Posted: Oct. 10, 2013
THE NUMBERS GAP
By Celia Cohen
Election by election, the Democrats get stronger and the Republicans fall farther behind in Delaware's voter registration rolls. It does not look like 2014 will be any different.
The numbers gap is getting so great, it is taking the state beyond the old saying about voting for a yellow dog if it is a Democrat. It could be a yellow dog, junkyard dog or maybe even a mad dog.
The Republicans are decidedly underdogs.
With a little more than a year to go before the next election, the state registration figures are showing better than 123,000 more Democratic than Republican voters, up from a Democratic advantage of about 118,000 voters in 2012, when the Democrats swept all five statewide offices on the ballot.
Only in Sussex County, a stubborn bastion of conservative voters, can the Republican statewide candidates often come out ahead. If it had been up to Sussex County, Christine O'Donnell would be a United States senator.
The last time the Republicans had a winning year was six elections ago in 2002, the one following Sept. 11th. They took three out of five statewide offices on the ballot by re-electing Mike Castle as congressman, Jane Brady as attorney general and Tom Wagner as auditor. They also squeezed the Democrats down to 12 out of 41 members in the state House of Representatives.
Back in 2002, the Republicans still trailed the Democrats in registration, but the deficit was a more-manageable 49,000 voters or so.
Since then, there has been a Democratic surge. The party has gobbled up elections so relentlessly that Wagner is the only Republican left standing among the nine statewide officeholders.
Castle was taken out by his own kind, bewitched in the Senate primary of 2010, and Brady escaped into a judgeship to avoid a race with Beau Biden in 2006. The state House went Democratic in 2008 and has been that way since.
The Democrats have Jack Markell and Matt Denn as the governor and lieutenant governor, Tom Carper and Chris Coons as senators, John Carney as the congressman, Biden as the attorney general, and really, once they have carried the top of the ticket like that, the rest is pretty much of a mindless zombie vote.
At least the Republicans will always have Sussex.