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During Hogan’s travels, he also set aside time to meet with donors, a ritual for those seeking to build a national political apparatus.

Hogan told POLITICO he is currently focusing on the 2022 mid-term rather than the 2024 run. But, showing his interest, Hogan said he saw an opening in the upcoming primary for a critic. of Trump, and he added that he would not be dissuaded from running for president in case Trump made a comeback, a stand for another candidate. Republican candidates have been reluctant to take it.

“If I decide I want to run for president, that certainly won’t stop me from being in the running, that’s for sure,” Hogan said.

Across much of the Trump-dominated party, however, there is skepticism that Hogan would be a serious candidate, despite his electoral record in Maryland. While polls indicate that a section of Republican voters would like to see an alternative to Trump emerge, there is consensus that the nomination would be theirs if he does come forward. A POLITICO / Morning Consult poll conducted Sept. 18-20 showed Trump had an 86% approval rating among registered Republicans.

But Hogan – who flirted with a main long-term challenge against Trump in 2020 and called on Trump to step down in the wake of the Jan.6 riot on Capitol Hill – argued that the former president’s influence was waning. And while other potential candidates try to win over Trump supporters, Hogan said there was an opening in the 2024 GOP primary for someone who is not aligned with the former president.

“I believe there are 10, 12, or 15 people all fishing in the same pond,” Hogan said. “They want to be the next Donald Trump, and… there’s about 30% of the Republican base that wants to go in a different direction.”

Other critics of Trump, including Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse and Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, have been mentioned as possible candidates, although they have so far been less aggressive in their positioning for a national race.

Future Republican hopefuls 2024 are already crisscrossing the country campaigning for congressional candidates, making trips to the first primary states, and setting up vehicles to raise funds and increase their national profile. Hogan supporters started An America United, a nonprofit group that produces expertly produced web videos promoting the governor as a bipartisan problem solver.

As he travels the country, Hogan assiduously presents himself as someone who can heal the ailments of his party. Hogan offered what could be a glimpse of his national message during his speech to the Republican Main Street Partnership over the weekend, saying that “successful politics is about addition and multiplication, not subtraction and division.” , and that “frankly we did a lot of subtraction and division.

The two-term governor defied political odds in deep blue Maryland, a state Republicans have not won at the presidential level since 1988. While Republicans suffered a nationwide baton in 2018, Hogan was re-elected from more than 10 percentage points, making him alone the second Republican governor of Maryland in history to win a second term. He has remained popular ever since: A February poll conducted by Goucher College showed Hogan had a 65% approval rating.

Hogan’s team says they expect the governor to remain active as the 2022 election approaches, especially in areas where the party has recently lost ground. Campaigning for Youngkin and Kemp was a natural fit for Hogan, they say. Youngkin’s prospects depend in part on his ability to make inroads into the Washington, DC suburbs where Democrats are trying to tie the Republican to Trump, who also backed him. Kemp, whom Trump has repeatedly attacked for failing to overturn Georgia’s 2020 vote count, must stop his party’s hemorrhage in the fast-growing suburb of Atlanta.

The governor is also looking to bolster Republicans in the swing-district House, including members of the bipartisan problem-solving caucus, which he has supported through his co-chair of the centrist organization No Labels.

With his sky-high home state approval ratings, there have been discussions within Republican circles that Hogan might be better off challenging Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen in 2022 rather than preparing. a presidential candidacy. But Hogan categorically rejected the idea.

“I really don’t want to run for the Senate in 2022,” he said. “Being one of the 100 people and arguing all day and doing nothing just doesn’t appeal to me much.”

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