Larry Hogan’s GOP Senate Bid Threatened by Intraparty Disagreements


A Republican has not been elected to represent Maryland in the Senate since 1980. However, former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is giving the GOP a real shot to win a seat, but pointless intraparty bickering is threatening his campaign’s viability.

Maryland is a solid-blue state, so most normal Republicans would have no chance of winning a statewide race. But Hogan is not a normal Republican. Hogan’s record as governor was radically centrist, and if he wins in November, he will probably be the least conservative Republican senator. However, he will at least be a Republican senator. Hogan may only vote with Republicans half the time, but that is much better than having someone who votes with Democrats 100% of the time.

National Republican leaders need to understand this. Before former President Donald Trump’s conviction, Hogan said people should “respect the verdict and the legal process” no matter the outcome. This drew the ire of Republican National Committee Co-Chairwoman Lara Trump, who remarked that Hogan “doesn’t deserve the respect of anyone in the Republican Party at this point, and quite frankly, anybody in America.” She further suggested that RNC resources may not be used to help Hogan win his race.

This is a ridiculous statement to make, especially as Hogan is already the GOP nominee, and polls suggest he has a real chance of winning. When compared with other target races for the GOP, such as Arizona or Ohio, Hogan’s numbers look like one of the more promising possible pickups for the party. The RNC should not squander this chance simply because Hogan failed a Trump loyalty test.

Republican senators have come to Hogan’s defense, with National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Steve Daines (R-MT) saying, “Larry Hogan is running for the U.S. Senate in Maryland, not Mississippi.” Even Trump loyalist Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) commented, “I still hope he wins.”

While Lara Trump’s attacks on Hogan are misguided, his platform does deserve legitimate criticism for his stance on abortion. While GOP Senate candidates in swing states have either cautiously avoided the topic or argued the decision should be left to the states, Hogan openly identifies as pro-choice and said he supports “restoring Roe v. Wade as the law of the land.” Hogan even used the line, “No one should come between a woman and her doctor.”

Protecting the life of the unborn is a core conservative principle that should not be abandoned by the GOP. Promising to support codifying Roe is an unnecessary step too far, even in this tight race. There is a real concern that if Hogan is elected, Republicans in other competitive races will follow his example and reject the pro-life cause as well.

Nevertheless, while Hogan cannot be counted on to support many conservative issues, his Democratic opponent can be counted on to support none. Ideological purity tests are harmful for the GOP, and loyalty tests are even more ridiculous. The late Bob Dole summed it up best when he said, “I just don’t believe we can take a litmus test in our party. I don’t think we can have an entrance examination. We can’t afford that luxury.”

Ben Rothove
Ben Rothove
Contributor. Benjamin Rothove is a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has 50,000 subscribers on YouTube, serves as the Chairman of UW-Madison Students for DeSantis, and is the National Vice-Chair of Young Leaders for Keep Nine.

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