If that's true, however, they are not being particularly vocal about it.
Speaking at a recent political event in Baltimore, Rep. Elijah Cummings of the 7th District fired up a crowd of Democratic volunteers by urging voters to support his fellow Democratic members of Congress at the polls. He didn't mention Question 5 — and, when asked if he talks about it on the campaign trail, he said: "Not very much."
"The legislature has spoken," Cummings said. "Now it is up to the voters. I think it is a good map."
Sarbanes said in a statement that a "key success" of the map is that two-thirds of Marylanders stay in their old districts. He declined to answer any questions about his level of support for the plan.
In a statement, Rep. Chris Van Hollen of the 8th District said simply: "I believe the voters should decide, and they will have the opportunity to do so on election day."
Ruppersberger declined to comment. Fourth District Rep. Donna Edwards, a vocal opponent of the map as it moved through the General Assembly, also did not comment.
The Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee — a group of volunteers who control local party activity — caused a stir in late August when a subcommittee voted 11-1 to recommend advising citizens to vote "No" on Question 5.
O'Malley and Hoyer urged them to reconsider. The governor wrote them, employing a partisan argument: "We have to beat back a last-ditch Republican effort to overturn our new, bipartisan congressional map."
The Montgomery central committee met in September and overruled the recommendation against the map. But it also didn't endorse the map, deciding to take no position.
"I was shocked by how many people stood up to talk against the map," said Valerie Ervin, another Democratic member of the Montgomery County Council who wants the map to be defeated. She said Democrats are grumbling about it at fundraisers and community events. "It is a word-of-mouth thing," she said. "It has been surprising me."
In Prince George's County, the Democratic Central Committee also has decided to stay mum. "There is too much controversy," said Norma Lindsay, the committee chair. "Everyone has a different opinion."
Some Democratic dissent stems from the contentious special session of the General Assembly last October, when some African-American members raised concerns that the plan divides black neighborhoods to bolster the chances of white, incumbent Democrats.
"I've been vocal. I've been on the record," said state Sen. C. Anthony Muse of Prince George's County, the only Democrat to vote against the map in the state's upper body. "The congressional seats were drawn to favor certain candidates rather than to represent neighborhoods in a way that is equal and fair," he said, adding that he has urged his constituents to vote against the map.
State Sen. James Brochin, a Baltimore County Democrat, is taking a slightly different approach. Brochin voted for the map in the legislature, but he wants to see it defeated in November. When constituents ask him his position, he lets them know: Vote no.
"I think the map could be drawn more fairly," Brochin said. "I thought there was a fairer way to do it."
Baltimore Sun reporters John Fritze and Michael Dresser contributed to this article.
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