So is there a “blue wave” coming in November? It’s still far too early to say and the forecasts of the Democrats may prove to be overly optimistic, but Republicans around the country are still acting nervous. There’s one notable exception to that trend, however. Maryland, one of the bluer states in the nation, has a GOP governor in the person of Larry Hogan and he’s not looking nervous at all. In fact, the guy’s approval ratings dwarf those of almost anyone else in politics today and a new poll shows that none of his likely Democratic challengers are coming within spitting distance of him. (Baltimore Sun)

Gov. Larry Hogan is currently dominating all of his prospective Democratic rivals by double digits as voters say the first-term Republican has effectively distanced himself from President Donald J. Trump, according to a Goucher Poll released Tuesday.

With a 69 percent job-approval rating, Hogan remains widely popular among Maryland voters, who mostly identify him as a moderate, the poll shows.

The poll of 449 likely Maryland voters found that Hogan would easily defeat any of the seven major Democratic contenders seeking to challenge him. The winner of the June 26 Democratic primary election will face Hogan in November.

Hogan is most popular among white voters, but amazingly, he even gets a thumbs up from 30% of black voters. That’s not a huge number, but it’s far better than most other Republicans do.

So what’s the secret? Should we be sending Hogan on a cross-country tour to instruct other GOP governors and gubernatorial candidates in how to make the people love them and sweep all of this year’s races?

Probably not. As with all things in the American Game of Thrones, all politics is local. Hogan is a popular Republican governor in Maryland. If you transplanted him to most of the rest of the country it wouldn’t work. The Democrats in the Old Line State, by a wide margin, consider Hogan a moderate, as shown in the poll. That means that most conservatives wouldn’t even recognize him as a Republican. You might be able to run a Hogan clone in some other blue states and come up with a win, but you wouldn’t get very many conservative victories out of the effort.

He’s also obviously not on board with the whole #MAGA thing. For the most part, Hogan pretends that Donald Trump doesn’t even exist and he comes down in opposition to him on the rare occasion the President’s name comes up. But for what it’s worth, he does push for lower spending, tax cuts and stronger law enforcement, at least as far as the legislature will let him run on that leash. He’s even vetoed the occasional bill which runs far to the left, but the legislature generally moves to override him anyway.

Still, having him in office drives the Democrats in his state crazy and he does provide something of a moderating influence, so that’s a win for the GOP either way.