Saturday, August 28, 2010

Protack might not want to pin primary hopes on newly registered voters and whoever becomes the GOP nominee has less of an edge than just 3 years ago

Mike Protack is once again the nonendorsed Republican in a primary. Bill Tansey, who is retiring as the third district county council member in New Castle County, recruited and endorsed Protack's primary opponent Janet Kilpatrick. Befitting a feisty outsider, Protack told the News-Journal's Chad Livengood :

"That's not an endorsement I would look for or accept,"

I had read about the campaigns of two Democrats without their party leadership endorsements in 2008, Barack Obama for President and Jack Markell for Delaware's Governor, who benefited from new voters. Obama was reported to have brought totally new voters to the polls while Markell was reported to have gotten several hundred Republicans (maybe more) to switch registration so they could support him in the Democratic primary.

Here is an article from BBC about Obama's 2008 popularity among new voters:

In his post-primary recap in Sept 2008 blogger Tommy Wonk asserted :

“thousands of Republicans switched their registration to support Jack Markell”.

You may dispute the exact numbers and how they became Democrats (new registrant or switching registration),but it is a fact that the number of registered Democrats in relation to the number of Republicans increased dramatically prior to the primary season in 2008. Between Sept 2007 and May 2008 an additional 12,162 Democrats were on the rolls,but Republicans only increased by 637.

249,716 Democrats and 178,081 Republicans


261,878 Democrats and 178,718 Republicans

I wondered if a similar strategy might at work in the 3rd County Council District and it appears not to be the case.

The numbers below indicate that since Oct 1, 2009 the number of Republican registered voters in the 3rd County Council District only increased by 41. This means unless the winner has a razor thin victory margin of less than 42 voters, whoever wins will need the vast majority of their votes to come from prior registered Republicans.

This would seem to tilt in Janet Kilpatrick's favor since Tansey was popular enough to unseat an incumbent in 2002 and to run unopposed in 2006 with no primary opponent or general election opponent.

The registration figures still lean to the Republicans.Since Bill Tansey was sworn in for his second term in Jan 2007,the advantage has lessened.Republicans have 431 fewer registered voters since Jan. 2007. Democrats still trail by over 2,000 registered voters,but have picked up 1606 more registered Democrats.

11,330 Democrats and 14,113 Republican registered voters in the 3rd County Council District in New Castle County
182,982 Republican registered voters statewide

11,257 Democrats and 14,072 Registered Republicans in the 3rd District
180,064 Republicans registered statewide.


10,904 Democrats and 14,260 Republicans

9,724Democrats and 14,544 Republicans

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