It's The Voter Turnout, Stupid!
As we head into early voting next week, local Republican leadership will be met with a herculean challenge. Polls show that Republican Gov. Larry Hogan will have plenty of Democrats supporting him this November.
So, what is the likelihood that Democrats voting for Governor Hogan vote for other Republicans, too?
It is no secret that Governor Hogan is no fan of President Donald Trump. Too bad that the governor didn't get the memo that plenty of conservative voters in Frederick County and across Maryland are fans of The Donald.
How does a Frederick County Republican Central Committee motivate a hardcore Trump-supporting Republican base to get out and vote with a crop of Republican candidates who have embraced a governor who has intentionally distanced himself from the president?
Governor Hogan’s insistence that Justice Brett Kavanaugh go through a seventh Federal Bureau of Investigation vetting before being confirmed may have endeared him to Maryland Democrats, but for many conservative unaffiliated voters and Republicans in Frederick County, it was the last straw. Some stalwart conservative Republicans have said they'll skip voting for what they call Republicans in name only (RINOs), and write in the names of others, or simply stay home all together.
As Republicans struggle to come together, Democrats in Frederick County are motivated more than ever this year. Look out for some serious attacks by Democrats to start coming this week. Republican candidates, who are resting up in hopes of coasting to victory on Hogan’s coattails, should take note.
Many are scoffing at the kumbaya Republican candidates in this year's Frederick County general election. The constant – and almost poetic – way that some of them avoid taking a stand on anything, will end up hurting them in November. All of them need to understand that Larry Hogan isn't running for a local office in Frederick County. They are.
You don't see Democrat candidates eagerly tripping over themselves to be the first ones to pledge crossing the aisle to compromise with Republicans locally to get things done. Democrats have a very good understanding that their base wants fighters and that is why there is an excitement gap between the parties this year.
Republicans seem to be the only ones bending over backwards to reach Democrats when they make addresses at local forums and write letters and articles into local newspapers, online-newspapers, local blogs, or run local radio spots.
Fortune cookie campaigns will get some Republican candidates out of a closed primary with low turnout, but solid issue positions and up front and honest intellectual heft wins general elections. Local Democrats understand this noble truth. Republicans still outnumber Democrats in registered voters in Frederick County. How that is lost on some candidates is anybody's guess.
The real struggle for Republicans over the next three weeks is going to be convincing hardcore conservative voters to even vote on Election Day. Republican candidates, who seem willing to give away the store to Democrats, are about as exciting as watching paint dry. I know of one voter who has stated publicly that he would sooner douse himself in honey and run through a bear farm than vote for Larry Hogan this year.
Local Republican voters want a fighter like Donald Trump who will stand up to progressive incrementalism in Frederick County. Voter turnout is the key. The Republicans have three weeks to give hardcore Republican voters a reason to show up and vote. Simply telling them to show up isn't going to cut it this time.