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Analysis: Maryland To Make Final Vote On Repealing Death Penalty

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Maryland's General Assembly moves closer to banning the death penalty, the governor's race in Virginia narrows, and the District prepares for a special election for the D.C. Council. Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney talks about this week's developments.

On the latest in Maryland's House of Delegates expected vote on repealing the death penalty: "The latest is that it's universally expected to pass, which would make Maryland the sixth state in six years to abolish the death penalty... Gov. O'Malley is sure to sign it. He's been a long opponent to the death penalty. I believe O'Malley is pleasantly surprised to have won on this issue. He made a big effort to get rid of it two years ago. Another interesting development is that it might not go into referendum after all. Supporters of the death penalty say they might pass on the rather arduous task of getting enough signatures to put it on the ballot for the November 2014 mid-term elections."

On the latest in Virginia's governor's race: "I think most observers say, and I agree, that Republican Lieutenant Gov. Bill Bolling's decision not to run mainly helps Ken Cuccinelli, the conservative attorney general, and who is almost certain the only Republican candidate for governor. Bolling, of course, is a long time member of the GOP. He has a pretty conservative record, so if he had run, it would cut primarily into Cuccinelli's support among moderate Republicans, or independents who lean conservative. Cuccinelli wasted no time sending a signal that he wanted to pick up those voters in the center. It'll be interesting to see what roll Bolling now plays in the race. It's safe to see that he will likely not endorse Cuccinelli."

On where Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling's potential donors will likely to go: "I think some of them will go to Cuccinelli because they're Republicans, and they want to be supportive of who they think is going to win. But I think some of them will either sit it out go with Democrat Terry McAuliffe. I think some moderate business owners are very wary of Cuccinelli even if they've been supportive of Republicans in the past. And I think they could very well support McAuliffe."

On the latest in the special election for D.C. Council: "It's just a very open and fluid race for this at-large seat. There are seven candidates. There's no unmistakable front-runner. We're only six weeks away... it's likely to be a very low turnout election... easily decided by a small margin. So ground organization and money are likely to be important."

Listen to the full analyses here.

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