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Glenn Youngkin, Larry Hogan have little in frequent — besides huge … – The Washington Submit


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Larry Hogan and Glenn Youngkin are governors of neighboring states, two pro-business Republicans eyeing the White Home. The similarities finish there.

Hogan, the governor of Maryland, is famously blunt. Youngkin, the governor of Virginia, routinely evasive. The Marylander is an skilled hand at politics and authorities, the Virginian a proud outsider. Bodily, they’re Mutt and Jeff.

As potential 2024 main rivals, they’d occupy completely totally different lanes: Hogan as a relative social reasonable and unabashed critic of former president Donald Trump; Youngkin as a genial however aggressive tradition warrior who has treaded cautiously with Trump and cozied as much as election deniers.

Youngkin and his national ambitions straddle the ‘big lie’ divide

Maybe the starkest distinction lies with their perceived odds within the 2024 Republican presidential race. Whereas neither registers in nationwide polls, Youngkin has been extensively touted as a number one GOP contender from the second in 2021 that he flipped blue-trending Virginia crimson. Hogan, who leaves workplace this month after two phrases and boasts one of many highest popularity ratings of any of the nation’s governors, not often will get a point out.

“You may see a Youngkin lane, Trump-acquiescent however not as Trumpy as [Florida Gov. Ron] DeSantis,” mentioned Invoice Kristol, a longtime conservative commentator and Trump critic who lives in Northern Virginia. Although he admires Hogan, Kristol sees no comparable path for him.

“One goes with the movement, one’s making an attempt to swim in opposition to the movement,” mentioned Amy Walter, writer and editor in chief of the nonpartisan Prepare dinner Political Report With Amy Walter. “The problem for Hogan has at all times been: Is there room for a non-Trump candidate? Completely. For a never-Trump candidate? No.”

Past his opposition to Trump, Hogan’s reasonable file makes him a troublesome promote to the Republican main voters, political analysts and strategists say. He’s typically averted social points, signed some gun-control payments (a red-flag law and a bump-stock ban), referred to as abortion rights “settled law” regardless of his private opposition as a Catholic, and brought aggressive steps to curb the unfold of the coronavirus — together with exhorting residents to “wear the damn mask” and report large gatherings to a police hotline.

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In that sense, Hogan resembles different blue-state Republican governors whose stances make them electable at residence however out of step with immediately’s nationwide GOP main voters, mentioned Kevin Madden, a former adviser on Sen. Mitt Romney’s (R-Utah) two presidential campaigns and a senior companion at Penta Group, a strategic advisory agency for companies and nonprofits.

Hogan is “not being talked about as prominently the identical means the Republican governor of Vermont just isn’t being talked about,” he mentioned, including that immediately’s Republican main voters are extra inclined towards candidates who’ve “a file of combating the perceived threats of the left. Hogan’s simply not recognized with that.”

Analysts see much better odds for Youngkin, who has catered to the extra sizable Republican voters in purple Virginia. He has leaned into tradition wars in Ok-12 training, railed in opposition to coronavirus shutdowns and masks mandates, and is pursuing a 15-week ban on abortion within the coming state legislative session. The Virginian is finest identified for his skill to walk a tightrope with Trump, interesting to the previous president’s most fervent followers as he ran for governor in 2021 with out alienating suburban moderates.

“Glenn Youngkin has, in my view, performed an incredible job of elevating himself and introducing himself to Republican voters throughout the nation,” mentioned political operative David Bossie, a Republican Nationwide Committee member from Maryland who has labored as an adviser to Trump.

Bossie referred to as “Youngkin a younger, thrilling, conservative governor who, I imagine, has a future as a constructive conservative policymaker.” He declined to touch upon Hogan’s presidential ambitions.

Different pluses for the Virginia governor: Youngkin is a refined communicator in settings giant and small; a multimillionaire (price about $470 million, Forbes estimates) able to investing closely in his personal bid; a extremely achieved businessman who appeals to the donor class; and an evangelical — he began a church in his basement and frequently prays in public — who conjures up the non secular proper.

Youngkin builds — and burns — bridges with Black voters

These are a few of the causes Youngkin will get “talked about by the nice mentioner,” as Madden places it, that means state occasion leaders, outstanding activists, donors and journalists who affect which names pop up on lists of high presidential contenders.

Not everybody counts Hogan out, significantly with the occasion’s relationship with Trump in flux after disappointing midterm outcomes and as potential legal trouble looms for the previous president.

“It’s simply too darn early,” mentioned Bobbie Kilberg, a nationally outstanding Republican donor who lives in Northern Virginia and thinks Hogan and Youngkin “may very well be very viable.” “I feel persons are prepared for a shake-up.”

Hogan has been making an attempt to sell the party on a new direction from Trump for years, calling the previous president a poisonous power who shrinks the Republican Occasion’s attraction slightly than builds it.

He’s gained little traction, however his backers say that his everyman attraction and eight years of governing with excessive approval rankings make him formidable if he decides to run. And moreover, they argue, Hogan relishes being the underdog.

“It’s unimaginable to foretell what occurs in a crowded main,” mentioned Doug Mayer, a Republican strategist who labored on Hogan’s campaigns. “What issues most is your candidate and the power to attach with voters. What’s the saying? Rely him out at your personal peril.”

Some analysts see main challenges for Youngkin, whose storied balancing act with Trump might be tougher to maintain if he enters the race — a transfer that will represent a direct problem to the previous president. As he’s flirted with a run, his relations with some prominent Trump allies have began to fray and Trump himself has lashed out on the governor.

One other problem for Youngkin: His nationwide popularity hinges on an electoral victory that’s now greater than a yr previous. Analysts say he’ll should rack up contemporary wins to stay related.

Youngkin stumped for Republican gubernatorial candidates in 15 states, sharing his signature crimson vests and predicting that the “motion” that powered his 2021 win was about to comb the nation. The hassle fell flat, with solely 5 of the 15 gubernatorial hopefuls he backed pulling off wins.

“It’s not a terrific margin,” Fox Information host Martha MacCallum remarked in a Dec. 15 interview with Youngkin on the Govt Mansion.

Youngkin’s signature red vest didn’t deliver big wins for GOP nominees

Even inside the commonwealth, Youngkin’s promised “crimson wave” dried up past Virginia Seashore, the place Republican state Sen. Jen A. Kiggans unseated U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.), with Democrats holding on to the state’s two different aggressive congressional districts regardless of a flurry of appearances by Youngkin.

At residence within the coming yr, he’ll should wrestle with a divided Basic Meeting that’s not inclined at hand him main coverage features. He’ll face a midterm referendum on his personal efficiency, when all 140 seats within the Basic Meeting might be on the poll — underneath new legislative maps seen as extra favorable to Democrats.

“He can’t have a defeat in Virginia in comparison with DeSantis, who has hit a house run in Florida,” mentioned Bob Holsworth, a veteran Richmond political analyst. “And he faces a tougher atmosphere within the legislative session than DeSantis … [who] is doing simply something he desires and getting it handed.”

Hogan and Youngkin each face time constraints, although in several methods.

Hogan, who’s handing off to Democrat Wes Moore, is free to camp out in Iowa, New Hampshire and different early nominating states. (He’s already been to the Granite State 3 times, and gnawed a pork chop on a stick on the Iowa State Truthful.) What he lacks is time for his occasion to evolve previous Trump sufficient to contemplate a never-Trumper, a course of that some analysts say is underway however unlikely to be accomplished in time for this cycle.

“As time goes on, I feel there might be increasingly more of a spot for Larry Hogan as a result of I feel, happily, the bloom is off the Trump rose. It’s actually beginning to reek,” mentioned Eric R. Levine, a New York lawyer and outstanding GOP fundraiser who says he would “enthusiastically help” Youngkin or Hogan if both wins the nomination.

However Levine doubts the tide is popping in opposition to Trump shortly sufficient for Hogan, whose congressman father misplaced Maryland’s gubernatorial main in 1974 after calling for Richard M. Nixon’s impeachment. (Lawrence J. Hogan Sr. was the primary Republican on the Home Judiciary Committee to take action.)

‘A very bad blow’: The GOP lawmaker who turned on Nixon paid a price for it

Levine says it’s pressing for Republicans to coalesce round a handful of nominees, fearing a big discipline would enable Trump to win the nomination with a plurality.

“We have to slender it and we have to slender it actually fast. 4 [candidates] on the most,” he mentioned. “I don’t know if there might be time for the Larry Hogan mannequin to succeed.”

Hogan’s nationwide ambitions have lengthy been wrapped up in reshaping the course of the Republican Occasion, no matter whether or not he does that as a presidential nominee or in one other capability.

“Proper now, I feel the events are a catastrophe, each the nationwide occasion and the state occasion, they usually’ve each bought to fully change or they’re not going to achieve success,” Hogan mentioned not too long ago at a celebration launching a political scientist’s ebook about his tenure.

Requested if he was keen to debate a Youngkin run for president, Hogan smiled and mentioned, “Who?”

Youngkin’s political crew didn’t make him obtainable for an interview and declined to touch upon his behalf. He sometimes deflects when requested about any White Home ambitions.

“I’m so flattered by this entire dialogue,” he advised ABC News in late October, when requested about his potential candidacy throughout a marketing campaign cease in Tucson alongside Kari Lake, an election denier who ultimately misplaced her bid for Arizona governor. “I used to be sworn in on Jan. 15. And we’ve gotten to work in Virginia as a way to ship on what was an extremely formidable marketing campaign plan, and we’ve delivered on it — however now we have much more to do.”

He sidestepped in September when requested if he would decide to finishing his time period, saying solely that he’s “dedicated to completing our agenda.”

Youngkin may have hassle juggling his duties as governor with the calls for of a nationwide marketing campaign. His cross-country journey in the course of the midterms drew criticism from his personal occasion leaders, who complained that he was not centered on Virginia. Calls for on his time would solely enhance within the coming yr, with Virginia Republicans looking for his assist with state legislative races as stress mounts to glad-hand voters in early nominating states the place the contests activate retail politics.

On the road for politics, Va. Gov. Youngkin skips travel for trade

“I don’t know if the common steelworker in Pittsburgh is aware of who Glenn Youngkin is or some dairy farmer in Wisconsin or an oil rig operator in Texas,” Levine mentioned. “I don’t assume there’s an alternative to displaying up.”

A CNN national poll launched Dec. 14 requested Republican-leaning voters in the event that they’d just like the GOP to appoint Trump or another person, then requested individuals who mentioned “another person” if there’s a particular particular person they’d wish to see nominated.

Among the many latter group, 53 p.c mentioned “simply somebody moreover Trump,” whereas 38 p.c mentioned DeSantis, who’s extensively seen as Trump’s most formidable challenger. 4 others — Romney, former vice chairman Mike Pence, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley — have been named by 1 p.c. Neither Youngkin nor Hogan registered any obvious help.

Neither governor has formally introduced that he’s contemplating a bid for president. Hogan explored a problem to Trump in 2020, visiting greater than a dozen states earlier than in the end deciding it will be a “suicide mission” to tackle the still-popular president.

Youngkin, amid 2024 buzz, sidesteps question about completing term

He’s been teasing a 2024 bid as he prepares to go away workplace, launching a brand new political motion committee, Higher Path Ahead, and telling reporters at a late-November fundraiser for the PAC that Trump’s place within the Republican Occasion “continues to erode every single day.” He traveled the nation throughout 2022 endorsing and fundraising for like-minded centrist Republicans reminiscent of Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Joe Lombardo, the governor-elect of Nevada, although total he had blended outcomes.

In an interview in November, Hogan mentioned he thought Republicans have been “taught a lesson” within the midterms with widespread losses by Trump-aligned candidates, which bodes effectively for his mannequin of making an attempt to draw swing voters whereas holding collectively the GOP base.

“They bought worn out as a result of they have been following the loopy. Competence received; loopy misplaced,” he mentioned of Republican nominees. It’s just like the Republicans are going to have to start out listening to, you already know, folks like me and [moderate Massachusetts Gov.] Charlie Baker, individuals who truly know find out how to win races.”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan teases presidential bid, reflects on tenure

Youngkin has been coy about any nationwide ambitions however has despatched clear alerts that he’s mulling a bid. Along with his profile-raising political journey, he has met with megadonors in New York and Utah, and created two nationwide political entities, a PAC and a dark-money “social welfare group.” In September, he hosted a two-day retreat exterior Charlottesville, the place GOP donors have been invited to ponder his political future.

If one or each determine to maneuver ahead, they may have their work lower out for them, even amongst Republicans who’re prepared to maneuver on from Trump, reminiscent of Utah state Sen. Todd D. Weiler.

“The GOP is in an abusive relationship with Donald Trump,” Weiler tweeted within the aftermath of November’s midterms, when he was a part of a gaggle of practically 90 officers within the state who urged DeSantis to run.

Weiler mentioned he’s open to different Republicans, together with Haley, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and South Dakota Gov. Kristi L. Noem. He’s heard of Youngkin and was impressed together with his 2021 win however thinks he’s nonetheless too inexperienced for the highest of the ticket.

As for Hogan? “I needed to Google him,” he mentioned.

“Perhaps I’d like this man from Maryland,” he added. “He hasn’t been on my radar.”

Scott Clement contributed to this report.



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