The City of Baltimore is a unique and unusual position regarding the upcoming 2020 presidential primary election. Baltimore represents the base for the Democratic presidential front-runner candidate, Kamala Harris, and with governor Larry Hogan being touted— and in some quarters recruited— to challenge Donald Trump, it could be argued that Baltimore is home to the top Republican contender for president as well.
Although Governor Hogan has not committed to challenge Trump, he has not made any affirmative statements to the contrary either. Larry Hogan is particularly attractive to anti-Trump Republicans because he not only won his office in a Blue State, he is also the first Republican since 1954 to win re-election as Maryland governor. Moreover, governor Hogan won his most recent gubernatorial contest in a state that is two to One Democrat versus Republican by 12 percent.
For many moderate, traditional Republicans Hogan is the ideal foil to Donald Trump because although Hogan has come from a business background like Trump he completed a successful first term as a novice government chief executive who has demonstrated the ability to successfully manage, negotiate and show collegiality and statesmanship, unlike Trump.
On the other hand, Kamala Harris, in the lead by most reputable media sources will have a major influence on Baltimore voters. The question of whether or not local voters will give the rest of the field of candidates for president a fair hearing is reasonable. Having two charismatic politicians from both parties based locally could possibly cloud the vision of the local electorate, discouraging turnout and engagement.
In the 2016 presidential election, over 178,000 Democratic votes were cast in Baltimore City. However, there were over 300,000 registered Democrats in Baltimore then. While it is possible that the 2016 Democratic presidential choice did not inspire the local electorate, which has been reported to be the case in electoral districts across the country. The result was Donald J. trump for president.
That is the fear this time. Despite Kamala Harris’s early appeal in the race, it is far too early to predict her finish. This fact, and the possibility that locally popular Republican governor Hogan could skew the prospects for the eventual White House victor should he decide to run. It is incumbent on Baltimore voters not to get distracted by star power and evaluate all viable presidential prospects throughout the electoral process in order to make the strongest possible choice to occupy the Oval Office in 2020.