How South Baltimore Voted for Political Candidates

| December 19, 2012 | 0 Comments

It’s always interesting to see how the area around you votes especially when it comes to political party allegiance.  Baltimore is always thought of – and looked at – as a place that is very democratic, so it is interesting to break down the numbers to see if that is the case and if an independent or Republican would ever have a legitimate shot of winning an election in South Baltimore.

Let’s explain the precincts we will be using for this analysis.  The boundaries aren’t exactly congruent with neighborhoods – a realtor would basically call our entire study Federal Hill, Locust Point, Otterbein, Ridgely’s Delight and/or Pigtown.

Precinct 21-001- East Ridgely’s Delight
Precinct 21-002- Ridgely’s Delight/Barre Circle area
Precinct 21-003- West Pigtown
Precinct 21-004- East Pigtown
Precinct 22-001- Otterbein area
Precinct 22-002- Otterbein/Federal Hill area
Precinct 23-001- Federal Hill South/SBNA area
Precinct 23-002- Basicallly Sharp Leadenhall
Precinct 23-003- Basically SBNA/Federal Hill West
Precinct 24-001- In between Federal Hill and Harborview
Precinct 24-002- Federal Hill South area
Precinct 24-003- Harborview/Riverside area
Precinct 24-004- Basically Riverside
Precinct 24-005- Basically Locust Point

I think it makes sense that we look at it as a whole for the areas we listed, but also separate out the South Peninsula, which is part of District 11 in Baltimore. All of the areas are part of District 46 for the state of Maryland.  In the look at the South Peninsula, which many have always considered “South Baltimore,” we’ll be removing Precinct 21 and the neighborhoods of Pigtown, Barre Circle and Ridgley’s Delight.

President, Obama vs. Romney 

President Obama won the overall popular vote vs. Mitt Romney by receiving 50.7% of the vote while Romney gathered 47.6%.  In the State of Maryland, Obama won 62.0% to 35.9% and won the city of Baltimore 87.6% to 10.7%.

Now, let’s take a look at the race in South Baltimore. We’ll start with for Obama followed by for Romney (ex. #(Obama)-#(Romney)):

Here is the breakdown for the study area as a whole:

21-001: 299-69/21-002: 582-66/ 21-003: 700-108/ 21-004: 200-32/ 22-001: 322-144/ 22-002: 490-260/ 23-001: 420-241/ 23-002: 403-107/ 23-003: 534-311/ 24-001: 239-126/ 24-002: 242-168/ 24-003 507-367/ 24-004: 739-522/ 24-005: 865-685

With 9,748 votes cast, Obama took 6,542 (67.1%) votes and Romney took 3,206 (32.9%) votes.  So the area of study voted stronger for Obama in comparison to the national vote, slightly stronger for Obama than the State of Maryland as a whole, but much less than Baltimore City as a whole.

Now let’s take a look at just the South Peninsula, removing Precinct 21 for the areas of Pigtown, Barre Circle and Ridgely’s Delight where Obama won convincingly 1,781 (86.6%) to 275 (13.4%):

22-001: 322-144/ 22-002: 490-260/ 23-001: 420-241/ 23-002: 403-107/ 23-003: 534-311/ 24-001: 239-126/ 24-002: 242-168/ 24-003 507-367/ 24-004: 739-522/ 24-005: 865-685

With a total of 7,692 votes Obama took the South Peninsula 4,761 (61.9%) to 2931 (38.1%).  So, the South Peninsula voted stronger for Obama than the nation, voted almost exactly the same percent for Obama as the State of Maryland but slightly higher for Mitt Romney, and much lower for Obama and higher for Romney than the City of Baltimore as a whole.

Mitt Romney won in only three precincts which were each in the Cheswolde neighborhood of Northwest Baltimore, but South Baltimore, along with many areas in Southeast Baltimore, had some of the closest precincts.  Locust Point (24-005 ) cast the lowest percentage of votes for Barack Obama with 55.8% , followed by Riverside/Haborview (24-003) at 58%, and then Riverside (24-004) at 58.6%.  President Obama had the highest margin in Sharp-Leadenhall at 79%.

U.S. Senator, Ben Cardin (D) vs. Dan Bongino (R) vs. Rob Sobhani (I)

This was a much more interesting study because of the presence of a strong independent candidate. It really showed a divided area. In the State of Maryland Cardin took 55.2% of the vote, Bongino 26.6% and Sobhani 16.9% and in Baltimore City Cardin got 77.2%, Bongino 6.7% and Sobhani 14.8%. Let’s take a look, we’ll start with for Cardin followed by for Bongino followed by for Sobhani (ex. #(Cardin-#(Bongino)-#(Sobhani)):

21-001: 267-52-54/21-002: 474-39-122/ 21-003: 557-59-135/ 21-004: 154-21-48/ 22-001: 287-88-81/ 22-002: 462-147-142/ 23-001: 345-157-136/ 23-002: 347-72-77/ 23-003: 429-190-213/ 24-001: 210-83-67/ 24-002: 208-106-95/ 24-003 451-215-202/ 24-004: 623-273-340/ 24-005: 727-399-401

So with a total of 9,555 votes cast for these three candidates, Ben Cardin received 5,541 (57.9%) votes, Dan Bongino received 1,901 (19.9%) votes and Rob Sobhani received 2,113 (22.1%) votes.  In our area of study, Cardin received slightly more support than the state as whole, Bongino received less than the state of Maryland and Sobhani received more support.  In comparison to Baltimore City, this area had significantly less support for Cardin, significantly more support for Bongino and more support for Sobhani.

Now the South Peninsula (removing Precinct 21 for the areas of Pigtown, Barre Circle and Ridgely’s Delight where Cardin took 73.3%, Bongino 8.6% and Sobhani 18.1%):

22-001: 287-88-81/ 22-002: 462-147-142/ 23-001: 345-157-136/ 23-002: 347-72-77/ 23-003: 429-190-213/ 24-001: 210-83-67/ 24-002: 208-106-95/ 24-003 451-215-202/ 24-004: 623-273-340/ 24-005: 727-399-401

With a total of 7,473 cast for these three candidates, Cardin took 4,089 votes (54%), Bongino 1,730 (22.8%) votes and Sobhani 1,754 (23.2%) votes.  So, the South Peninsula showed about the same amount of support for Cardin as Maryland, but much less than the city as a whole. It showed slightly less support for Bongino than the state as a whole and more than the city. It also showed more support for Sobhani than the state and city as a whole.

Once again we are seeing the same neighborhoods with a lower support for democrats, but in this case a higher support for independents.  Locust Point voted 47.6% for Cardin, 26.1% for Bongini and 26.2 for Sobhani. Riverside voted 50.4% support for Cardin, 22.1% for Bongino and 27.5% for Sobhani.

Total Break Down 

19,303 votes were cast for these five candidates between these two races.  Adding them up, the area voted for democrat candidates with 12,083 (62.5%) votes, republican with 5,107 (26.5%) votes and independent with 2113 (10.9%) votes.

With 15,165 votes cast on the South Peninsula, democrats received 8,850 (58.4%) votes, republicans 4,661 (30.7%) votes and independents with 1,754 (11.6%) votes.


In summary, it shows that the South Peninsula is pretty divided politically with much less democrat support than the city as a whole and pretty similar as the state as whole. However, the neighborhoods of Ridgely’s Delight, Pigtown and Barre Circle show a similar support for democratic candidates as the city as a whole.  With a good showing for Rob Sobhani in the area, I think it shows the need to put independent candidates back on the ballot for City Council seats.  Clearly there are voters in this area who show an interest in voting for independents and candidates should receive a fair shot by being placed on the ballot, rather than the unlikely write-in scenario.

The key races that this area could influence are State District 46, which covers the whole area as well as Southwest and Southeast Baltimore, as well as District 11 for the City Council which includes the South Peninsula, Downtown, Mt. Vernon and several other neighborhoods.  The voting results in Southeast Baltimore are very similar to those on the South Peninsula, so I do think a well-run republican or independent campaign for District 46 senator or one of the three District 46 delegates would have a shot at winning.  With the South Peninsula grouped in with Mt. Vernon, Downtown and Upton, which all voted heavily democratic, it does seem less likely that a City Council seat could be won by a republican or independent at this point.

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About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.