Most Republicans are of the opinion that Trump is “unassailable” in a GOP primary, but some are anxious enough about his vulnerabilities that they’re looking at Larry Hogan, the popular centrist governor of Maryland, as a possible alternative.
Hogan’s inauguration speech after winning reelection in November was viewed as “an unmistakable act of aggression” by the White House, and his planned trip to Iowa in March and meetings with “Never Trump Republicans” are fueling speculation that he may step into the ring, per Politico.
The New York Times reports:
Mr. Hogan, 62, is set to meet more formally in the coming weeks with Mr. Kristol and Sarah Longwell, a Republican strategist helping marshal opposition to Mr. Trump.
Mr. Kristol and Ms. Longwell have been meeting with Republican donors and potential challengers, sharing focus-group and polling data about the president’s vulnerability with what they call “Reluctant Trump Voters,” according to a copy of their presentation reviewed by The New York Times.
Mr. Hogan is planning a trip to Iowa in his capacity as an officer of the National Governors Association. But his advisers also recently reached out to Mr. Kochel, the Iowa-based strategist, to ask that he put together a dinner with similarly minded Republicans while Mr. Hogan is there, according to an associate of Mr. Kochel briefed on the exchange.