Audrey Scott, former chairwoman of the Maryland Republican Party, says influence derives from relationships. "It depends on your players," she said.
She speaks of Romney's appearance at the state party's annual Red, White and Blue dinner in 2010, which drew 850 people and raised $110,000.
"He knows us, he knows me, he knows the Maryland players, and I think that that goes a long way," Scott said. "We have a personal relationship with the nominee. ... I think that outweighs numbers."
Del. Michael D. Smigiel Sr. says Maryland Republicans, as a minority in the state, bring energy to the national party.
"You're hardened by the fire of being in an all-Democratic state," said Smigiel, whose district spans four counties on the Eastern Shore. "Nothing comes easy. You work twice as hard, and you've got to work twice as hard, be twice as effective to be able to accomplish the platform that you want."
Several convention delegates spoke of getting energized in Tampa for the November election in Maryland.
Ehrlich and Harris spoke of re-electing Bartlett while doing what they could for Romney.
Even if Obama does win the state, Harris said, Republicans still have an interest in turning out as many votes for Romney as possible.
While the Electoral College count puts a candidate in the White House, he said, it's the popular vote that gives the president the power to advance an agenda.
"What I don't want to have happen is a repeat of 2000," Harris said. That was the year George W. Bush won the Electoral College and the presidency without capturing the popular vote.
"We're going to need that mandate," Harris said. "Everyone is going to count everywhere in the United States. We saw in 2000 when [Bush] was really left without the mandate that I think Mr. Romney will need … we need to turn out every single vote for Mr. Romney."
As for Tropical Storm Isaac, it was forecast to strengthen to a hurricane on Monday, the day the convention opens.
"We hope that storm actually turns course and heads for Charlotte [N.C.] instead," Pope said.
That's where Democrats hold their convention next week.
Sun reporter John Fritze contributed to this article.
Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts