If you believe the polls…
…we have what you might call an anti-incumbent mood among readers of my site.
Obviously I’m not running the most scientific of polls in my right column, but if you believe my readers are playing by the rules and not attempting to stuff the ballot box they think Larry Hogan should be the next Governor, as the onetime Congressional hopeful and businessman garnered 49% of the vote. Former Governor Bob Ehrlich trailed in second with 35% of the vote, while running a distant third was Delegate Pat McDonough with 6 percent. The remaining votes were equally scattered between Libertarian Susan Gaztanaga and two Democrats, George Owings and incumbent Governor Martin O’Malley. They all registered 2 percent.
Certainly if this poll were on Progressive Delmarva the results probably would have been opposite; Lord knows I have a readership which skews heavily conservative.
But, then again, perhaps the fact Ehrlich wasn’t an easy winner is newsworthy because, if you believe establishment Republicans he’s the best candidate to unseat O’Malley. He was a hero among those at the March on Annapolis as most wanted him to get to the podium and speak.
However, as governor Bob Ehrlich wasn’t the most conservative governor in the country by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe the conventional wisdom is that a governor who runs with a Sarah Palin-style conservative message couldn’t win statewide and perhaps that’s correct because our side hasn’t made many inroads into teaching those along the I-95 corridor the benefits of limited government.
Unlike 2006, however, the shoe is on the other foot – the Democrat has the more recent record of accomplishment (or lack thereof) and time has softened the negative perceptions about the party out of power. Despite Governor O’Malley’s continuing efforts to pin blame on his predecessor, that approach is becoming more laughable by the day because O’Malley’s entering his fourth year and most of what he wanted (read: tax increases and higher spending) has been granted to him by a compliant General Assembly.
One thing my results tell me is that the GOP wouldn’t be hurt by a spirited and friendly debate in the governor’s race. I’ve never been one for coronation of a candidate, so hopefully one of those men who’s already jumped into the race to be Maryland’s chief executive on the GOP side decides to stick it out regardless of who enters.