The GOP and blue states

Much of this year’s political debate has involved the potential for a “blue wave” election sweeping Democrats into offices across the United States. But Patrick Hauf offers the Washington Examiner ideas Republicans can use to win elections in blue states.

The late, great Charles Krauthammer is often quoted as saying, “Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil.”

Despite this being somewhat true, in the face of recent threats from outraged liberals, and contrary to Krauthammer’s famous quote, GOP Govs. Larry Hogan of Maryland and Charlie Baker of Massachusetts are up by more than 20 percentage points in polls for their November re-election bids. …

… So how did these two Republicans manage to become so popular in states traditionally dominated by Democrats? Certainly not through divisive political attacks or attention-seeking rhetoric on irrelevant issues. Hogan and Baker are winning over voters through a civil, ideas-centered approach with a specific focus on bipartisanship and fiscally responsible policies — a strategy Republicans at the federal level should consider.

Hogan, a former businessman, is focusing his re-election campaign on the economy, and for good reason — Maryland added 100,000 jobs during his first three years in office, with more than 90,000 in the private sector alone. This economic success is due, in part, to Hogan’s $1.2 billion in cuts to state taxes, tolls, and fees. Hogan has also shrunk the size of Maryland’s government by eliminating 72 executive orders and 850 regulations, helping to establish a more business-friendly environment. …

… Baker has taken a similar approach by campaigning on the 180,000 new jobs Massachusetts amassed during his administration. He also consistently reminds voters of his devotion to fiscal responsibility — which contributed to the state’s $1.2 billion surplus recorded in July. All this he achieved without raising taxes.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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