So, How’d I Do?

Filed in National by on November 9, 2012

So that there be no revisionist history on my part, here were my predictions.

Overall record: 37-3.

Here’s Where I Got It Wrong:

I picked Katz over Lavelle, and Lavelle won a squeaker in the 4th SD. Neither candidate burnished their reputation with this race. Not that Lavelle had much of a reputation to burnish.

I did not buy Trey Paradee‘s analysis of his race against Linc Willis, and I should have. Never been happier to have been wrong. He, Bryan Townsend, and Nicole Poore immediately become rising stars to watch for the D’s.

I thought that Marie Mayor‘s grassroots-style campaign would enable her to edge Steve Smyk, but, unfortunately for the citizens of Delaware, I was mistaken. There was a strong red tide in Sussex which, although denizens of Greenville might wish otherwise, is the true power center of the Rethuglican Party in Delaware.

Here’s Where I Got It Right:

Every other race. Except that’s not entirely true. I thought the Cloutier-Counihan race would be close, and it wasn’t.  I thought Kathleen Cooke, who challenged first-term senator Dave Lawson was basically a (good) name on the ballot. She proved to be a lot more than that. She’s got a bright political future should she decide to pursue it. I didn’t think that either the Atkins/Collins race or the Deaver/Ayotte race would be as close as they were.

Here’s Where I Got It Really Right:

“Valenzuela parlayed her (less than) 15 minutes of fame into some notoriety, so Matt Denn may not quite get Markell’s margin. But it will be huge.”

“Tom Gordon, big.”

“D Nicole Poore picks up this seat (SD 12) from incumbent R Dori Connor. Won’t be close.”

“(Dennis E.) Williams is a dependable progressive, I hope he wins, and I think he takes a 52% to 48% victory.”

“D Beth McGinn is the real deal (please run in 2014, Beth).”

Here’s My Take:

John Sigler may be ‘locked and loaded’, but the statewide Republican Party is in disarray.  They have no bench at all. Every D north of 60% state and countywide. The only potential new ‘star’ that the R’s created this time is Ernesto Lopez. They’ve turned Tom Kovach into Delaware’s Harold Stassen. (Alternate theory: Kovach did that to himself. Discuss.)

I don’t see how the Rethugs unify. The Greenville crowd built a tenuous firewall (Lavelle/Cloutier) around what used to be their Chateau Country/Brandywine Hundred fortress this year, and they helped Lopez get elected. But D’s hold all the House seats there except for Deborah Capano Hudson. The wheezing denizens of the mansions on the hill are an endangered species, but an endangered species with money. And Sussex County R’s basically own that county with what remains of the Angry White People, the one (diminishing) demographic of the R’s.

R’s did have a significant victory, and D’s a significant defeat this time around. All three newly-created-due-to-reapportionment districts (2 House and 1 Senate) were won by R’s. Lopez, Smyk, and Jeffrey Spiegelman. While these wins represented ‘holds’, b/c each of the three seats was previously held by R’s, D’s have to be disappointed with those outcomes. Especially Pete Schwartzkopf.  And the R’s moved closer to challenging for Senate control. Not likely in the near future, but you never know.

Time to put this baby to bed. Less than 730 days until Election Day 2014.

About the Author ()

Comments (24)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Jason330 says:

    I’d like to take a look at the precinct numbers for the Lopez/Staton race. Seems like Staton should have been helped by the top of the ticket, just as much as Kathleen Cooke.

  2. Jed Clampitt says:

    No need to look at the numbers, the D’s just chose the wrong candidate in the 6th.

  3. SussexWatcher says:

    They also ran the wrong campaign. Staton was over the top mean and nasty. Lopez, despite having valid lines of attack in his pocket, was positive to a fault. Voters appreciated that. There was a lot of crossover in this race.

    And before anyone starts, I don’t think Staton’s sexuality had anything to do with the overall outcome. If people disliked Staton personally, it was because he needs a haircut and someone to make the crazy eyes to go away.

    It also shows that Jack and Pete should stop picking candidates. They have horrible taste.

    Still, look for a rematch.

  4. SussexAnon says:

    “And before anyone starts, I don’t think Staton’s sexuality had anything to do with the overall outcome….”

    Emails and mailers sent out prior to the election would suggest otherwise. It also doesn’t help when you have a D out there campaigning AGAINST the “radical gay agenda” candidates.

    Ds lost all over the county whether Pete/Jack were involved in the process or not.

  5. Dave says:

    “And before anyone starts, I don’t think Staton’s sexuality had anything to do with the overall outcome. If people disliked Staton personally, it was because he needs a haircut and someone to make the crazy eyes to go away.”

    I didn’t know anything about Staton’s sexual orientation before this. However, he did have bad hair and honestly looked a bit goofy. I didn’t vote on the basis of appearance but when you have a first name like “Andy” coupled with that hair, it just isn’t a serious image. If I were his campaign manager I would have had him get a hair cut and would never have allowed the word “Andy” to be printed. “Andrew” on signs may cost more but it looks a lot more serious than “Andy” This isn’t Mayberry and Staton isn’t Opie.

  6. Dave says:

    I was honestly surprised by Mayor’s results. I thought she ran an excellent campaign and she is very well liked. I don’t know enough to say whether it was the (D) or her sexual orientation or both. All one had to do is meet her once to recognize that she was an able, responsible representative.

    P.S. I wish we could tell how many actual vote Bodenweiser received. I bet it was more than a few.

  7. anon says:

    I still can’t believe Smyk beat Mayor. She was a much better candidate.

    I thought Staton would win until the Victory Fund sent out those rape mailers about Lopez. Staton ran a good, clean campaign. He knocked on every door, he had all of the right answers, he had a plan to bring jobs to the district and to make RT 1 safer. Ironically, he was sunk by an independent expenditure. My prediction on those mailers costing Staton the election was right on, wasn’t it, DD?

  8. SussexWatcher says:

    SussexAnon – Presumably the governor and Speaker-presumptive have better instincts than, say, the Laurel bunch who picked their nominee. Instead, Staton in fact did worse or not much better than several last-minute placeholders who ran awful campaigns.

    The Democratic percentages:

    Pete 90 (against a Libertarian)
    Venables 56
    Atkins 50
    Mayor 47
    McGinn 45
    Staton 43
    Hovington 40
    Price 39
    Lowe 37
    Eakle 32

    Dave: the reason he went by Andy and had such horrible signs (all italics, lots of serifs) is that his signs mirrored almost identically the signs for his real estate company. Compare: http://www.andytoday.com/ and http://andystaton.com/. I’m not sure if he was trying to boost name recognition for his campaign or his business, but if the former, it didn’t work.

  9. marge says:

    Losing all 3 new districts, after being in control of the redistricting, is very curious indeed.

    I think the 6th was created for Staton, but surely the other two weren’t created with no one in mind? How could we have NOT used our power to create Dem seats?

  10. Guys, I think another article for another day (maybe Monday) will be about Schwartzkopf’s future. More than anyone, he was the driving force behind the Staton and Mayor candidacies, and, for that matter, the design of their respective districts. He lost big on election day. In a New Castle County-centric caucus, I think you have to downgrade his chances to be Speaker.

    Another question: Is it possible that Pete’s active role in those two races almost led to Atkins’ defeat? I think it’s possible. Them Sussex folks don’t take too kindly to someone supporting those, well, you know. And Atkins and Pete are/were BFF’s. Just askin’.

  11. JConnor says:

    ES you failed to mention despite your group hate fest Karen Polled right up there over 60% with the Gov and Lt. Gov :)

  12. SussexWatcher says:

    Joe, he predicted she’d win: “Delaware’s most unqualified elected official will have four more years to ply her incompetence.”

  13. SussexDem40 says:

    El Som,

    What role do the Republicans have in the Speaker’s election? Can they get Pete over the top if they all stick together, which downstaters sometimes do? I think Pete’s chances of being Speaker took a hit on election day, which is a shame because he did a great job with re-districting – on the whole the D’s gained a seat. It’s too easy for anyone to think he should bear some blame for creating seats which the D’s lost. I think that is a reflection of his work at protecting incumbents – especially Dennis E. Williams, who essentially lost his home turf but was carried by two election districts which he won by huge margins. He also gave Trey Paradee a better district to run in and put Ruth Briggs King in play, which could pay dividends in coming years. Spiegleman may also be a one termer. Truthfully, I think Russ McCabe was thought to want to run again when 20th HD was created and Mayor was more of a back up plan.

  14. SussexWatcher says:

    The 41st was a direct message to Atkins to clean his shit up. Voters there are getting tired of his treating the office like a playground.

    If you think the Republican downstaters are going to support Pete for speaker, you’re a moron.

  15. The R’s will likely have no impact on the speaker’s race. I expect the caucus to hash it out. If they unite behind one candidate for speaker, the R’s will nominate their guy, likely Dan Short, and he’ll lose by a 27-14 margin. I don’t look for a repeat of the DeLuca challenge in the House.

    While I agree with you that Pete deserves credit for redistricting, he and Atkins are the only two representatives from Sussex in what is an NCC-oriented caucus. And he DID lose some key races that he had targeted.

    I’d heard for some time that Pete wasn’t as popular in the caucus as I would have assumed. In addition to Schwartzkopf, I hear names like Keeley, B. Short, Darryl Scott, and John Mitchell being bandied about for leadership. I’ve also heard that Val Longhurst will likely not be back in leadership. One can only hope. Keep in mind that the JFC chair position is also vacant as Dennis P. Williams has moved on to the Wilmington mayoral office, and the House D’s are likely to be the most intriguing of all the leadership maneuvering. Yes, even more so than the Senate D’s.

  16. Bohemia Beach says:

    reply to Dave “I didn’t know anything about Staton’s sexual orientation before this. However, he did have bad hair and honestly looked a bit goofy. I didn’t vote on the basis of appearance but when you have a first name like “Andy” coupled with that hair, it just isn’t a serious image. If I were his campaign manager I would have had him get a hair cut and would never have allowed the word “Andy” to be printed. “Andrew” on signs may cost more but it looks a lot more serious than “Andy” This isn’t Mayberry and Staton isn’t Opie.”

    Lots of people would like to think that Sussex County is Mayberry — and come on, it wasn’t his hair, his name, his eyes (etc). Based on your logic shouldn’t Joe Biden be punished for not being listed as Joseph? Andy Staton and Marie Mayor were outstanding candidates — thoughtful, knowledgeable, energetic campaigners who care deeply about the future of our community, and demonstrated that concern in the issues they discussed. Sussex County, even the eastern part, can be very conservative, and we have a lot of older voters. These campaigns needed to be run, and will be run again. It was too difficult for a lot of people to accept a “first”, but it is the future.

  17. One of the most thoughtful and astute analyses I’ve seen.

    Couldn’t agree more with:

    “These campaigns needed to be run, and will be run again. It was too difficult for a lot of people to accept a “first”, but it is the future.”

    It’s not just the W’s and L’s that matter, it’s what you stand for.

  18. Not that the Markell’s endorsement has had much influence on the voters but who knows how much it will effect the electeds. He will campaign strongly to keep Pete in power in the House. My bet is on Schwartzkopf stepping up to Speaker.

  19. Dave says:

    Joe Biden is a “Joe”, Pete Swartzkopf is a “Pete.” They are and have been known in that manner forever.

    I don’t know “Andy”. He hasn’t been around forever. Regardless, I’m just giving my perspective on I perceived the candidate. Your mention of Marie (who surprised me by not winning) makes it obvious you believe that sexual orgientation was the key factor in Staton not winning. You may be right, but again, my perspective as a voter who had to choose between the two is that Lopez struck me as the more serious candidate. Because this wasn’t a clash of ideologies (at least to me), image matters.

    It was just the opposite with a race like Deaver and Ayotte. That was a clash of ideologies. I supported and worked for Deaver during the campaign because Ayotte’s ideology could not be allowed to prevail.

  20. John Manifold says:

    We understand how and Tiny Tony screwed the disobedient members of his caucus – but it was a felony that he also screwed Chris Counihan, handing Claymont to McDowell – to protect McD from black primary opponents.

  21. anon says:

    Staton and Mayor are fine individuals, but lost for one reason. As much as you think the 6th and 20th are liberal hotbeds, they are not. These two districts were a clear referendum on gay marriage. If a openly gay candidate cant win in Rehoboth/Lewes that tells me Delaware isnt ready yet. I also believe if Pete had an R running he couldve been in trouble. Pete needs to move more to the moderate middle before he draws a strong, old family Republican as an opponent. When Bob Venables barely get 56% in Laurel/Delmar its becoming tougher for Ds in Sussex.

  22. SussexWatcher says:

    That’s bullshit. I’d bet my pants that no more than 1 in 5 voters knew, let alone cared, about their sex lives. They simply were not representative of their districts. The 20th does NOT include Rehoboth, and in fact takes in a lot of rural territory outside Milton and Lewes. The 6th is a huge chunk of land that similarly includes areas around the bays and stretching back near to Georgetown.

    Image also matters a lot, despite the fact that it shouldn’t. Compare the visuals of a frumpy retiree and an ex trooper, or a smiling confident man with a guy who looks like a grown-up Opie with serial-killer eyes. Seriousness and first impressions count for a hell of a lot in a race where most voters don’t meet the candidates.

    Staton in particular was not taken seriously. His flyers were either negative or vapid, with pretty pictures and a ton of platitudes.

    You can try to blame it on bigotry, but the simple fact is that the candidates were viewed as jokes and empty suits. Smyk brought firepower and Lopez had the smarts, but neither of those wins it for you. Mayor had an odd bunch of devotees and Staton had Jack and Pete and a bunch of nastiness. There was nothing else that I could tell, as a voter in both districts, that made the two of them special. They lost it themselves by running generic campaigns.

  23. anon says:

    1 in 5 voters is 20% of the electorate.

  24. SussexWatcher says:

    And?

    My point is that by my estimate, only a fifth of the electorate was even aware of their orientations. That’s neither a positive nor a negative number. But it is awfully low to count for the widespread bigotry that idiots in this thread are claiming. I actually live in both districts and have talked with quite a few people. On what do you base your claim?

Switch to our mobile site