Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says he’s concerned the GOP is becoming too ‘balkanized’ to win national elections: book

Larry Hogan
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
  • Gov. Larry Hogan is concerned that the GOP is becoming too “balkanized” to win national elections.
  • “I want to return to a more Reaganesque, big-tent party,” he told correspondent David M. Drucker.
  • The last Republican to win the popular vote in a presidential election was George W. Bush in 2004.

While most Republicans have anchored the party around former President Donald Trump, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says he wants to see the party return to the conservatism of the late US President Ronald Reagan.

In Hogan’s eyes, Reagan, who ushered in a generation of conservative leaders during his tenure from 1981 to 1989 and was reelected in a 49-state electoral landslide in the 1984 presidential race, was a unifying force who was able to grow the party.

The governor, who was first elected in 2014 and in 2018 became only the second Republican in state history to be reelected to a second term, is concerned about the future of the GOP, as he explained to Washington Examiner senior political correspondent David M. Drucker in the new book, “In Trump’s Shadow: The Battle for 2024 and the Future of the GOP.”

As someone who has managed to win as a Republican in one of the most reliably Democratic states in the country, the governor is acutely aware of the party’s performance in national elections since Reagan left the White House.

“Hogan is worried the GOP is becoming a balkanized party that cannot win national elections,” Drucker wrote. “A Republican presidential nominee has not won in anything resembling a landslide since 1988, when George H.W. Bush captured forty states and 426 electoral votes. Since then, in eight presidential elections, a Republican presidential nominee – Bush’s son, George W. Bush – has won the national popular vote just once, in 2004.”

Hogan, who could potentially launch a 2024 presidential bid and has been sharply critical of Trump’s dominance over the GOP, feels as though the Reagan model is optimal for the party.

“I want to return to a more Reaganesque, big-tent party,” the governor told Drucker. “It was his positive vision for the future,” he added, that “had a massive appeal to a wider audience” and “won almost every state in the country.”

Drucker points out Hogan’s request as that of “an unapologetic throwback” in a party that is now largely defined by Trump’s brand of conservatism.

Hogan, however, doesn’t accept this notion and believes that there is room for a traditional conservative in 2024.

“There are ten or fifteen guys fighting to be the next Trump – men and women,” he told Drucker. “There’s no one in this lane that speaks to … about 30 percent to 40 percent of the people who actually are now admitting that they feel the way I have.”

He then corrected himself. “Not no one; there are some folks,” he said, referencing GOP Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, as well as 2012 Republican presidential nominee and Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, who have all publicly clashed with the former president.