in ticket-splitting between the 2018 State Senate race and the 2020 Presidential election in the respective regions here. The area in District 30 below the Annapolis Peninsula was still more favorable to George than Trump for the most part, but not at the level of ticket-splitting seen on the Annapolis Peninsula.
There were two precincts each though in both regions where Elfreth outran Biden’s margin. On the Annapolis Peninsula, two precincts near Parole. And in the southern part of the district, one precinct in Edgewater and one in Shady Side.
Republicans have nominated Stacie MacDonald for this seat, who ran for the State House in 2020 but failed to make it past the primary. While MacDonald is arguably a weaker opponent than George, a more Republican-friendly environment will likely make this a closer contest than in 2018. CNalysis has had this as a Lean Democratic race for a while but that rating is subject to change as we continue to update our state legislative forecasts this month.