NEW CARROLLTON – Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, gave a short pep talk to a group of Democratic phone bankers here Friday, speaking optimistically about Democrats’ prospects in Maryland and U.S. Congressional elections.
“We have four and a half weeks left and we are going to win,” Dean said.
The former governor of Vermont arrived for a tour of a Maryland Democratic Party office, where volunteers were calling voters and encouraging them to cast ballots for Democratic candidates.
To an audience of about 30, Dean said he was optimistic about the chances of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Martin O’Malley and Benjamin Cardin, the Democratic candidate for Senate.
“Ehrlich and Steele are well out of step with where most Marylanders stand,” Dean said. “The people of Maryland deserve folks that are in the mainstream.”
Dean said he expects Maryland to be one of six to eight governorships the Democrats win in November.
“If you want to get rid of the rubber stamp, you have to vote Democratic,” he said, met by loud applause.
The former governor of Vermont gave the pep talk to kick off a weekend in which Democratic phone banks will attempt to contact 3 million people.
Dean traveled to Maryland as part of his “50-state strategy,” a plan that has sparked controversy within the Democratic Party because it spreads funds around instead of concentrating them in battleground states.
For instance, Dean made a trip in May to Alaska, a sparsely populated, Republican-majority state, when other party leaders were focusing on swing states like Ohio and Connecticut. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton last week criticized the strategy at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Washington, saying Dean should focus on funding campaigns in competitive states.