We are on the eighth stop in our Fifty State Tour and, finally, we’ve reached a state with a gubernatorial election on tap in 2016. Unlike mid-term elections which feature three dozen governor races, this presidential election cycle features just 12. Alphabetically, Delaware is first on that list. But nobody would consider Delaware anywhere close to first on the most competitive list. This year’s Delaware governor election will be a blowout for the blue team. And the same outcome awaits the presidential race here.
That’s because the “First State”, so called because it was the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution in 1787, has turned into a very deep blue state over the last two generations. George Bush and Mike Castle were the last Republicans to win the state in presidential and gubernatorial races, respectively. Both victories came way back in 1988. In the Senate, William Roth won the Senate race as a Republican six years later, but that was it. Every Senate, presidential and gubernatorial election since has featured an triumphant Democrat – usually by very wide margins.
The only exception in the statewide races tracked here at Election Projection was Mike Castle’s long career in the House. After serving as governor for two terms in the 80’s, Castle won Delaware’s at-large House seat in 1992. He kept the seat until January, 2011. That year, the moderate Republican ran for the Senate seat left open by Joe Biden ascension to U.S. Vice-President. His bid failed in the primaries, however, amid a rising tide of Tea Party influence. His primary opponent and Tea Party favorite, Christine O’Donnell, was much too conservative for a liberal state like Delaware, and she lost the seat to Democrat Chris Coons in a 17-point rout. It will be a long time before another Republican represents the people of Delaware in Congress or in its statehouse or wins the state’s three electoral votes in a presidential election.You can find the historical results to which I refer in this article in tabular form by visiting the Delaware election page.
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