Baltimore’s three Democratic nominees for citywide office came together Tuesday morning to urge voters to elect their party’s presidential nominee, Joe Biden, in a show of unity that was lacking in 2016 when then Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton appeared to be on the way to victory.
“This election is about the fabric of democracy and whether our country can come back from the last four years of embarrassment to elect people who can help us,” City Council President Brandon Scott said at a news conference.
Baltimore is a Democratic stronghold: blue voters outnumber red voters by nearly 10 to 1. Biden is currently polling well above President Trump throughout Maryland, and has a lead in the latest national polls as well.
That didn’t stop Scott, who won the mayoral primary in June, and other Democrats from trying to appeal to voters on Biden’s behalf as ballots begin to arrive in city mailboxes.
Scott is a progressive millennial: a type of Democrat that analysts say isn’t enthusiastic to vote for Biden, a moderate. But if the country wants Trump gone, Scott said, then not a single Democratic voter can sit out this election, even those who live in deep-blue cities.
Trump’s campaign “depends on us feeling like the entire system is so broken that we won't participate,” Scott said. “Filling out and sending back that ballot is the most important thing you can do.”
The New York Times published a report on Trump’s long-sought-after tax returns over the weekend. It said the Republican paid just $750 a year in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017.
“President Ronald Reagan made that ridiculous, untrue stereotype of the welfare queen infamous,” Scott said. “How ironic that years later that the leader of his party, President Trump, actually became the king of government loopholes and subsidies by only paying $750 in taxes.”
Catherine Pugh won the Democratic mayoral primary that same year that Clinton ran against Trump. She supported Clinton, but the now-disgraced mayor didn’t host a news conference urging Baltimore voters to throw their support behind her.
This election cycle, in the midst of a mass reckoning over racial injustice and a global pandemic, city Democrats say the stakes are too high not to encourage voters to turn out for Biden.
“I can tell you that Donald Trump has not been good for Baltimore City,” said Bill Henry, the city councilman from North Baltimore who won this year’s Democratic primary for city comptroller.
“The federal government used to be a much better partner for cities all across the nation,” Henry said. “But for most of our lifetime, cities like Baltimore have been at best ignored and – hashtag Trump – at worst insulted and attacked when Washington is under Republican leadership. We need partners in the White House.”
Del. Nick Mosby of West Baltimore won this year’s primary for City Council President. He touted Baltimore’s Democratic slate, saying they were ready to roll up their sleeves, and called on a catchphrase spouted by most politicians every cycle.
“People will constantly say, election after election, ‘this is the most important election in a generation,’ ” Mosby said. “I am here to say that this really is the most important election in a generation.”
Now is not the time to spike the football, but to turn up the heat and make a voting plan, he said.
Mosby, Scott and Henry all face near-certain victory in deep blue Baltimore come November. Biden’s chances at the Oval Office are much less clear.