It Was Huge After All
If you listened to Conservative Refuge Radio this week, you heard me share a follow up to my story from August in which I noted how Maryland Democrats were keeping their money and volunteers in Maryland to build a base of support to defeat Governor Hogan in 2018 rather than help Hillary Clinton in neighboring swing states.
In a story that probably passed most by in the routine wrap up to the recent national conventions, the Capital Gazette disclosed the plan for Maryland Democrats this year:
The strategy is a departure from most presidential years, when Maryland’s plentiful and in many cases wealthy Democrats have sent resources to states with tougher, closer congressional and presidential contests. Volunteers would board buses, drive into the heavily Democratic suburbs of Northern Virginia and southeastern Pennsylvania, and knock on doors to help the party identify voters.
Bruce Poole, chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party, called this election cycle a “building phase.”
“We are not going to go to other states — at least not very much — this year,” he said. Poole described plans for “a fundamental retooling in how the Democratic Party does business” in Maryland, done with an eye toward taking on the broadly popular Hogan.
Rep. Steny H. Hoyer of Southern Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat in the House of Representatives, endorsed the plan to keep volunteers closer to home this election cycle.
“I don’t think we need to be an export state,” he said. “We need to make sure that we’re organized very well here in Maryland. 2016 is an opportunity for us to get our party really focused, assigned, operational for 2016 and then 2018.”
This is huge. In a state that has not been competitive in Presidential politics since 1988, Maryland Democrats are keeping their volunteer resources and money here. While the spin they give is that the national election isn’t close and they want a “landslide victory” for Hillary Clinton in Maryland, the truth laid pretty bare is that they are scared to death of the possibility of Governor Hogan’s reelection in 2018.
State Democrats … see Governor Hogan’s popularity and they are getting more desperate by the day. Now they are willing to put Hillary Clinton’s election at risk to build and focus toward what they see as a do or die election in 2018.
Well, we now know just how huge this was. Hillary Clinton lost the Presidential election, was beaten soundly in neighboring Ohio and lost by a razor thin margin in neighboring Pennsylvania. The loss in Pennsylvania was the coup de grace of Hillary’s election night loss.
How much would the help of Maryland Democrats have changed this outcome? It is hard to imagine that it could not have made up that one point margin in Pennsylvania.
Meanwhile, Maryland Democrats failed to achieve the “landslide victory” in Maryland they planned for as they head into 2018. Yes, Clinton won easily but Trump overperformed all of the polls. Maryland GOP Congressional candidates did even better and, as Brian Griffiths pointed out, despite mortgaging Hillary Clinton’s electoral chances, Maryland Democratic candidates underperformed from past year’s results.
Now, more desperate then ever, Maryland Democrats and their blogger friends are trying to push a narrative that the 2016 election results put Governor Hogan in a precarious position. No doubt this was a part of their strategy as announced in August. But the reality is that, despite contributing to Clinton’s national defeat by withholding help from critical swing states, Maryland Democrats didn’t even do as well as they did in 2012. Any honest, objective assessment would show that 2018 looks brighter for Hogan not dimmer.
Proof of this is the recent Washington Post story noting that Hogan “is favored to win a second term“. Even the vile, Hogan-hating Barry Rascovar has been forced to admit that “Hogan has proved a remarkably agile politician, refusing to endorse or vote for Trump this year … Defeating this independent-minded Republican in 2018 still remains an uphill challenge for Democrats.”
The other key part of this story which we pointed out in August:
And for the Trump supporters consider this. Governor Hogan, by governing effectively and maintaining wide bipartisan popularity, is doing more to help get Donald Trump elected, by soaking up resources which could be going to a number of critical swing states, than few other Republican politicians in the country. This reality is far more important than his public endorsement of Trump could have ever been. Just something to consider.
This has borne out to be true. Even though Governor Hogan did not support President Trump, his soaking up of critical resources Maryland Democrats should have sent to Ohio and Pennsylvania, did more to elect Trump than any active support he could have given in a state Trump was always going to lose by 20+ points. Those Trump supporters still angry with the Governor and considering not supporting him in 2018, and empowering Mike Miller and Mike Busch to maintain Maryland Democrats’ monopoly on power in perpetuity, should keep this in mind.
They also should heed the words of President Trump, “For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country.” and of Governor Hogan after the election “I offer my congratulations to President-elect Donald Trump and to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, and will work with the new administration on behalf of all Marylanders. Now is the time for all of us to come together to find real solutions to the problems we face as a country.”