Friday, August 21, 2009

New Castle County Usually a Bellwhether in Statewide contests

In the last post I mentioned how in the last four election cycles 55% plus of the statewide vote came out of suburban New Castle County. Since then I have looked to see how often statewide winners are able to carry the state,but lose in New Castle County. Since 2000 there have been 27 statewide races. Only two candidates, Republican Jane Brady , who in 2002 won in a 3 way race for Attorney General with Democrat Carl Schnee and Green Party candidate Vivian Houghton (whose 4.8% was higher than average 3rd party vote share) and Republican Tom Wagner, who won re-election as Auditor in 2006 over Democrat Michael Dalto, won statewide despite losing in suburban New Castle County.

The following won statewide and won New Castle county from 2000 to 2008:

3 Democratic presidential candidates: Barack Obama lost Sussex County. Al Gore and John Kerry each lost Kent and Sussex Counties

4 times the Democratic candidate for US Senate: In 2002 Joe Biden lost Kent County and in 2008 won Sussex County by only 272 votes when over 86, 000 votes were cast in Sussex County. Democrat Tom Carper won all subdivisions in 2006,but lost Kent and Sussex in 2000 when he upset Republican Bill Roth.

5 times the Republican Candidate for US House: Republican Mike Castle won in the City of Wilmington only once,getting 95 votes more than Democrat Mike Miller did in the city in 2002. This was the only Republican race between 2000 and 2008 in which the Republican got more Wilmington votes than the Democrat.

3 times the Democratic candidate for Governor: Ruth Ann Minner in 2000 and Jack Markell in 2008 each won all four subdivisions,but in 2004 Minner lost Kent and Sussex.

3 times the Democratic candidate for Lt Governor. John Carney in 2000 and 2004 and Matt Denn in 2008 each won all four subdivisions.

2 times the Democratic candidate for Treasurer-Jack Markell won all four subdivisions in 2002 and 2006.

For attorney general: in 2006 Democrat Beau Biden won despite losing Kent & Sussex Counties

In the 2002 Auditor's race Republican Tom Wagner won all subdivisions except the City of Wilmington. He received 61.8% overall in 2002.
In 2006 , the year he lost the City of Wilmington and New Castle County, he had 53.7% overall. His 65% victory in Kent & Sussex Counties allowed him to win,although by a 8.1% narrower margin than in 2002.

Each of the 3 Insurance Commissioner winners won New Castle County while losing at least one subdivision: Republican Donna Lee Williams lost the City of Wilmington in 2000,Democrat Matt Denn lost Kent & Sussex Counties in 2004 and Democrat Karen Weldin Stewart lost Sussex County in 2008.

Democrats ,winners and losers, can usually count on winning in Wilmington .
Kent & Sussex each backed the losing Republican 7 times in statewide raced in which Democrats won.
New Castle County supported the winner in all but two statewide contests of the last 27 held and one of those races had a third party candidate whose vote total of 13,860 exceeded the margin of victory which was only 6,871 votes. Since both of these offices will be on the ballot in 2010, it will be interesting to watch this trend.

All data is from the State Election Commissioner's website and the New Castle County Board of Elections' website.
A link is in the last post before this one.

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