Sobhani Scores 17% in US Senate Race in Maryland

Rob Sobhani spent more than $5 million of his own money in order to run for the US Senate in Maryland as an Independent. Sobhani faced three other candidates, the Democratic incumbent, Republican challenger, and Libertarian Party candidate Dean Ahmad.

With 99.8% of precincts reported, Sobhani has captured 17% of the vote, placing third. He beat the Republican candidate in one of Maryland’s counties and in several counties he scored over 20%.

14 thoughts on “Sobhani Scores 17% in US Senate Race in Maryland

  1. Richie

    This man was, by no means, a worthy candidate to vote for. During the (only) radio debate, there were issues he flat out refused to state his position on. I voted for the Libertarian – who broke 1%.

  2. Doug D.

    I think what Richie was referring to was the ballot questions, but it’s not that he refused to answer them it’s that he spent so much time on Question 7 that he ran out of time for the others and the moderator moved on… So much focus was on the ballot questions rather than national congressional issues in this senate race it’s too bad. He was a worthy candidate and I proudly voted for him, and will vote for him again.

  3. Richie

    Doug, I was actually referring to the 20 minute dodge-fest on the war on drugs. The host repeatedly asked for a yes or no answer, and he just went on and on about his “stimulus plan” for certain Baltimore neighborhoods. Also, if I’m remembering correctly, he did the same thing with gay marriage. The impression I got was that there was a certain image he wanted to portray, and a certain script he wanted to stick to. He was going to stick to both of those things at all costs.

  4. wolfefan

    I had the impression that Sobhani was pretty light on everything except money. I live in NOVA so didn’t follow MD as carefully as others, but he struck me as a guy who would have an idea – maybe a good one even – but then not really think about how or if it could be applied and what the real-life implications of the idea were.

  5. JT

    Trent: “Rob Sobhani spent more than $5 million of his own money in order to run for the US Senate in Maryland as an Independent.”

    Shows what a huge amount of $ (for a statewide race) and professional candidate can do, albeit one with no obvious principles. It’s sad that Libertarians can’t poll this well.

    Of course, Maryland isn’t a very competitive state, so no wasted-vote syndrome concern there either.

  6. Richie

    JT, let me tell you – people are dumb here. The wasted-vote syndrome is alive and well, even though this isn’t a competitive state at all.

  7. Trent Hill Post author

    Johnson really ought to run for Congress in 2014. Pick a district in NM and just pour money into it, campaign full time, really make a go of it.

  8. Oliver Steinberg

    Spent $5 million dollars to get 17% of the vote? Hey, Grassroots candidate Tim Davis spent about $500 and got 1% of the vote in Minnesota, so if he’d had Sobhani’s bankroll, he might have won 17,000% of the votes. Now, you say that Sobhani dodged answering questions about the drug war or same-sex marriage (live issue in Maryland.) What he didn’t understand was that if he had actually taken the popular positions–for legal cannabis, for marriage equality–he’d have gotten MORE votes than his 17%. Hell, with $5 million, ANY minor party that actually stood for something other than an ego-trip could accomplish prodigies of political insurgency. Just sayin.

  9. Jonny

    First, no one should ever criticize a self-funded candidate. It takes a huge amount of cash to run a competitive statewide campaign, and certainly to win one. If a candidate cannot raise adequate dollars, for whatever reason, and the candidate is willing to spend their own money, then we all should be thankful. I never found that the argument of “someone is trying to buy an election, buy a seat” to be a valid argument. Criticize your opponent for their record (if they have one) or for what they stand for (or don’t) but NEVER for their money. Second, Bongino’s message just didn’t catch fire either because he didn’t have enough cash to get his message out, spent money in the wrong places doing the wrong things, message didn’t resonate enough with indies and dems to get their votes, there is a genuine problem with the republican brand in maryland, or a combination of any or all of these. In the final analysis, both Sobhani and Bongino lost because their messages did not garner enough votes and even if one of them had not been in the race, it is very clear that neither would have beat Cardin in this cycle.

  10. John C Jackson

    I don’t know. Personally I think spending $5 million on a vanity campaign, one that does not build up some broader movement or party ( I have yet to read anything that tells me the point of his candidacy), is probably a huge waste of money.

    Also, as far as Trent Hill’s call for Johnson to run for the House, I have the same reaction as I did to all the Ron Paul folks calling for Gary to drop out this year and run for the Senate. I don’t really see why a Governor would want to run for Congress. He’s already performed well as an executive running a state. I don’t see the point and I doubt he would be interested. Heck, maybe Ron Paul should have proved he could win a Senate or Gubernatorial race before he ran for POTUS. I guess I understand the point of trying to get an LP elected to some office of significance, though comprising 0.2% of the Congressional Body is not that significant, IMHO. Because of our entrenched 2-Party system, being one Libertarian in Congress isn’t like to do much other than bragging rights. Don’t get me wrong, most of these guys who try to run for POTUS should be starting way lower. Someone with Johnson’s resume should be around the minimum for Prez consideration.

  11. paulie

    A Libertarian in Congress would be huge for the party, actually, even if it won’t make that much of a difference in Congress itself. Also, being currently elected to something fairly significant would be an improvement over, by 2016, having been out of office for 13 years. On the other hand, losing for Congress – which, let’s face it, would be likely – might be an embarrassment for a former two term Governor.

    Someone with Johnson’s resume should be around the minimum for Prez consideration.

    Resume is a factor, but it’s only one of several. I’m not aware of too many ex-Governors who should ideologically qualify for the LP nomination. Jesse Ventura *may*, but he will almost certainly hem and haw and end up not running again….just like every other time for president.

  12. Oliver Steinberg

    Comment #10 followed mine so it may have referred to my post. Read more carefully. Did I criticize this candidate for spending his money? No, I criticized him for not campaigning in clear-cut popular issues that most of the professional politicians either dodge or stand in opposition to. Did he campaign against the “war on drugs”? If so, I retract my criticism. And I said that if my party had that kind of money we would have done better with it. I suppose we could have spent more money but we deliberately kept costs below the minimum amount required to trigger FEC red tape. If you’re creative you can run a shoestring campaign and get a message out. I think though that anyone who accepts the corrupt status quo on unrestricted, unaccountable campaign expenditures is overlooking the obvious. Money is NOT speech and corporations are NOT people; in our system as in most economies, though, money IS power or at least the means to power. That’s not healthy for a democratic republic.

  13. Ron Williams

    I saw his ads all the time, but I still had no idea what he stood for. Had no idea if he was liberal, centrist, or conservative. All he did was point out obvious failings and that the economy was not doing well. What a waste of $5 million.

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