Feb 21, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Dems turn to Wes Moore to weaken Larry Hogan’s surprise Senate bid

This is them

Then-Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (left) with incoming Gov. Wes Moore. Photo: Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Democrats plan to use Maryland Gov. Wes Moore as a first line of attack against Larry Hogan, the state's former Republican governor who is now running for Senate, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Hogan's decision to jump into the Senate contest has thrown a safely Democratic seat into play for Republicans.

  • The seat is open: Longtime Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) is not seeking-re-election.
  • Moore plans to launch an offensive against Hogan's record as governor in the coming months, three sources told Axios.
  • The attacks on Hogan's record will sour a mostly rosy relationship between the two governors.

Zoom in: Hogan alums were helpful to the Moore staff as the governor's mansion changed hands last year, said a senior Democratic source who was involved in the transition.

  • "The relationship was very cordial," the Democratic source said. "They were very kind to each other."

Moore has criticized Hogan for blocking millions in funding for abortion care while he was in office.

  • "Anyone who thinks that there is no threat to women's reproductive rights and abortion access is delusional," Moore said on X, formerly Twitter.
  • Hogan fired back at Moore's "delusional" comment, telling Fox 5 that Moore "ought to pay attention to his day job."

Between the lines: An internal poll from Hogan's longtime pollster, shared with Axios, showed him beating both of his potential Democratic opponents — Rep. David Trone and Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks — by wide margins.

  • Democrats are deeply skeptical of the polling data, according to multiple senior national Democratic strategists who spoke to Axios.
  • A poll released last week by Emerson showed Hogan tied with Trone and leading Alsobrooks, with a large chunk of voters still undecided.
Go deeper