In 2006 14,386 Republicans voted in the U.S. Senate race in which 2505 votes went for Christine O’Donnell. 301 votes were cast in the 35th Rep District, 367 votes were cast in the 36th Rep District. 469 votes were cast in the 37th Rep District.1137 votes (of which O’Donnell got 130 votes) were cast in these three Rep Districts. These 3 districts accounted for 7% of the total votes cast in the statewide primary.
In 2004’s 21,670 votes were cast statewide in the GOP primary for Governor with 590 cast in the 35th, 729 cast in the 36th and 813 cast in the 37 th . These districts accounted for 2132 votes cast or 9% of votes cast statewide.
In 2008 in the GOP primary for Governor the 35th accounted for 1094 votes, the 36th accounted for 1564 and the 37th accounted for 1746. 4404 votes were cast in these 3 rep districts or 15 % of the 28,972 total votes cast statewide in that race.
In 2004 and 2006 none of these districts had a local primary,but in 2010 there is hotly contested race for the 19th State Senate seat which has at least four election districts in each of these Rep Districts which comprise 14 of the 16 election districts in the 19th Senate District.
In 2008 when the relative impact statewide of these three districts was significantly higher, there were local primaries . Sussex County Council District 2 and 3 each had a GOP primary . 20 election districts within the boundaries of these two county council districts are in one of these 3 state rep districts which have at least 4 EDs which are in the 19th State Senate District. The portions of these County Council Districts that were in these rep districts provided 976 in the 35th, 155 in the 36th 691 in the 37th in the 2nd County Council District and 58 in the 35th 1417 in the 36th and 1069 in the 37th in the 3rd County Council District . 4366 voters cast ballots in one of these three rep districts in one of these two county council races.
Since that is only 38 fewer voters than voted in the Governor’s race it is entirely possible that hundreds of voters may have been brought to the polls by their interest to vote in the local race and then voted in the statewide race. If this is not the case what could explain twice as many voters participating in 2008 than 2004, both presidential years involving the same opponents, Bill Lee & Mike Protack? While the statewide GOP votes cast went up only 33% from 21,670 to 28,972, the turnout numbers in these districts more than doubled from 2132 to 4404.
The fact is that of the 3 examples the only one in which the percent of statewide total exceeds 10% is the one where local primaries are involved.
I can not predict the amount of the impact,but I think the 19th State Senate primary will drive up the relative impact these three rep districts have on the statewide GOP primaries for US Senate and US Rep .
Numbers quoted are the from the Delaware State Election Commissioner's website: