Last week, we asked Baltimore Fishbowl members whether they think Governor Larry Hogan should run for president in an online poll. Pundits, pollsters and newspapers editorial boards have recently mentioned the two-term moderate Republican as a possible challenger to President Donald Trump in the Republican primary.
With 53 members responding out of a total of 154, 46 percent want the governor to run, and 54 percent do not.
We asked our members the reasons for their answers, and we received an array of explanations. For those who answered “no,” unfinished business in Maryland was the most frequent rationale.
“If he’s focused on the White House, he won’t be able to focus on the state house. [He should] finish what he started, then go to D.C. with our blessing,” wrote one member.
“I say no because he needs to be here in Maryland being our governor for four more years,” offered another member. “I don’t know if he has higher political ambitions or not, but I believe he wants to be our governor first.”
“He should focus on Maryland and keep making a difference here instead of getting too caught up with the morally-challenged, clueless egomaniacs at the national level,” stated one member.
“He needs to spend all his time working on the issues in Baltimore and the state. Also, I don’t think he has a chance of winning, and he has done little for his largest city, Baltimore,” proclaimed another.
Others felt the governor is not qualified for the office.
“Great governor – perfect for this state – but he lacks the international knowledge. The governor has done a great job for this state – running it more like a business – but the president has much more to consider and needs more ‘world experience.’ If he does run, I will vote for him,” one member explained.
“Although I love Hogan, I do not think he has the scope to make him an effective president,” cited another.
“I think Larry is terrific. But foreign policy is not his thing, and it is crucial these days. Look, if you told me he could beat Trump, I’d be all for it. But I don’t think that’s the way it’ll go with the Republican Party. Even if Trump were to be removed, Pence would be the darling of the right,” stated another.
Some respondents expressed concern for the popular governor’s well-being.
“He should stay in Maryland, as a Democrat will probably win,” added one member. “Why waste his time? Also, campaign stress is not good given his bout with cancer.”
“I’m afraid his cancer will return…. he’s too sweet and kind to go through all that,” another member shared.
Those members who would like to see the governor enter the race almost always cited the governor’s moderate views and his ability to work across the aisle as the reasons for their support.
“As a Republican, [Hogan] has been able to work with the Democrats in Maryland. He’s done a good job in Maryland, despite his lack of focus and empathy for Baltimore. I’ve interviewed him a few times and have always found him to be straight forward. The people he surrounds himself aren’t always the brightest, but against Trump, they look like geniuses,” explained one member who voted in favor of a run.
“He seems to have the ability to attract support from both sides of the divide, which is a rarity in these hyper-partisan times,” expressed another.
“Because he is a moderate and we sure could use that mentally,” one member asserted.
“He is someone who would appeal to moderate and sane Republicans. However, he is at a real disadvantage being from Maryland,” declared another.
Others support his candidacy because of his leadership style and ability to govern.
“He has shown the kind of leadership that others in the Republican party have failed to demonstrate,” reported one member.
Another simply asserted, “Moderate Republican, understands governing.”
One member suggested a less immediate bid for the presidency.
“He should run, but in 2024. He keeps social issues out of the political spectrum and tries to work across parties. He is a true moderate.”
While the governor has not announced his candidacy, rumors have swirled that he has plans to meet with Republican operatives to consider a run. He will travel next month to Iowa, the location of the nation’s first presidential contest, in his role as vice-chairman of the National Governors Association.
Participation in our monthly opinion polls is one of the perks of Baltimore Fishbowl membership. To add your voice, please join our membership program.