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Capitol Hill

Hogan leads Maryland race in eye-opening GOP poll

News: Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is leading both of his potential Democratic Senate challengers by double digits, according to GOP polling provided to the NRSC.

Hogan leads Rep. David Trone (D-Md.) 49%-33% and outruns Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks 52%-29%, according to the poll conducted by longtime Hogan pollsters Ragnar Research Partners.

We make it a habit not to run many internal polls, but we felt compelled to include this. These are eye-popping numbers, and it shows the challenges Democrats face in a very blue state with Hogan.

But it’s time for some caveats.

We don’t really believe Hogan is leading by that wide of a margin over Trone and Alsobrooks in Maryland. Yes, Hogan is a largely popular former two-term governor. But remember – 2024 is a presidential year and former President Donald Trump is back on the ballot. President Joe Biden beat Trump by 33 points in Maryland.

The months of attacks on Hogan’s record haven’t begun. Abortion will be a top campaign issue, which could be a problem for the Republican. And a federal election is far different than a statewide race. All cycle, Hogan will be tied to unpopular national Republicans including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

All that being said, it’s fair to say that Democrats have a problem in the Old Line State. Trone has unlimited resources and is spending heavily on television but isn’t breaking through. Alsobrooks has locked up almost every major statewide endorsement yet is widely unknown across the state.

Hogan, on the other hand, enjoys almost universal name identification and left office with high approval ratings.

Even if this is just a very early snapshot of the race, it appears that Democrats may have to divert some resources to Maryland. Consider that the party is defending vulnerable incumbents in Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Wisconsin, plus an open seat in Michigan. And there’s the mess that’s Arizona. Maryland, plainly, wasn’t supposed to be even remotely in play.

Florida Senate news: A new memo from former Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell’s (D-Fla.) campaign hits incumbent Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) over his controversial Social Security and Medicare reform. The memo marks the two-year anniversary of Scott’s “12 Point Plan to Rescue America,” which was pilloried by Democrats and criticized by Republicans like McConnell.

Also: Eric Hovde officially launched his bid for Senate against Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.). The wealthy businessman has a new ad out where he says, “Everything is going in the wrong direction.” Hovde doesn’t mention Baldwin in his ad.

Democrats are already painting Hovde as extreme and out-of-touch.

One more: Defend American Jobs PAC has put $2.1 million in broadcast and cable ads boosting Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) bid for Senate. The spot is running in Indianapolis, South Bend and Ft. Wayne. Banks is the frontrunner for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.).

Defend American Jobs PAC is being funded by a whole host of private equity and tech companies and executives. Both Ripple Labs and Coinbase, crypto companies, donated $1.5 million to the super PAC. Ben Horowitz and Marc Andreessen, the founders of Andreessen Horowitz, donated $750,000 each. And Fairshake, another super PAC funded by Silicon Valley titans, gave $150,000.

— Max Cohen and John Bresnahan

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Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. Political ads courtesy of AdImpact.