Legislative Update, September 26

Legislative Update, September 26

Primary Election Results

 

The primary election was TuesdaySeptember 13. There were a number of hotly contested races on the ballot. Turnout among eligible voters was the lowest it has been in decades at 16.2% statewide.

 

Delaware has a closed primary, which means that voters may only vote in those primary races which correspond to their party registration. 

 

Some Key Points on Primary Results: 

 

  • Incumbent Representative and House Majority Whip Larry Mitchell (D-Elsmere) lost in the 13thRepresentative District to a progressive Democrat primary challenger, DeShanna Neal. Neal faces Carlucci Coelho (R) in the November election.   
  • Incumbent State Auditor Kathy McGuinnes lost her primary race to challenger Lydia York by a substantial margin. Ms. York will face Janice Lorrah (R) in the general election.   
  • In the 16th Senate District, incumbent State Senator Colin Bonini (R-Dover) lost his three-way primary to current Kent County Levy Court Commissioner Eric Buckson. Mr. Buckson is unopposed in the general election.   
  • Two progressive Democrat incumbents, Representative Madinah Wilson-Anton (26th RD, Newark-Bear) and Representative Eric Morrison (27th RD, Glasgow, Summit) won convincingly against primary challengers.   
  • In the 14th Senate District, Kyra Hoffner won a 5-way primary for the seat that Senator Bruce Ennis (D-Smyrna-Clayton) is vacating. Ms. Hoffner is originally from New York, has been a leader of the recreational marijuana legalization effort in Delaware, and defeated a number of candidates with substantial ties in the community, labor support, etc.  She faces Republican Mark Pugh in the general election. 

 

 

RESULTS Key Races 2022 Primary Election

             

OFFICE/DISTRICT

NAME

VOTE % PER CANDIDATE

VOTE # PER CANDIDATE

PARTY

State Auditor

Kathleen McGuiness*

28.98%

14640

D

 

Lydia York

71.02%

35881

D

     
               

Senate District 6

John "Jack" Bucchioni

32.10%

1862

D

 

Russ Huxtable

67.90%

3938

D

     
               

Senate District 14

Michael "Tater" Hill-Shaner

26.89%

794

D

 

Kyra Hoffner

34.37%

1015

D

     

 

Kevin Musto

19.30%

570

D

     

 

Sam Noel 

8.87%

262

D

     

 

Robert Sebastiano

10.57%

312

D

     
               

Senate District 16

Colin Bonini

21.75%

815

R

 

Eric Buckson

51.11%

1915

R

     

 

Kim Petters 

27.14%

1017

R

     
               

Representative District 1

Nnamdi Chuckwuocha*

51.63%

1427

D

 

Shané Nicole Darby 

48.37%

1337

D

     
               

Representative District 2

Stephanie Boulden

62.10%

711

D

 

James J. Taylor 

37.90%

434

D

     
               

Representative Distrtict 4

Jeff Hilovsky

61.06%

1372

R

 

Bradley Layfield

38.94%

875

R

     
               

Representative District 6

Debra Heffernan*

55.51%

1567

D

 

Becca Cotto

44.49%

1256

D

     
               

Representative District 13

John "Larry" Miitchell*

49.09%

645

D

 

DeShanna U. Neal

50.91%

669

D

     
               

Representative District 18

Sophie Phillips

71.08%

821

D

 

Martin C. Willis

28.92%

334

D

     
               

Representative District 25

Cyndie Romer

84.93%

1200

D

 

Edward J. Klima 

32.33%

213

D

     
               

Representative District 26

Madinah Wilson-Anton*

67.67%

1059

D

 

Kelly Williams Maresca

32.33%

506

D

     
               

Representative District 27

Eric Morrison*

66.03%

1114

D

 

Michael Hertzfeld

33.97%

573

D

     
               

Representative District 32

Kerri Evelyn Harris

64.56%

725

D

 

Phil McGinnis

24.04%

270

D

     

 

Lamont C. Pierce

6.77%

76

D

     

 

LaVaughn McCutchen

4.63%

52

D

         

Representative District 36

Bryan Shupe*

68.81%

1394

R

 

Patrick Smith 

31.19%

632

R

     

 

 

The general election will be held on Tuesday, November 8. As it is a midterm election with Delaware’s lone U.S. House seat at the top of the ticket, turnout is not expected to be high relative to a year where one of the U.S. Senate seats is up, or a presidential/gubernatorial year. 

 

Among those who voted, there was a fair amount of early voting and voting by mail. Early voting will still be available as an option for the general election; however, mail-in voting is on hold for now as a Delaware judge has recently ruled it unconstitutional. 

 

New Castle County

 

One-half of the district seats on New Castle County Council are on the ballot this year. Four out of six council seats are not contested in the general election. There was one primary race where Brandon Toole won the Democratic primary in the First District. He is unopposed in the general election. 

 

November 8 General Election

 

Delaware State Government

 

A list of candidates on the November 8 general election ballot can be found at https://elections.delaware.gov/services/candidate/genl_fcddt_2022.shtml

 

On the ballot at the state level are:  

  • Delaware’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Delaware Attorney General
  • Delaware State Auditor 
  • Delaware State Treasurer 
  • All 21 seats in the Delaware State Senate (10 out of 20 incumbents have no challenger in the general election).
  • All 41 seats in the Delaware House of Representatives (17 out of 41 House seats on the ballot with either an incumbent or primary winner for an open seat are unopposed in general election).

 

Congress

 

Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Delaware, At Large) is being challenged by Republican, Lee Murphy.  Statewide, as of September 1, the voter registration totals are as follows.: 362,002 Democrats, 209,358 Republicans, 171,136 Unaffiliated, 18,292 Other/Third Party.

 

As for the rest of the Congressional races on the ballot this year, there is a substantial likelihood that the U.S. House will shift to a Republican majority.  All House seats are on the ballot in the various states. Real Clear Politics (which aggregates leading polls and analyzes races) indicates the following:    

  • For the Democrats, there are 185 seats which fall into the categories of “safe” (148), “Likely Dem” (20) or “Leans Dem” (17). They project the Dems flipping CA 25 in the “Likely Dem” column and TX 34 in the “Leans Dem” column.    
  • For Republicans, they place 179 seats in the “safe” column, 17 in the Likely GOP” column, and 22 in the “Leans Dem” column. They project that the Republicans could flip 17 current Democratic seats, with of those in the “Likely GOP” column and 12 in the “Leans GOP” column.   
  • There are 32 seats which are current classed as “Toss-Ups.” Among the “Toss-Ups” are 26current Democratic seats and current Republican seats.  The threshold to secure a majority is 218 seats out of 435.  

 

Given the data above, the Republicans appear to have a substantial advantage. An aggregate of polling data indicates that the in the Generic Congressional Ballot, Democrats lead by 1.1 points.When correcting for the likely margin of error, that number is not a meaningful indicator. Additionally, House races are very local and impacted by how district lines were drawn (most often by state legislatures). This is the first election following the decennial census, so House districts have been redrawn since 2020. 

 

In the United States Senate, as in every congressional election year, one-third of the Senate is on the ballot. While there is a path to Democrats maintaining their majority, which currently stands at 50-50 with Vice President Harris as the tie-breaking vote, there is a reasonable chance that Republicans will take the majority.  Real Clear Politics indicates the following for the Senate: 

 

  • For Democrats, there are 42 seats which are either “Safe” or not on the ballot.  RCP places seats in the “Likely Dem” column, with more in the “Leans Dem” category for a total of 46.   
  • For Republicans, there are 44 seats which are “Safe” or not on the ballot. RCP places in the “Likely GOP” column and in the “Leans GOP” category, for a total of 47.    
  • RCP places seats in the “Toss-Up” category. In that group are (*=incumbent, polling data an aggregated based on leading polls):  
    • Arizona, Mark Kelly (D)* vs. Blake Masters (R) (Currently Dem), Kelly +6.0
    • Georgia, Raphael Warnock (D)* vs. Herschel Walker (R) (Currently Dem) Warnock +0.3
    • New Hampshire, Maggie Hassan (D)* vs. Don Bolduc (Currently Dem) Hassan +8.0
    • North Carolina, Ted Budd (R) vs. Cheri Beasley (D) (Open Seat, Currently Republican) Budd +2.0
    • Nevada, Catherine Cortez-Masto (D)* vs. Adam Laxalt (R) (Currently Dem) Laxalt +1.7
    • Pennsylvania, John Fetterman (D) vs. Mehmet Oz (R) (Open Seat, Currently Republican) Fetterman +4.2
    • Wisconsin, Ron Johnson (R)* vs. Mandela Barnes (D) (Currently Republican), Johnson +0.5

 

Other relevant polling data (aggregated):

 

  • Presidential Biden Job Approval (9/1-9/22):   43% Approve,    53.1% Disapprove,   -10.1% Spread  
  • Direction of the Country (9/6-9/20):             28.3% Right Direction,  64.3% Wrong Track, -36% Spread  
  • Biden Job Approval on Economy:                   38.7% Approve, 57.9% Disapprove, -19.2% Spread  
  • Biden Job Approval on Foreign Policy:           40.2% Approve,   53.3% Disapprove, -13.1% Spread  
  • Biden Job Approval on Inflation:                     33.3% Approve,   64.7% Disapprove, -31.4% Spread  
  • Biden Job Approval on Immigration:              35.2% Approve, 57.4% Disapprove, -22.2% Spread  
  • Biden Job Approval on Russia/Ukraine:        41.5% Approve, 51.8% Disapprove, -10.3% Spread  
  • Biden Job Approval on Crime:                         38.3% Approve, 57.3% Disapprove, -19.0 Spread         

New Castle County Government

 

In the Second District, Dee Durham (D) is being challenged by Jamie Collins (R). None of the other seats are being contested. Valerie George (D) is running to fill the Fifth District seat being vacated by Lisa Diller (D). She faces no opposition.

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