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Poll: For next governor, Marylanders want a Republican 'like Larry Hogan'

Gov. Larry Hogan speaks at a press conference on Oct. 25, 2021.
Brian Witte/AP
Gov. Larry Hogan speaks at a press conference on Monday. The term-limited Republican remains very popular in Maryland, despite Democrats' voter registration advantage. Credit: Brian Witte/AP

More Marylanders say that when they pick their next governor in November 2022, they would prefer a Republican similar to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan rather than a Democrat, according to the latest Goucher Poll data, released Thursday.

The poll presented four potential match-ups: A “Republican like Larry Hogan” or a “Republican like Donald Trump” against either a progressive Democrat or a moderate Democrat.

A large majority chose the Democrat against a Republican like Trump — 62% picked a progressive Democrat over a Trump-like Republican, and 69% picked a moderate Democrat over a Trump-like Republican.

On the other hand, 55% said they would prefer a Republican like Hogan over a progressive Democrat.

The tightest race is between a moderate Democrat and a Hogan-esque Republican. In that circumstance, 49% pick the Republican and 44% pick the Democrat. That’s a difference just slightly above the poll’s margin of error.

“It's pretty clear that there is a path to victory for Republicans in Maryland, and that path is not Trumpism,” said Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Center for Politics at Goucher College, who runs the Goucher Poll. “That path is rebuilding the Hogan coalition.”

Although registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans roughly two to one in Maryland, Hogan, who is term-limited, has maintained high approval ratings throughout his time in office. Data released by the Goucher Poll earlier this week showed he has a 68% approval rating.

But Kromer said the outlook could change once the candidates’ identities are part of the equation.

“The big question becomes, once you start to actually put people to these broad categories, does this hold?” she said. “Does the person that Hogan eventually endorses — are they able to capture — message themselves and build a brand like Hogan's?”

Rachel Baye is a senior reporter and editor in WYPR's newsroom.
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