Md. Gov. faces uphill battle in hypothetical matchup with Trump

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan delivers his annual State of the State address to a joint session of the legislature in Annapolis, Md., Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Maryland’s Gov. Larry Hogan continues to have high approval numbers statewide, but the latest poll from Gonzalez Research shows that in a hypothetical matchup in a GOP primary against President Donald Trump, Hogan would face an uphill slog.

Patrick Gonzalez, president of the polling firm that surveyed 826 “likely” registered voters, found one thing holds constant for Maryland’s Republican governor.

“Governor Hogan’s job approval in the state of Maryland remains extremely high,” said Gonzalez.

The poll shows 76% of those surveyed approve of Hogan’s performance in office.

Hogan’s popularity is high among men and women; 80% of men and 73% of women surveyed said they like the job he’s doing.

According to the poll, Hogan’s support also closes the “generation gap”: He’s just as popular among voters younger than 55 as he is with those 55 years old and older. In both age groups his approval rating is 76%.

Break down Hogan’s numbers by party affiliation and Gonzalez said Hogan has strong appeal “across the board,” with 87% of Republicans, 82% of independents and 74% of Democrats approving of Hogan’s accomplishments in office.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s job approval ratings among likely Maryland voters. (Courtesy Gonzalez Research)

Compare that to how those surveyed feel about President Donald Trump, and the contrast is stark: Just 39% of Marylanders approve of Trump’s performance in the White House while 59% disapprove.

President Donald Trump’s approval rating among likely Maryland voters. (Courtesy Gonzalez Research)

Trump’s base of support is strongest among white voters, with 50% saying they approve of his job performance, and weakest among African Americans with 13% saying they approve.

But there are numbers that signal Trump holds on to a critical base of support. Seventy eight percent of Maryland Republicans surveyed approve of Trump’s job in office.

And when Hogan’s approval ratings are stacked against Trump’s in a potential 2020 GOP primary matchup, it’s easy to see why Hogan told reporters he’s still weighing his options for a possible presidential run, and that he’s not interested in embarking on a “suicide mission.”

According to the Gonzalez poll, 68% of likely GOP primary voters said they would choose Trump, and just 24% would vote for Hogan.

Among GOP women voters, Trump gets 62% compared to 28% for Hogan, the numbers tip to 74% for Trump and 20% for Hogan among likely male GOP primary voters.

Gonzalez said the numbers show something that’s important to understand about the results for Hogan and Trump.

“They’re both equally well-liked within their Republican caucus constituency,” Gonzalez said. “Just because you have broad, expansive support across the political spectrum, you still have to get through that primary process.”

Read the full poll.

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