Governor Larry Hogan

Electing – and Reelecting – a Red Governor in Blue State

The Challenge ’14

In his first race, Gov. Larry Hogan faced the obvious challenges of running as a Republican in a state Obama won by 25 points in 2014. There was a 2-to-1 Democrat registration advantage in Maryland, and Hogan was outspent 3-to-1. 

The Strategy ’14

Responding to the economic frustration felt by most Marylanders our message was simple: Change Maryland.

  • 9We used scrappy digital tactics to bridge the spending gap with earned media and efficiently target voters.
  • 9When our opponent tried to make the race about social issues, Gov. Hogan’s daughter helped us effectively rebut the attacks and get back to our core messaging.
  • 9Finally, our ads used a series of testimonials giving voters “permission” to vote for a Republican candidate.

The Result ’14

The results: “the biggest upset in the entire country.”


Gov. Larry Hogan


Anthony Brown

The Strategy ’18

In 2018, our campaign was about reminding voters why they elected Hogan in the first place, and what he accomplished. 

  • 9Running in a blue/purple state, we worked to keep our message MD-focused and positioned Gov. Hogan as a pragmatic statesman who works across the aisle.
  • 9Once again, we used testimonials from independent voters to expand beyond our base and connect on a personal level.
  • 9Our digital tactics were more sophisticated and precise – testing messages on digital before running them on television, tailoring the message to the target audience, and leveraging high quality digital placements.

The Result ’18

The results: Hogan became the second Republican Governor to be re-elected in Maryland history.

Nearly one-third of Baltimore voted for Hogan, up from 22% in 2014. 


Gov. Larry Hogan


Ben Jealous