Hogan, Alsobrooks Maryland Senate Matchup Poised to Hurt Vulnerable Dems Elsewhere

Maryland Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate and Prince George's County Executive An
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Angela Alsobrooks’s win over Rep. David Trone (D-MD) in Maryland’s Democrat U.S. Senate primary marks the start of a high-stakes general election race in the deep blue state that will have far-reaching consequences on the broader national Senate map.

Alsobrooks, the county executive for Prince George’s County, bested Trone, a wealthy three-term representative and founder of Total Wines & More, on Tuesday. Trone led in the polls for months before Alsobrooks took leads in the final month down the stretch, FiveThirtyEight showed.

The county-level official is now squaring off with former Gov. Larry Hogan (R-MD), who is well-liked by Marylanders, in the general election. Hogan’s late entry into the race in February threw a major wrench not only to Democrats in Maryland but nationally.

Democrats already faced an unfavorable national map before Hogan tossed his hat in the ring, having nine seats that Republicans could realistically win. Conversely, Democrats’ best pickup opportunities, which are long shots, are in red Florida and Texas against strong incumbents in Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rick Scott (R-FL).

Hogan, who is a staunch Trump critic and a moderate, forces Democrats to play defense in a state where Republicans have won every election since 1986. In other words, the party will have to burn resources in Maryland it could otherwise use protecting vulnerable Democrats elsewhere, in a plus for Republican Senate nominees across the chessboard.

Hogan led Alsobrooks and Trone from February through April in general election polling matchups, but Alsobrooks led Hogan in two May polls, FiveThirtyEight’s aggregation shows.

One of those surveys, from the Public Policy Polling and sponsored by a Democrat super PAC, Emily’s List, had Alsobrooks at 46 percent and Hogan at 37 percent. The poll was taken May 6-7 among 719 likely voters. The other was an Emerson College poll sponsored by the Hill, Nexstar, and WDVM, which had Alsobrooks at 48 percent and Hogan at 38 percent.

However, the Emerson poll, conducted between May 6 and 8 among 1,115 registered voters, showed that Hogan had the edge over Alsobrooks in favorability and name identity. Hogan’s favorability rating was 63 percent, while just 34 percent found him unfavorable. A mere three percent had never heard of him.

Alsobrooks had a positive rating as well, at 55 percent, compared to 24 percent who found her unfavorable. More than one in five voters had not heard of her, giving Hogan and Republicans an opportunity to define Alsobrooks for voters with the election six months out. Conversely, Democrats have little chance to frame Hogan for voters as nearly all respondents had perceptions of him.

Hogan is leaning toward his moderate appeal, which is precisely what makes the blue state a pickup opportunity for Republicans.

“Our campaign for Maryland and America’s future begins now. The Washington politicians win by perpetuating polarization, but Maryland is known as the state of middle temperament. We believe in common decency and common sense,” Hogan wrote in a post on X after his victory.

“I come from the get-to-work and get things done school, and I’ll work with anyone who wants to do the people’s business. That’s what I did for eight years as your governor, and it’s exactly what I’ll do in the United States Senate,” he added.

He wasted no time in working to broaden his appeal to Democrats. On Wednesday morning, he announced on X the launch of “Democrats for Hogan,” featuring a video from one of the organization’s co-chairs, former State Sen. Bobby Zirkin (D-MD).

“I’ve been a lifelong Democrat, and as a Democrat, I am excited to vote and support and work for Larry Hogan for the United States Senate. He is exactly the leader we need,” Zirkin said.

In his post on X, Hogan worked to appeal to both Democrats and independents.

“To my Democratic and Independent friends, you know me and you know my proven track record of reaching across the aisle to find common ground for the common good. You know that I have the courage to put people over politics and to put country over party,” he wrote.

Hogan’s candidacy, which will suck essential Democrat resources, especially as the wealthy Trone is not the nominee, will have benefits for Republicans across the nation. More money spent in Maryland means fewer resources Democrats can allocate to Senate races in West Virginia, Montana, Ohio, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada, Virginia, and Wisconsin, where Republicans have prime opportunities to flip seats.

Democrats and the independents who caucus with them currently hold a one-seat majority in the Senate at 51-49. Republicans need to win a net gain of at least two seats for a simple majority and have a prime opportunity to score an even more substantial multi-seat majority.


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