The impact of the Nov. 4th election tsunami is still being assessed.

Matt Dragonette, a junior at the University of Maryland, reviews the reasons for the biggest upset of the evening: Republican Larry Hogan win in Maryland’s gubernatorial election over incumbent Democrat Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown.

…Central to Hogan’s campaign was his use of public financing, his tireless campaigning, and simple economic message. He toured the state constantly, visiting communities and businesses in rural and suburban areas. He reiterated his economic message constantly, and used his public funds wisely, airing a mix of positive messages featuring a diverse set of supporters, and also attacking Brown for his incompetence and association with an increasingly unpopular governor. Hogan appeared to voters as a reasonable, competent businessman, focused on improving the state economy.

Brown simply did not take Hogan seriously, relying on the Democrat-heavy electorate to carry him over Hogan. His ads were resoundingly negative, and often to the point of falsehood, and he failed to differentiate himself from O’Malley. Quite frankly, Brown did not make a serious efforts to reach out to voters after the grueling primaries. The Democrats failed to motivated Baltimore City voters, which proved to be a serious mistake. By the time Hogan started gaining in the polls, Brown’s efforts and big-name Democrats were too little too late.

The turnout in Baltimore City was almost 30,000 fewer this year than 2010, which certainly helped Hogan’s margin of victory. But Hogan won because he convinced Maryland’s suburbs (nine counties) to support him by an incredible margin of over 300,000, a margin larger than Brown’s advantage in the urban areas. These suburban areas were incredibly receptive to Hogan’s economically-focused message. His goals to reduce taxes and hold government accountable resonated in Maryland’s higher-income suburbs. He won Baltimore County, who re-elected a Democrat, by over 50,000 votes (a 20% advantage). Hogan’s constant campaigning in these areas also helped him gain such large margins.