As the results of the midterm election were called earlier this week, many Marylanders were shocked to find their deep blue state had shifted towards the red end of the spectrum. Governor Elect Larry Hogan is not the man they had expected, or indeed been told, would get the job. With poll after poll reporting Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown in the lead, Hogan’s upset victory spoke to his campaign’s skill at finding the right message for Maryland voters. Read on to find out how Hogan’s team managed to turn the tides of expectation and what election results statewide will mean for Maryland in the coming years.
Up until late in the game, no one credible predicted Larry Hogan’s gubernatorial win. The Cook Political Report only categorized Maryland as a toss-up state in recent days, and the highly-regarded former New York Times statistician Nate Silver gave the win to Brown with 93 percent certainty. It is understandable why so many believed in Brown’s eventual victory; Maryland’s voter registration leans significantly to the left, and if that was not enough, the Hogan campaign was greatly outfunded. A dramatic twist of this magnitude simply did not look to be in the cards for our largely Democratic state. But looking at the message Hogan’s campaign seemed to focus on, the results, in retrospect, begin to make sense.
Larry Hogan ran on a campaign that touched directly on what so many Maryland voters across the spectrum clearly prioritize at the moment: tax relief, job creation, and a more favorable regulatory environment. The O’Malley/Brown administration has made many progressive social achievements for our state, which in some senses allowed Marylanders to switch their focus to these economic issues and decide they desired a change.
Maryland’s Future with Hogan as Governor
But how much change will Hogan bring about when he takes his place in the Governor’s Mansion? As appointments secretary to former Governor Ehrlich, Governor Elect Hogan has experience in using his executive powers to make key appointments in state agencies, which will in all likelihood lean Republican and pro-business. However, cooperation with top Democratic figures in the state is key to the success of his administration; Hogan has shown he understands this and already begun reaching out to those on the left, some of whom will probably make the list of his appointments. In order to follow through with campaign promises and address the needs of Marylanders statewide, the Governor Elect will need support from both his own party and the Democratic leadership, a reality he seems to recognize based on his public comments.
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