ELECTION 2018: Democrats doing their slide dance to the left leaves them dangerously listing on the edge of the cliff as Hogan dominates in a new poll
ANNAPOLIS, MD. – The candidates for the Maryland Democratic nomination for Governor appeal to what used to be a fringe element of the party – the shrill and leftist extreme – but over the past twenty years that fringe has become the dominant majority.
While those Democrats, seven in number like a famous collection of dwarfs in another fantasyland, wish to depose Governor Larry Hogan in November, they continue their slide dance to the left.
The Goucher Poll shows that voters can see that they never take a slide back to the center as they posture to grab the Democratic nomination, Gov. Hogan has a sizeable lead and a firm grip on the mood of the electorate.
One question posed to those answering questions in the poll was who you trust to manage the State of Maryland finances; Gov. Larry Hogan or the Democratic Leadership. The question could have just as easily been who you trust the most with the family car, the parent or the teenager. By a wide margin, voters have more confidence in Hogan with 55 percent to 28 percent for the Democrats in charge of the General Assembly and 11 percent either had no opinion or didn’t know.
Yet, for some ungodly reason, the voters hand the keys to General Assembly to this collection of big spending yahoos from Baltimore City, Montgomery, Prince Georges, Howard and Baltimore Counties.
In spite of how the big counties send financial spendthrifts to Annapolis, they aren’t prepared to replace Hogan with any of the Seven Dwarfs.
Clearly, the public realized that the days of the O’Malley and Glendening Administrations put Maryland into the financial hole and left the state one of the tax hells of America; and that Hogan, the founder of the Change Maryland movement, has been working hard to CHANGE that predicament.
That a Republican governor could hold such serious leads over his potential rivals after three years in office is without precedent in Maryland. Since WWII, Maryland has only elected four Republican Governors; Theodore McKeldin in 1950 and 1954; Spiro “Ted” Agnew in 1966; Robert Ehrlich in 2002 and Hogan in 2014.
At this point in the campaign in 2006, Gov. Bob Ehrlich had amassed a bigger thirst for out-of-control spending than Gov. Paris $pendening, whom he succeeded in the Governor’s Mansion. Ehrlich was behind both of his strongest Democratic rivals where Hogan is smashing each of his possible opponents in the Goucher Poll.
Governor William Preston Lane was a Democrat from Hagerstown, an attorney, and chairman of the board of the city’s newspaper, the Hagerstown Herald-Mail. Returning from WWII where he served as a Lt. Col., in the Maryland State Guard and held the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army during WWI, Lane ran for governor in 1946 and won. He was the champion of building the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and passed an increase in the sales tax to pay for the long-delayed construction, earning himself being dubbed “Penny Lane”. The tax hike also earned him a ticket home to Hagerstown when he lost the 1950 election to Baltimore’s Republican Mayor Theodore McKeldin. Ironically, it is Hogan that is now pushing a study that could result in yet another Chesapeake Bay Bridge, perhaps a southern crossing.
While Gov. Lane was defeated in a landslide by McKeldin in 1950 with 57% of the vote for the Republican to 43 % for Lane, he did win where it counts in life for politicians. When Gov. Lane died in 1967 the Chesapeake Bay Bridge was renamed in his honor as the Governor William Preston Lane Memorial Bridge. Six years later the dual span was opened next to the original span from Sandy Point to Kent Island.
McKeldin was elected the Republican Mayor of Baltimore twice, first serving from 1943 to 1947 and again from 1963 to 1967. Unless the electorate of Baltimore undergoes a political lobotomy, the city will never again elect a Republican mayor.
McKeldin won a second term as Maryland’s governor in 1954 as the popular President Dwight Eisenhower was only in the second year of his first term.
McKeldin’s Democrat opponent was the popular University of Maryland President Harry C. Byrd. McKeldin’s winning margin was 54% of the vote to 45 % for Byrd. However, Byrd was given the honor of having the football stadium at the U of Md College Park named for him. That naming lasted until the revisionist history days of 2015 when a student government group cracked the history books and found that Byrd held views of separate but equal and dubbed him a segregationist. The group demanded that Byrd’s name is peeled off the stadium.
The Board of Regents relented on keeping Byrd’s name on the stadium and tossed removed those four letters on a 12-5 vote but the history books still show him as the Democratic candidate for Governor – at least for a few more years – before the revisionists get around to finding a way to rewrite history again.
McKeldin established a strong pro-civil rights record as Baltimore deteriorated into ghettos and crime, working to revitalize the inner harbor, built the Friendship airport while he was Mayor and pushed Maryland road projects to higher levels.
Hogan may be taking a cue out of the playbook of Governor McKeldin, who in a 1951 TV interview explained how he brought about efficiencies in State of Maryland spending and was able to cut taxes and balance the budget in his first year in office. Hogan has also concentrated on pushing ahead massive transportation projects such as a new toll lane to be added to the DC Beltway, the Purple Line of the Metro, more lanes to I-279, a new Gov. Harry Nice Bridge over the Potomac and dozens of smaller highway projects.
While O’Malley left office with his primary legacy being a rain tax, Hogan is well on the way for bringing back fiscal sanity to the “Free-Spending State”.
It is quite possible that Gov. Hogan has watched this 1951 TV interview of Gov. McKeldin on the CBS program Longines Chronoscope.
A highlight of the very candid interview reveals that if Gov. Hogan hasn’t watched this interview or studied the administration of Gov. McKeldin, this may be a case of ‘Deja Vous all over again’.
The following quote belied the actual history as McKeldin easily won another term and mirrors 2018, with the exception that unlike the Democrat and segregationist Byrd in 1954, the 2018 Democrats are more akin to the Socialist Party’s Henry Wallace.
“I’m a Republican and we Republicans only get in every twenty-five years to straighten out what has been done wrong before us and then we go out at the end of our first term.” – Gov. Theodore McKeldin.
(NOTE ABOUT VIDEO: At the end of the video, Governor McKeldin made the statement that even though he believes General Eisenhower is a great man and general, he opposes a military man being president – like maybe George Washington didn’t do a bang-up job! As with most politicians, his belief structure was on an elevator and able to move at the push of a button as he delivered the nominating speech for General Eisenhower at the Republican National Convention in 1952.)
With Crisfield’s J. Millard Tawes, the Comptroller, winning the Governor’s Mansion in 1958 and again in 1962, Democrats were moving towards permanent majority party status in Maryland.
The 1966 Democratic Party Primary broke up the old gang when the contractor and perennial candidate George P. Mahoney ran on a “Your Home Is Your Castle” platform and beat his liberal opponents. The result was the ability of Republican Baltimore County Executive Spiro Agnew to pick up support from disaffected Democrats and become Governor.
While serving in his second year in office, Governor Agnew, as Richard Nixon’s running mate became Vice-President of the United States. Maryland, without a position of Lieutenant Governor at the time, had the replacement governor selected by the General Assembly, which selected Speaker Marvin Mandel of Baltimore City. On October 10, 1973, Vice President Agnew pleaded nolo contendere in U.S. District Court to a charge of income tax evasion. He was sentenced to three years of probation and fined $10,000. Agnew had continued his habit of accepting bags of cash from developers while Baltimore County Executive into the Vice President’s Office.
Gov. Marvin Mandel went on to win two terms as Governor in 1970 and 1974. Convicted 1977 of mail fraud and racketeering in Federal District Court, Mandel was sentenced to four years in prison. After serving about a year and a half his conviction was overturned by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, on Jan. 11, 1979 and was able to resume office as Governor for the final three days of his second term.
The majority opinion of the three-judge panel, composed of Judge H. Emory Widener, Judge Donald S. Russell and Judge John D. Butzner Jr., held that the trial court’s “failure to instruct the jury on the distinctions between legally innocent benefits and bribes in the context of the mail fraud counts leads us to the conclusion that the jury could have been easily misled.” Judge Butzner filed a 20-page dissent in the decision. The majority stated that they had not considered guilty or innocence, only what they viewed as legal and technical flaws in the trial. Not hard to believe for followers of Maryland politics was that a Mandel-backed code of ethics had passed in the General Assembly but specifically exempted the Governor of Maryland. The Code of Ethics and hearsay evidence being admitted in the trial were flaws cited by the decision. After the Supreme Court ruled on the case and overturned his conviction for him and four co-defendants in the Marlboro racetrack dealings, his fines were returned, and Mandel was reinstated as a member of the Bar in Maryland resumed the practice of law until he died in 2015 while visiting family in Compton, Md.
From October of 1977 when Mandel was sentenced to the time of his resuming the office, Lt. Gov. Blair Lee III was the Acting Governor. Lee lost the 1978 Democratic Primary in his bid to become Governor with Maryland Senate President Steny Hoyer as his running mate.
Democrat former state senator and transportation secretary under Mandel, Harry Hughes was elected Governor in 1978 and served two terms.
THE GOUCHER POLL
The Goucher Poll asked Maryland residents about their opinions toward the role of government and political compromise; confidence in elected officials to handle different issues; Maryland’s current direction and economic situation; and about Governor Larry Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot, Attorney General Brian Frosh, President Donald Trump and the 2018 gubernatorial election. Marylander’s view of Major League Baseball was also assessed. The Goucher Poll surveyed 617 Maryland adults from April 14-19 and has a margin of error of +/-3.9 percent.
Role of Government and Political Compromise
Sixty-two percent of Marylanders think the government should do more to solve problems and help meet the needs of people. About a third think the government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals.
About three-quarters of Marylanders prefer political leaders who compromise in order to get things done compared to 14 percent who prefer political leaders who stick to their beliefs even if less gets done.
When there is a lack of cooperation in state government, 67 percent hold both Governor Larry Hogan and the Democratic leadership in Maryland equally as responsible, while 18 percent hold the Democratic leadership and 11 percent hold Governor Hogan responsible.
Confidence in Larry Hogan or the Democratic Leadership to Handle Different Issues
Residents were asked whether they had more confidence in Governor Larry Hogan or the Democratic leadership in Maryland to handle a variety of issues.
- Larry Hogan (34 percent)
- Democratic leadership (47 percent)
State budget and finances
- Larry Hogan (55 percent)
- Democratic leadership (28 percent)
- Larry Hogan (39 percent)
- Democratic leadership (40 percent)
Transportation and infrastructure
- Larry Hogan (45 percent)
- Democratic leadership (36 percent)
Economic development and job creation
- Larry Hogan (49 percent)
- Democratic leadership (35 percent)
- Larry Hogan (47 percent)
- Democratic leadership (35 percent)
- Larry Hogan (37 percent)
- Democratic leadership (44 percent)
Crime and criminal justice
- Larry Hogan (48 percent)
- Democratic leadership (32 percent)
“Echoing the bipartisan tone and legislative scope of the 2018 Maryland General Assembly session, most Marylanders say they prefer leaders who compromise and a government that does more to help meet the needs of people,” said Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center. “While there are clear divisions on who residents are more confident in to handle different issues, most Marylanders say they hold both Governor Hogan and the Democratic leadership equally responsible when there is a lack of cooperation in state government.”
The direction of the State and Current Economic Situation
Fifty-three percent say Maryland is heading in the right direction and 28 percent say Maryland is off on the wrong track.
A plurality—42 percent—of residents think that the economy in Maryland is better today than it was four years ago, 37 percent think it’s the same, and 17 percent think it is worse.
Perceptions of Governor Larry Hogan, President Donald Trump, and the 2018 Gubernatorial Election
Governor Hogan continues to earn high marks from Marylanders. Sixty-nine percent of Marylanders approve of the job Hogan is doing as governor and 21 percent disapprove. President Donald Trump is significantly less popular with Marylanders; 25 percent approve of the job he is doing and 70 percent disapprove.
Maryland residents were asked additional questions about Governor Hogan including his ideological leanings and his distance from President Trump.
- 51 percent of Marylanders think that Governor Hogan is a moderate, while 26 percent see him as a conservative and 9 percent view the Governor as a liberal.
- 47 percent of Maryland residents believe that Governor Hogan has distanced himself “about the right amount” from President Trump. Twenty-seven percent of respondents believe Governor Hogan has distanced himself “too little” from President Trump and 9 percent think he has distanced himself “too much.”
Marylanders who indicated that they were registered to vote, interested in the 2018 election, and likely to vote in the upcoming elections in November were asked whether they would vote for “Republican Larry Hogan” or vote for each one the Democratic candidates:
Larry Hogan (44%) / Rushern Baker (31%) / Undecided (22%)
Larry Hogan (44%) / Ben Jealous (31%) / Undecided (22%)
Larry Hogan (45%) / Kevin Kamenetz (28%) / Undecided (23%)
Larry Hogan (45%) / Rich Madaleno (27%) / Undecided (26%)
Larry Hogan (46%) / Alec Ross (26%) / Undecided (26%)
Larry Hogan (47%) / Jim Shea (27%) / Undecided (25%)
Larry Hogan (45%) / Krish Vignarajah (25%) / Undecided (27%)
Maryland likely voters were also asked how much influence their views toward President Trump will have on their vote for governor. Thirty-six percent said that their views toward President Trump will influence their vote for governor “a lot” or “some” and 62 percent said their views toward the president will have “no” or “only a little” influence on their vote.
Comptroller Peter Franchot and Attorney General Brian Frosh
Thirty-eight percent approve of the job Peter Franchot is doing as Comptroller of Maryland, 13 percent disapprove, and 47 percent don’t know.
Thirty-one percent approve of the job Brian Frosh is doing as Attorney General of Maryland, 17 percent disapprove, and 49 percent don’t know.