Friday, August 01, 2008

Delaware Governor Race

Race of the Day

Delaware Governor

August 1, 2008
95 Days Until Election Day

Status: Open Democrat
2004 Presidential Result: Blue State (East)

Outlook: Leans Democrat

Not being from the state, I do not know if there is a ton of insight I can shed into the contest to be elected the new Governor of Delaware. Perhaps, if by any chance, someone reading this is from Delaware and wants to offer some thoughts in the comments, please do so.

Anyways, Democrat Ruth Ann Minner is leaving office after two terms as Governor. The state seems to favor her party for the most part and in fact, no Republican has been elected Governor in the past 20 years. Those factors would probably seem to favor another Democrat taking over, but there is always a chance that if the voters are in a mood for "change" from the status quo, it could provide an opening for Republicans.

Democrats certainly have two candidates who know what it takes to win statewide and they will be facing off in a September primary. Lt. Governor John Carney has been endorsed by the state party and seems to be the choice of the establishment. He is being challenged though by Treasurer Jack Markell, who reportedly turned down a deal offered by party bosses to run for Carney's old job as his running-mate. Markell appears to be backed currently by some more liberal leaning interests and groups. It would seem to be a competitive primary, but the edge would seem to lie with Carney.

As for Republicans, several somewhat prominent ones had turned down chances to run, and just when it looked like the GOP would basically take a pass on this race and put up a virtual political stiff, they received some good news when retired Superior Court Judge Bill Lee (who first received a lot of recognition in the state through his judicial presiding) jumped into the race, and now appears to be the almost certain nominee of his party.

While Lee has already ran for Governor and lost in both of the last elections, and while he also happens to be slightly older than John McCain, he certainly is not likely to be considered a horrible candidate. In 2004, he was expected to easily be defeated by Minner, but in a bit of a surprise, he held her to just a five point win on Election Day. He will hope to have better luck this time, when the office is open, and when his opponents could potentially damage each other in a divisive autumn primary.

Still though, the politics of the state, and advantages in money and organization, would seem to favor a victory by one of the statewide elected officials seeking their party's nomination. Nonetheless, against a credible opponent in Lee, nobody should take anything for granted. He has after all exceeded expectations before.

Lee campaign link:

2008 Governor races predicted: 1 D, 0 R
Predicted Gubernatorial total thus far: 23 D, 17 R


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