Blame It on the Rain?

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Hogan beat 16-to-1 odds
Governor-elect Larry Hogan

Plenty of people still feel very “WTF?!” about Republican Larry Hogan’s improbable victory over Democrat Anthony Brown in the Maryland gubernatorial race, making him only the second Republican to govern Maryland in the past 50 years.

Some people are blaming President Obama for Hogan’s victory; others think it has more to do with Brown’s crappy campaigning. But Brentin Mock at Grist thinks there are two major reasons that Brown lost: First, that whole rain tax thing. Second, he didn’t make an issue of his own race–which, paradoxically, may have alienated him from voters both black and white.

The first point seems solid. Environmentalists supported the so-called rain tax because it would help clean up the Chesapeake Bay, but felt kind of “meh” about Brown, who was not particularly strong on other green issues. That lack of excitement plus Brown’s apparent tendency to think of himself as a sure-bet led to a lackadaisical campaign. Mock’s  reasoning for that second point is a little trickier to follow, but it’s still worth thinking through. (Read the whole thing here — it’s too complicated to summarize.)

Readers, your thoughts?



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