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GOVERNING: Blue-State Seats Democrats Can't Win

“Any blue wave would have to be pretty big to threaten these popular incumbents.”

Governing
Alan Greenblatt
July 31, 2018

“In Maryland and Massachusetts, Govs. Larry Hogan and Charlie Baker, respectively, have enjoyed approval ratings in the low 70s for most of their terms. …

“These governors have found ways to break with their national party that appeal to home-state constituents. …

“Perhaps most important this year, these governors have been able to distance themselves, to a greater or lesser degree, from President Trump. He is anathema among Democrats, but even in a hyperpartisan time, being governor is a big enough job that these Republicans have been able to cut their own distinct profiles. ‘Democrats spent the beginning of the year trying to tie Trump to Hogan,’ says Mileah Kromer, who directs the politics center at Goucher College in Baltimore. ‘Our polling shows that is just not happening. There’s been a shift, with Democrats now focusing specifically on Hogan and differentiating their positions from his.’

“It would be foolish to count Democrats entirely out in states where they have a 3-to-1 advantage among registered voters, as is the case in Massachusetts. But any blue wave would have to be pretty big to threaten these popular incumbents.”