For months the National Conservative Political Action Committee has run television ads telling Marylanders that Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes is ''too liberal for Maryland.''
But Democrats in the state appeared unmoved as they overwhelmingly renominated the first-term senator over eight rivals.
Senator Sarbanes will face former US Rep. Lawrence J. Hogan, who won the GOP primary. The race, certain to be hotly contested, will be a battle for the Republican in a state that is 3-to-1 Democrat. The Sarbanes-Hogan campaign will test the influence ''negative'' ads by an outside conservative group can have in a state election.
Democrats have also given a resounding victory to incumbent Gov. Harry R. Hughes. He is a heavy favorite to defeat GOP nominee Robert A. Pascal.
Incumbents fared equally well in the Maryland races for US representative. Clarence D. Long, Barbara A. Mikulski, Steny H. Hoyer, Beverly B. Byron, and Parren J. Mitchell, all Democrats, won renomination.
In Washington, D.C., voters gave a comfortable victory to incumbent Mayor Marion Barry.