|Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan speaks at a news conference
in Annapolis, MD, July 15, 2020 | Brian Witte/AP
Local observers believe the term-limited governor is positioning early for a national race focused on appealing to the Republican base. Hogan, basically a pragmatist, built a strong reputation as a moderate on racial issues and addressed the pandemic early with closing schools and businesses. He also criticized Trump at various points, including considering running in a primary against him in 2020.
I offered that although he is not known in Colorado and the western states, if Trump loses, the Republican Party will be immediately looking for new direction and leadership. A host of exploratory committees are going to be started by aspiring candidates. The challenge for Hogan-type candidates is to hold some elements of the base, while reinvigorating the more pragmatic wing of the party.
My quote was:
“He is not well-known. He is not known,” said Floyd Ciruli, a Colorado-based independent pollster.
But Ciruli said there could be an opening for a new generation of Republican contenders after this November’s election.
“The minute this is over with, pretty much everybody will start an exploratory committee,” Ciruli said. “There will be a lot of centrists and moderates who are appreciative of some of the [Trump] policies but recognize he is a very flawed personality.”