Maryland 2nd District
The spokes of Baltimore’s avenues spread out in all directions from the downtown district on the Inner Harbor, connecting the central city with the suburbs, where most residents of metropolitan Baltimore now live. The streets reach east to Dundalk and Essex, industrial suburbs where the tone of life was set for years by the giant Sparrows Point steel mill, long the biggest in the country. Northeastward, they extend to Havre de Grace and the oldest lighthouse in continuous use on the East Coast, as well as modest working-class suburbs in Harford County. The Aberdeen Proving Ground has generated both military and civilian job growth, but the locale is now better known for its Ripken Stadium, home of the Aberdeen Iron Birds, a Class A baseball team owned by hometown hero Cal Ripken, the Iron Man who set a baseball record by playing in 2,632 consecutive games for the Baltimore Orioles. In an arc north of downtown are middle-income towns from Randallstown to White Marsh. A couple of miles northwest of the county seat of Towson is Timonium, the site of the annual Maryland State Fair.
2008 Presidential Vote
|Cook Partisan Voting Index|
The 2nd Congressional District of Maryland is an irregularly shaped hodgepodge that includes much of this territory. Most of the district is not far from the Chesapeake Bay, running south from Havre de Grace past the Aberdeen Proving Ground and the bustling Port of Baltimore, with its container facilities and large warehouses plus space for the more than 500,000 new cars and trucks that annually move through the port. To the south is the busy Baltimore/Washington International Airport, a major hub for low-cost airlines. Close by is Fort Meade, the large Army post that houses the National Security Agency and stands to gain more than 20,000 jobs from the realignment of military bases in recent years. (The post was a transit point for nearly 4 million soldiers in World War II.) The district angles inland to include some Baltimore County suburbs, residential neighborhoods in northeast Baltimore, and an industrial pocket in far southeast Baltimore. At that point, the district crosses the Harbor Tunnel to capture the row houses of Brooklyn and Curtis Bay, whose residents are mainly descendants of German and East European immigrants who moved there to work on the docks and in the factories along the Patapsco River and the harbor. The Democrats who drew the district lines connected Democratic suburban and city neighborhoods while including as little Republican territory as possible. About 60% of the district’s population is in Baltimore County, with the remainder divided roughly equally among Anne Arundel and Harford counties and Baltimore city. The inclusion of Baltimore neighborhoods helped raise the percentage of African Americans in the district from 8% to 27%--which had grown to 31% by 2007.