Popular ex-GOP governor trounces two Dem rivals in blue state Senate showdown: poll

Could a longtime deep blue state provide Republicans a path to winning back the Senate majority in November’s elections?

A new poll suggests the answer may be yes.

Former Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland holds double-digit leads over both of his potential Democratic rivals in his home state’s Senate race, a Washington Post/University of Maryland poll released on Wednesday indicates.

Hogan, whose surprise announcement last month that he would launch a Senate campaign rocked the campaign world, tops Democratic Rep. David Trone 49%-37% if the general election were held today, according to the survey.


Then-Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, speaks with Fox News Digital  in Manchester, New Hampshire, on July 11, 2022. (Paul Steinhauser/Fox News)

And the poll indicates that Hogan leads the other major Democrat running for their party’s Senate nomination — Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks— by a 50%-36% margin.


But the survey, which was conducted March 5-12, also indicates that by a 20-point margin, Maryland voters say they’d prefer if the Democrats retained control of the Senate.

Rep. David J. Trone, D-Md., delivers remarks at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, D.C., on April 24, 2023. (Brian Stukes/Getty Images)

In the race to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin, the poll indicates Trone leads Alsobrooks 34%-27% in their party’s primary on May 14, with nearly 4 in 10 Democratic voters undecided.


Trone, the co-founder and co-owner, along with his brother, of the successful alcohol retailer Total Wine & More, has vastly outspent Alsobrooks to date in the Democratic Senate primary.

Prince Georges County Executive Angela Alsobrooks delivers the State of the County Budget Address and officially unveils the fiscal year 2024 proposed budget at the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center in College Park, Maryland, on March 15, 2023. (Marvin Joseph/Washington Post via Getty Images)

Hogan, a vocal GOP critic of former President Donald Trump, won election and re-election in 2014 and 2018 as governor in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by a roughly 2-to-1 margin.

Hogan, a successful business leader before entering politics, seriously mulled a run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination and made numerous trips in 2022 to New Hampshire, the state that holds the first primary in the GOP nominating calendar.

But in March of last year, Hogan announced he wouldn’t seek his party’s presidential nomination.

During his last year as governor, Republican leaders in the nation’s capital and in Maryland heavily courted Hogan to run for the Senate in the 2022 midterm elections against Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen.

But Hogan declined, saying in a news conference in February of that year that “as I have repeatedly said, I don’t aspire to be a United States senator.”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan practices his farewell address at the Maryland State House in Annapolis on Jan. 10, 2023.  (Michael Robinson Chávez/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

But fast-forward two years, and Hogan is now running for the open seat in a state where it’s been nearly four decades since a Republican served in the Senate.

Hogan, who steered Maryland in a bipartisan way, left office with high approval and favorable ratings. And the new poll indicates he remains popular, with a 64%-23% favorable/unfavorable rating.

The survey also indicates that Trone and Alsobrooks are not well known among many Maryland voters.

Democrats currently control the U.S. Senate with a 51-49 majority, but Republicans are looking at a favorable Senate map this year, with Democrats defending 23 of the 34 seats up for grabs.

Three of those seats are in red states that Trump carried in 2020 — Ohio, Montana and West Virginia, where Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin is not running for re-election.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

Paul Steinhauser is a politics reporter based in New Hampshire. 

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