Hogan’s Anti-Heroes

larry hogan
Hogan’s much-celebrated recruitment, and his crossover appeal, has forced Democrats to worry about shifting money from other races to secure what should have been an easy win. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
Abby Livingston
June 3, 2024

So far, at least, the number one casualty in the Trump conviction aftermath isn’t the former president—now a certified felon—but rather the popular former governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan, who is also currently the Republican candidate for Senate in the state, having won his primary just three weeks ago. Hogan, of course, responded to the guilty verdict on Twitter by urging Americans “to respect the verdict and the legal process”—a seemingly innocuous comment that set off the dogs in Mar-a-Lago. “You just ended your campaign,” Trump senior advisor Chris LaCivita immediately responded. Lara Trump, the newish Republican National Committee co-chair, told CNN’s Kasie Hunt over the weekend that Hogan “doesn’t deserve the respect of anyone in the Republican Party at this point, and, quite frankly, anybody in America.”

Not since Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments amid his disastrous 2012 Missouri campaign have I seen party leaders so willingly throw away a U.S. Senate seat, which can cost nine figures to flip. Hogan, who currently leads by a wide margin in the otherwise deep blue state, alone won’t determine control of the Senate. Races in Nevada, Ohio, Arizona, and Michigan, among others, are highly competitive. But LaCavita, Lara Trump, and their ilk are being short-sighted if they believe they don’t actually need to win Maryland. The G.O.P. aim should be to bank as many seats as possible to build a majority that can withstand difficult cycles two or four years down the road. This, after all, is the best map that the Republicans will have for several years.