27 November 2011

Rank 9 / 43: Delaware

Delaware






Results of the last 6 presidential cycles:

Year
Rank
Winning %
% Margin
Part. Value
Swing“
National Swing
Trend
2008
09 / 43
61.91%
+24.98%
+17.72%
+17.39%
+9.72%
+7.67
2004
12 / 40
53.35%
+7.59%
+10.05%
-5.47%
+2.98%
+2.49
2000
09 / 43
54.96%
+13.06%
+12.54%
-2.19%
+8.00%
+5.81
1996
14 / 38
51.82%
+15.25%
+6.73%
+7.05%
+2.96%
+4.09
1992
19 / 33
43.52%
+8.20%
+2.64%
+20.60%
+13.29%
+7.31
1988
28 / 24
55.88%
+12.40%
+4.67%
-7.45%
-10.49%
+3.04

blue shading = DEM pick-up


Delaware margin average, 1988-2008 (6 cycles): DEM+9.45%






Trend: STRONG DEMOCRATIC



DE county-by-county EXCEL spreadsheet 
(raw totals for 2008 and 2004, margins, swings, % of state PV, county growth rate)

The partisan rankings for Ranking 9 (Delaware) from 2008 backwards in history to 1964 in Table-format (highlighted in yellow):



Links






Helpful Info Links Helpful Election Links
DE WIKI DE county-by-county EXCEL spreadsheet 
DE Census Information Complete DE electoral raw data (Presidential)
DE Census Profile map DE VR
DE Population 2008: 973,092 DE election results - recent
DE Population Density: 172.5 persons per sq Km.
DE election results archive (1970-present, also 1940-1952)
Electoral Vote Density: 291,031 persons per EV. ---




DE Electoral Development (electors through history): 3 (1789-1808), 4 (1812-1820), 3 EV (1824-present)

Delaware is the 9th most liberal state and the 43rd most conservative state, with a Democratic winning margin of +24.98% and having voted 17.72% more Democratic than the national margin in 2008. 



Delaware was the 12th most liberal state in 2004 and the 40th most conservative state, with a Democratic winning margin of +7.59% and having voted 10.05% more Democratic than the national margin in that year.



Delaware was the 9th most liberal state and the 43rd most conservative state in 2000, with a Democratic winning margin of +13.06% and having voted 12.54% more Democratic than the national margin in that year.



From 1904-2008, DE went for the GOP 15times, for the DEMS 12times.
Since 1948 DE went for the GOP 
8times, for the DEMS 8times. (1:1 ratio)




Summary



Delaware, one of the 13 founding colonies, was as of the Civil War a staunch Democratic state (it even went for John Breckinridge of the „Southern Democrats“ in 1860), having gone 9 times for the Democratic Party (5 of those cycles by double-digit margins) and 3 times for the GOP until 1904.

It should be noted that before the Civil War, from 1832-1848 (5 cycles), DE was a budding Republican state, having selected the predecessor Parties to the current GOP: "National Republican" Henry Clay by a lean +1.98% margin in 1832 and then 4 "Whig" candidates in a row from 1836-1848, with three of those four by single-digit margins. First with Franklin Pierce in 1852 did "The First State" select a Democrat, and by a razor thin +0.19% margin, which then grew to a landslide +11.84% for James Buchanan in 1856.
As of the beginning of the 20th century, DE became a more mixed state. After going handily for Woodrow Wilson in 1912 with +13.62%, DE reverted back to the GOP in 1916 and gave Charles Hughes (R) a lean +2.43% win.


In the 1920's, DE went for all three Republican candidates in their national landslides with ever increasing margins: Harding +13.65% in 1920, Coolidge +20.90% in 1924 and Hoover +30.42% in 1928, which is also the state landslide record-setter for both parties.
DE, PA and four other Northeastern states (CT, VT, NH and ME) were the only six states to remain true to Hoover in his historic 1932 landslide defeat to FDR. Hoover retained DE with a lean +2.44% margin in 1932, practically identical to Charles Hughes' win in 1916. Let's pause and consider the evidence for massive electoral shift in the USA since 1932: four of those six states are now absolute core Democratic states and most likely to go for the Democrat even in the case of a landslide defeat at the hands of a Republican: DE, CT, VT and ME.


FDR picked up DE in his massive 1936 landslide and kept the state through 1944, but he never won this state with a double digit margin. In fact, the winning margins were amazingly close to each other all three times: +9.77% in 1936, +9.65% in 1940 and +9.11% in 1944. It is as if this state stood still in time for 3 cycles.


From 1948-1956, Delaware went back into the GOP column, going narrowly for Thomas Dewey with +1.28% (the leanest squeaker in post-1856 DE history) in 1948 and for Ike with +3.88% and +10.47%, respectively. This is a fascinating statistic, for all three 20th century Republican presidents who have won DE both times (Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan) all won the state first by low single-digits and then held the state with a double-digit landslide margin the second time around. In other words, since 1956, DE has tended to reward incumbents.


John Kennedy barely captured DE in 1960, with a razor-thin +1.64% margin, only slightly better than Dewey from 1948. LBJ easily landslided here in 1964.


Jimmy Carter won "The Blue Hen State" in 1976 with a lean +5.41% margin, but lost it to Reagan in 1980. He and Wilson are the only two Democratic Presidents to lose DE in a re-election campaign. But there is a large difference here worth noting: Carter won DE with a single-digit margin and lost it with a single digit margin (Reagan +2.33% in 1980, swing = +7.74%) and Carter lost the GE. Wilson, on the other hand, went from a double-digit margin in 1912 to losing DE by a single-digit margin in 1916 (see above), but he won re-election. The partisan shift in DE was smaller in 1980 over 1976.than in 1916 over 1912 (1916: swing = +16.05%).



Since 1992, DE has become a reliable Democratic state. Bill Clinton was the first Democratic President in history to win DE in both his first election and his re-election. FDR did not win DE in his first election, but rather, in his second, third and fourth elections, for which we have no possibility to compare. As in the case of the aforementioned Republican Presidents, Clinton first won DE with a single-digit margin of +8.20% in 1992 and then a double-digit landslide +15.25% in 1996.



Delaware has not been a state of massive margins for the winner, but rather, solid, reliable winning margins of slightly under 10% on the average and lots of upper-single-digit wins:16 of the last 27 election cycles saw single-digit wins in DE. That being said, the Obama +24.98% landslide in DE, Vice-President Joe Biden's home state, brought a percentage margin more than 3 times larger than Kerry's margin from 2004.The 2008 landslide in DE was the largest Democratic winning percentage and percentage margin in DE history, and the second largest overall, after Herbert Hoover in 1928. We must therefore go back 80 years in history to find a presidential landslide in DE as impressive as the one from 2008.

Statistically, the results of the 2008 election in the home-states of the two Democratic Candidates (Barack Obama - Illinois, Joe Biden - Delaware),
are practically identical to each other:



State
Year
Rank
Winning %
% Margin
Part. Value
Swing“
National Swing
Trend
Illinois
2008
08 / 44
61.85%
+25.11%
+17.85%
+14.77%
+9.72%
+5.05

2004
08 / 44
54.82%
+10.34%
+12.80%
-1.67%
+2.98%
+1.31









Delaware
2008
09 / 43
61.91%
+24.98%
+17.72%
+17.39%
+9.72%
+7.67

2004
12 / 40
53.35%
+7.59%
+10.05%
-5.47%
+2.98%
+2.49









Difference
2008
1
DE +0.06%
IL +0.13%
IL +0.13%
DE +2.62%
---
DE +2.62

2004
4
IL +1.47%
IL +2.75%
IL +2.75%
IL +3.80
---
IL +3.80



Obama actually had a higher percentage in DE, but just by 0.06%, but his margin in IL is 0.13% larger than in DE. Because DE sprang from a smaller margin in 2004 to 2008 than Illinois did, it actually trended slightly more Democratic than Illinois in 2008. This is common in smaller states vs. larger states: the smaller state can swing and trend more than the bigger state. We will see a lot of this when we compare some Republican states to each other, like Nebraska and Kansas, North Dakota and South Dakota, Utah and Idaho.


From 1920-1996, DE was a bellwether state like IL, having gone with the winner 18 of 20 cycles. Since then, it has lost it's bellwether status.



DE - Superlatives
YEAR
Candidate
Winning %
% Margin
GOP
1928
Hoover
65.03%
+30.42%
DEM
2008
Obama
61.91%
+24.98%
IND
1992
Perot
20.45%
highest Ind showing
---------------------




All-time “squeaker”
1948
Dewey
50.04%
+1.28%

1852
Pierce
49.85%
+0.19%


In Delaware, the Governor, Lt. Governor, both Senators and the lone DE Representatives are all Democrats. In the Delaware General Assembly, both houses have Democratic hypermajorities. 

Facit: 
Delaware is a "firewall" Democratic state at the presidential level, and given that it is Joe Biden's home-state, is practically guaranteed to go for the President in 2012.

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