Less than two weeks before the election, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) remains comfortably ahead of his challengers for the 8th Congressional District seat.
The election forecasting website fivethirtyeight.com estimates that Raskin, who won the seat in 2016, has a 99.9 percent probability of beating out Republican candidate John Walsh and Libertarian Jasen Wunder.
Raskin and Walsh recently attended a candidates forum at Temple Shalom in Chevy Chase (Wunder was unable to attend). Maurice Alexander, who organized the event, said that while the crowd was heavily pro-Raskin, Walsh “made a lot of friends” with his moderate views. “Though I’m not sure he got many votes.”
Raskin was elected after Chris Van Hollen decided to run for Senate. Raskin is one of the most reliably liberal members of Congress, and lists fighting climate change, protecting reproductive rights and repealing Citizens United as among his top priorities. Raskin is endorsed by Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh.
Walsh is closer to the center than most elected Republicans. His campaign website calls for President Donald Trump to release his tax returns, and he writes that he “gives the President high marks on all but healthcare, immigration and the debt.” He has also proposed that the speaker of the House, rather than be chosen by one party, be someone deemed acceptable to both parties.
Wunder advocates a rollback of National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency surveillance powers. He believes that the federal government should not have a say on reproductive rights or same-sex marriage. He also says that he wants to privatize Social Security and Medicare.
Walsh, running for elected office for the first time, won his primary with 9,095 votes, out of a total 20,271 cast. Raskin, who spent nine years in the Maryland state Senate, garnered almost four times that number on his own in the Democratic primary. Wunder finished a distant fourth during his 2016 campaign to replace Van Hollen, when he received just 2 percent of the vote.