Blue Wave Watch – Delaware

Filed in National by on September 9, 2018

“Tossup, or D Pickup?”

That’s the main question to answer when looking at the November matchups. Some candidates are good and some are weak, but this election day, unlike any other, will come down to voter engagement. Right now all early signs point to the fact that “R Pickup” isn’t a high probability outcome in any race.

Primary day turnout is instructive. 83,000 Democratic voters were moved to vote in the primary. Meanwhile, Republican turnout went from nearly 70,000 voters in the 2016 primary to just under 38,000 on Thursday.

Importantly, the Harris campaign and other primary candidates focused on reaching new voters, young people, and people of color. Keeping those new voters and adding to their ranks may not be difficult given Trump’s poll ratings in Delaware. (Approve:36 Disapprove: 58 No Opinion:6.)

Those numbers, and the bloody flag being waved by President Obama, allow EVERY Democrat in every race to make Trump an issue in this election. That will push Republicans to either run toward or away from the President. A Kevin Hensley (for example) running toward Trump provides ammunition for his challenger and increases Dem turnout. A “nice polite Republican” like Hensley running away from the Cheeto provides the GOP nuts an excuse to stay home.

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Jason330 is a deep cover double agent working for the GOP. Don't tell anybody.

Comments (28)

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  1. bamboozer says:

    Like virtually everyone who posts here I have little faith in the DNC or party elite as a whole, but having said that I think the Blue Wave is for real and likely to flip the house, but not the senate. As noted Kerri did a great job but fell short, but in doing so attracted new voters to the party and to the polls. This is the future of the party, mobilizing and energizing the troops. Do this and we win.

  2. jason330 says:

    Exactly. Even in Delaware there is a growing sense that the swing voter is not some mythological “moderate” who is at times conseravtive and at times liberal – but in reality the swing voter is simply someone who hasn’t voted.

  3. puck says:

    “Republican turnout went from nearly 70,000 voters in the 2016 primary to just under 38,000 on Thursday”

    Why should they bother mounting an opposition, when they have Democrats who repeal estate tax and block minimum wage increases? Republicans are happy with the job Democrats are doing for them, and don’t want to stand in their way.

  4. Nah, it’s more than that. They had shitty candidates who had minimal name recognition and who, when it came to the primary for Congress, were jokes.

    • Bane says:

      Great points El Som. The only decent candidate the R’s have run in a general in the past century is Ken Simpler. If they find more of those and can avoid primaries, I think they can pick up wins in midterm elections.

  5. Joshua W says:

    Comparing the primary days of Midterms and Presidential election years is interesting, but I’d be more curious to see a comparison between the primary day of 2018 versus 2014

  6. jason330 says:

    Joshua W got the low hanging fruit in the post. That is a good point. Another good Blue Wave question is – What’s the relationship (if any) between primary day turnout, and election day turnout?

    My gut tells me that higher engagement in September has an echo in November turnout.

    • jason330 says:

      8…………..14…….2002 Primary
      7…………..8………2006 Primary
      12…………32…….2010 Primary
      7…………..14…….2014 Primary

      My gut was wrong. Most mid-term primaries are boring as shit.

  7. Steve Newton says:

    @jason: “My gut tells me that higher engagement in September has an echo in November turnout.”

    Not sure about that. You had Carper/Harris and the Auditor’s race to drive up turn-out in the primary. Most of the races in the City (like Tizzy’s) are now effectively over since the primary IS the election there (as you have pointed out many times).

    Carper/Arlett and Rochester/Walker is not going to bring the Democrat vote out in droves, because everybody knows they can all stay home and the candidates will still win (and how many Harris voters are really going to go out and hold their noses to vote for Tom, anyway, since it doesn’t cost them a damn thing not to?).

    Nobody actually gives a crap about the Auditor’s race now, and near as I can tell nobody cares about Attorney General very much, either.

    That leaves the local races, and whether you like it or not, most of the local Rs have managed (in the minds of their constituents) to quietly distance themselves from either Trump or “the liberals.” It’s pretty much going to hinge there on individual GOTV efforts, because nobody’s going to successfully “nationalize” an election in Pike Creek or Smyrna.

    What brings out a massive voter turn-out is a top-of-the-ticket race where you feel it’s necessary to vote for or against somebody.

    I don’t see where you have that here.

  8. jason330 says:

    Having looked at it – I agree.

    That said, it behooves candidates like Coleen Davis to get Ken Simpler on the record Re: Trump. I’m not sure how she can do that, but I think it is the only path that gives her a shot.

  9. Steve Newton says:

    “My opponent wants to talk about President Trump instead of talking about the issues that matter to Delaware, like financial security. I’m sure that she didn’t like it when President Obama separated children from their families at the border any more than I did when President Trump did it. I’m sure she was equally critical of President Obama’s illegal drone wars abroad as she’d like me to be of President Trump. We can play this game all day, but this election is really about the financial management of Delaware, not who’s in the White House. We have an election in 2020 to decide that.”

  10. jason330 says:

    “My opponent’s character has a direct bearing on this race, and how he intends to perform in office. He continues to support Trump in spite of everything we now know. That speaks volumes about his character and his competence. Can Delaware really afford to have a committed Trump supporter fill this key role? We cannot.”

  11. I disagree, Steve. Arlett and Walker are more likely to entice R voters to stay home than Carper and Rochester are likely to discourage D’s from voting.

    Walker may well be the most evil candidate ever to run for higher office in Delaware. I’ll be writing more about him soon. Only true Trumpies are likely to come out, IMHO.

  12. Dave says:

    Wouldn’t the overwhelming registration numbers and the quality of the R candidates cause Ds to stay home thinking blue has it locked?

    I would hope that the Ds will (and “I”s) will leave nothing to chance. People need to show up every single time. That is if they care. Trump is a cautionary tale and if you don’t turn out because you are interested or excited, then you should turn out because having witnessed the tale, you are afraid.

  13. Sure, Dave, you could be right. But if, in general, D’s and R’s stay home in similar proportions, D’s still have the overwhelming registration advantage. Especially in NCC.

    And ain’t nobody but Trumpies coming out for Arlett, and NOBODY’s coming out for Walker. And, at least LBR will help to boost turnout in the city.

    And, despite the largely-uninspiring statewide slate, D’s are more motivated this year than R’s.

  14. Alby says:

    “Wouldn’t the overwhelming registration numbers and the quality of the R candidates cause Ds to stay home thinking blue has it locked?”

    This is where voter enthusiasm comes in. Steve Newton is basically saying that the anti-Trump enthusiasm sweeping the nation will have no effect on Delaware. Why people would think that is anyone’s guess. Delawareans are notably centrist, but I don’t think that translates into hating Trump any less.

  15. RE Vanella says:

    Al… You of all people should understand! Realpolitik in the 21st-century professional white enclave is more “private property” oriented. Dig it?

    I’m mean some people don’t advocate for it. Poor taste, you see. It’s just how it is on the ground. Late capitalism.

    At least that’s what I was lead to understand.

    Hell, I could just be confused. Learned only yesterday I’m a pseudo intellectual. And snide! Wild stuff… Had to find my dictionary.

    • Alby says:

      Well, it is private property oriented.

      I confess to confusion about the little speech he wrote for Mike Smith. About 240,000 people, give or take 10,000, are going to vote in Delaware in November. The number of them that will listen to even a single speech by any candidate for any office in the state won’t exceed 10% of that total. That said, he’s right that Smith has done the groundwork, and it doesn’t mean nothing. Those who are civically involved will notice.

      Steve seems to think mainly people who show up for neighborhood association meetings will vote. That’s the source of the disagreement.

      • RE Vanella says:

        Ah, those meetings. Yeah.

        I forgot because I’m moronic.

        • Steve Newton says:

          No, you ignored them because of that particular intellectual challenge.

          I’m simply arguing that this district doesn’t fit the rest of the demographic in NCC (hint: it was designed to gerrymander two generally R districts into one), and any quick look at its voting patterns over the past decade would substantiate that.

          You have to have actually stood at North Star and Linden Hill and watched dozens and then hundreds of the post-55 set from the neighborhood associations turn out to vote. You also have to remember that politics is still local, and that people often care a good deal more about keeping their streets in repair and their home values up than about social justice issues or Trump.

          But, wait, I have to stop or RE will decree that what I want is segregationist enclaves and sundown towns forever, just because (wait for it) I think you actually ought to use … data … instead of rampant slavering ideology and disdain to predict election outcomes.

          Here’s a hint: only one of us has already spent a career working on the ground to bring educational access to people of color, people locked out by the system, or people denied because their parents didn’t have papers.

          And it wasn’t you.

          • RE Vanella says:

            Please explain to me the esoteric political machination of the middle class white suburbs again! It’s so intellectually challenging. I forgot it. More hints!

            • RE Vanella says:

              home values and keeping up “their” streets…

              No shit.

              People care about their capital more than another person? This is fucking news to me. Wild stuff. Sounds vaguely libertarian!

              (these are my “hints”…)

  16. RE Vanella says:

    This hero is a first responder.

    Support the troop!

  17. Alby says:

    As long as we’re highlighting stories about turds in blue, how about that lying sack in Dallas?

  18. RE Vanella says:

    Logical next step. Just blow away random neighbors.

    Most normal people, if they made a mistake like that, would be incredibly embarrassed and apologize and probably buy their neighbor a case of beer.

    Not the police! They’re trained to kill.

    “The Sheriff and his Deputies should never be armed in public. Every urban riot, shoot-out and blood-bath (involving guns) in recent memory has been set off by some trigger-happy cop in a fear frenzy.”

    Thompson for Sheriff.