Delaware Elections

Final Predictions and Candidate Rankings

Here are my final projections as to what will happen next Tuesday.   It will only happen if you vote though.  Don’t take this as a spoiler of a sporting event or a television show where now you don’t have to watch the end now that you are spoiled.   If you don’t show up, then 2016 happens again.  Hopefully, the purists have learned their lesson.

So, first, the Statewides.   Of course, Senator Carper and Congresswoman Blunt Rochester will win and will win easily, by 30 points or more eachThe rest of the races, Attorney General, Treasurer, and Auditor, are all rated Lean Democratic.  In other words, the Democratic candidate in each race should win, but it is not a mortal lock.

Let’s start with the obvious race where this ranking indicates a surprising, no shocking, upset to some: the State Treasurer’s Race.    Republican State Treasurer Ken Simpler is in trouble.    And I was skeptical at first that he would be.   Simpler is the perfect Ken Doll Republican that is inoffensive and allows new Chateau County Democrats and old style bipartisan Delaware Way seeking Independents to vote Republican so that they can feel good about voting Democratic in every other race.   But I have watched the campaign, and seen some internal polling, and I am now convinced that Democratic candidate Colleen Davis will not only benefit from her very good on the ground campaign, but she will also benefit from two waves: the woman wave and the blue wave.  Democrats are voting for Democrats this year, no matter what.  And women voters who are offended by Trump and Kavanaugh, whether they are Democrats or Independents, are voting for Democratic women this year.

It’s why the subpar unqualified socialite Kathy McGuiness will win the Auditor’s race despite her many flaws.     It’s all a reaction to that misogynist in the White House.    AG Candidate Kathy Jennings also benefits from this, although she would win absent a wave of any sort.  


The Democrats control the State Senate by 1 vote, 11-10.  They will expand that majority by 1 to 12-9 by defeating the Republicans Minority Whip and Delaware’s version of Paul Ryan, Greg Lavelle in the 4th Senate District.  Democratic candidate Laura Sturgeon has run a brilliant campaign since last fall, 2017.  I think she has knocked on every door in every neighborhood in the district.  She has worked as hard as you need to work to defeat an incumbent in a district, that while becoming more demographically and ideologically friendly to your side, still identifies as a Republican or a moderate district.   What will push her over the finish line is the two waves I am talked about above.

In an earlier version of the rankings I published back in the early fall, I categorized the 6th Senate District race between Republican Senator Ernie Lopez and Democratic candidate Dave Baker as a Lean Republican and possibly competitive district.  No more.   I was unimpressed with Baker’s debate performance where he failed to highlight any differences between him and Lopez and essentially agreed with him on issue after issue.  That’s not going to get it done.   I hope I am wrong, but I just don’t see this going our way.

In the only other “competitive” Senate race, the 17th, is not really competitive at all.   The race is classified as a Lean Democratic race this time and was classified as a Toss up earlier because it was an open seat with Senator Bushweller retiring, and it was made a Republican target.   But in a Democratic year, in a district where the demographics and registration numbers heavily favor the Democrats, Trey Paradee will win.   If this was 2014 or even 2016, I might have given Justin King, the Republican candidate and Mayor of Camden, a better shot.   But not this year.


The Democrats control the House of Representatives by 9 votes, 25-16.  They will expand that majority by at least 2 seats, possibly by 4 seats if things really go our way on Tuesday.    The races I have the Democrats winning are the 12th RD, where Krista Griffith will send Deborah Hudson into retirement.  Krista, like Laura Sturgeon, has run an organized and brilliant campaign, also knocking on every door in the district.  Including mine.   Now, this district is a Republican district according to the registration numbers.  But it has been trending Democratic, and the type of Republican voters in this district are not the ones that love Trump.  They are the socially moderate to liberal Republican or Independent voter that love Mike Castle but hate Christine O’Donnell.  And Griffith has been not only been activating long dormant Democratic voters in the district, but she has also been appealing to the type of Republican or Independent voter in this district that want to send a message to Trump.   Another reason why I think Griffith wins is because Hudson has just not been campaigning.  Did she think she could coast in a Democratic wave year where the district has been trending away from her for the last 10 years?

In the 22nd RD, where Republican Representative Joe Miro has finally retired, we have Democratic candidate Guillermina Gonzalez and Republican candidate Michael Smith.   Smith is very much like Ken Simpler, a nice inoffensive Ken Doll Republican that you can fulfill your Delaware Way obligation of being bipartisan by voting for him.  But I think things outside of his control are going to lead to his defeat.  First, again, I sound like a broken record, but it is a very important factor in a lot of races this year, is the two waves, one blue and one pink.  This district is very much like the 12th RD in that it was a Republican district, registration that is trending Democratic, but that it has the kind of Republicans that don’t foam at the mouth when a person of color walks by.  The very racist third party campaign by the 12th RD Republican Committee, who for some reason decided to campaign against Gonzalez in another district rather than for Hudson in their own district is another reason.  The 12th RDRC placed signs saying “Make Delaware a Sanctuary State, Vote Democrat!” throughout the district to highlight the fact that Gonzalez is a Mexican immigrant.   I think the ploy has backfired and the socially liberal to moderate voters in the district are not taking it kindly.

Those are the two districts that I think are certain to go Democratic on Tuesday (if you vote), but there are two others that could swing our way, but I am just not sure they will.   One is the 21st RD where general sleazeball and possible criminal Mike Ramone is running for reelection.   He has never faced a competitive election since his first race in 2008, and he got spoiled.  And that led him to abuse his office behind the scenes in opposing his Democratic opponent, Stephanie Barry, as we have covered here at Blue Delaware.  We have also uncovered another possible abuse of office, where it appears Mr. Ramone profited off legislation and did not disclose his conflict of interest.   Ramone is the type of corrupt politician that people hate, but I don’t think that fact has sunk in enough here in Delaware, given the fact that the News Journal only covered the later “insider trading” scandal in the context of an attack on the “partisan blog Blue Delaware.”   So I think Ramone could pull this out in a close one.  I also think it is possible that Barry will win.   I’m just not sure.

I think if Barry had started her campaign back in 2017 like Krista Griffith and Laura Sturgeon did, she would have won going away.  And I think that certain Democratic party members and former officials, namely former Senator Karen Peterson, should stop protecting this Republican creep.   Just because Ramone voted correctly on gay marriage and other discrimination issues does not give him a lifetime license to your your support Karen.   Karen Peterson has single-handedly destroyed her progressive credentials and history of accomplishments by continuing to support Ramone.  Stop giving him a pass.  And this applies to any Democrat in Delaware that has supported Ramone.  This applies to any organization that continues to endorse him.

Finally, Don Allan in the open 36th RD has run a spectacular grass roots campaign.   I pray and hope he wins.  I think he could win.  But I can’t predict or project that he will win because of the district and his opponent.  The party registration numbers in this Kent-Sussex County district slightly favor the Democrat, but the lower state Democratic voter may in fact be a Trump supporter in this day and age.   The district, though, has the feel of being competitive, but I feel that its voters can do what they have always done: vote for the inoffensive local Republican.   And the Republican in this race, Milford Mayor Bryan Shupe is just the type of inoffensive local Republican that could win.   So stay tuned.

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

19 comments on “Final Predictions and Candidate Rankings

  1. Shupe’s inoffensiveness might have helped him in one of the Brandywine area RDs like 21 or 22, but he has basically no appeal to rural working class voters that make up the district beyond the little R next to his name on the ballot. If he had gone full on Trump this race we be much less competitive.

    • cassandram

      The thing you know about Allan is that he is going to show up to work for his community every damn day. He’s not going to let them get lost in the Leg Hall shuffle.

    • Good point Josh. So I take it that local Rethugs are not as enthused about Shupe then. That would be a necessary factor in Don winning.

      • If Shupe wins it’s because of the heavy feeling of partisanship in the district (and throughout the country), not because of the candidates. I’ve met and talked to a lot of republicans that couldn’t stand him.

  2. cassandram

    I think Jennings is a Safe D. Pepukayi has not worked as hard as she has AND I watched part of the last FB live event with Jennings and Pepukayi with a couple of women who were definitely turned off by the whole blowhard persona he was putting up. He’s trying to run as a progressive Democrat with a Republican team jersey on. He’ll get some votes in the Rt 9 corridor and Middletown, but I don’t think Jennings needs to worry much.

  3. Mitch Crane

    Good analysis. However, I point out again that the 36th RD is not “Kent-Sussex”. The line runs through Milford with the Mispillion River and then State Route 14 as the boundary between the two counties and between the 36th in Sussex and the 33rd in Kent. “South Milford” is the 1st the two EDs in Sussex. The District is entirely in Sussex County.

    I also want to point out that the Sussex County Council District 4 seat is very much in play. The district is the city of Rehoboth Beach south into Bethany Beach and west to Long Neck. In 2014 Democrat Shirley Price received 44% against long-time incumbent George Cole in what was a bad turnout year for Democrats. Cole is retiring! The Democrat, Paulette Rappa is a strong advocate on infrastructure, sea water rise and smart growth. Her opponent, Doug Hudson has repeatedly stated that he does not believe in climate change or in sea water rise. Most of the district is along or near sea water issues. I believe Rappa will win.

    I also believe that Jack Bucchioni has a shot in the 20th RD, against Steve Smyk.

    I won’t comment on your adjectives used against Kathie McGuiness. She will have the opportunity to prove you wrong afater she takes office in January.

  4. SussexWatcher

    Mitch, she’s had the opportunity to prove herself every day since 2015, across two campaigns.

  5. Kathy McGuiness may win, but I will not vote for her. James Spadola is the first Republican I am voting for in a long time, he’d do a better job in this relatively non partisan position. It helps that he isn’t some crazy extreme right winger.

    Other wise I think the predictions are right and Dems expand majorities, though there may be another upset or too. I feel like the extent of Dem anger can’t really be captured in the polls.

  6. DD “Smith is very much like Ken Simpler, a nice inoffensive Ken Doll Republican that you can fulfill your Delaware Way obligation of being bipartisan by voting for him.”
    You probably have never met the guy. He knows the issues and has a plan! I met the Democratic candidate once, that’s it! Mike has been around numerous times and was very enlightening.

  7. Just a bipartisan suggestion. Take the time to do some research on the candidates up for re-election. Vote not just because they have an R, D or I after their name. Vote for the most qualified! I was at a private event last night, that there was a local D person who was running for the Senate. Was interesting to hear, that a lot of times someone will Co-sponsor a bill and not have had the time to read it. THAT is scary. That is not what they were elected to do.

    Vote, for the most qualified, Make a change!

  8. Also worth pointing out that Shupe is no longer mayor of Milford, in spite of his insistence on calling himself that, referencing it 1000 times every time he speaks publicly, and having his official campaign page on Facebook say “Mayor Shupe.”

    • ^this. I swear every other word out of that guy’s mouth is “as Mayor of Milford…”

  9. Both Mike’s(Smith and Ramone) win. Rash upsets Kowalko. Lavelle and Simpler both win. Republicans will have to wait until 2020 to take the Senate(they will the D’s have weak incumbent who will lose).

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