COLLEGE PARK – Throughout the 2016 primaries, national figures like presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders enthralled primary voters with hardline ideological positions.
But Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan took another approach — a form of moderate populism with bipartisan appeal.
In order to gain support in a strongly blue state — the second-most Democratic state in the nation, according to a 2015 Gallup poll — Republican Hogan has centered his efforts on fiscal policies while staying away from social issues.
With Trump poised to accept the Republican Party’s nomination for president this week, he could take a page from Hogan’s play book if he wants to gain some cross-party appeal in the general election race. Or it could be a party lesson for 2020, should he lose to presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in November.
Todd Eberly, an associate professor of political science and public policy at St. Mary’s College, said Hogan is potentially providing a winning model for the GOP in the 2020 general election if Trump — who has a 60 percent unfavorable rating according to the Real Clear Politics aggregate of polls — loses.