Get Ready For A ‘Groundhog Day’ Senate Election

Marylanders will be forgiven if they feel they’ve been dropped into the movie “Groundhog Day” between now and Election Day, Nov. 5.

That’s because the state’s marquee U.S. Senate race between Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D) and former Gov. Larry Hogan (R) is unlikely to change much in the next 5 1/2 months. For the two candidates and their supporters, the assignment will essentially remain the same for the duration of the campaign.

For Alsobrooks, it’s about trying to tie Hogan, a popular center-right Republican who has thrived in a Democratic state, to the most extreme elements of the national GOP, especially on issues like abortion rights — as control of the U.S. Senate hangs in the balance. For Hogan, it’s about persuading a critical number of Democrats and nonaffiliated voters that he’s an independent operator, and reminding them that his governing style won broad approval during his eight years in Annapolis.

The effectiveness of the candidates’ messaging will largely determine who winds up replacing outgoing Sen. Ben Cardin (D) in January.