Diary

The Electoral Map: Delaware, DC, Maryland and West Virginia

Moving down the East Coast, today we look at races in some Middle Atlantic states.

Delaware

There is a gubernatorial election in Delaware this year, one of the bluest of blue states.  As for the presidential vote, everything points to a Clinton 10-12 point victory which would be below the historical average for a Democrat.

John Carney, Delaware’s lone representative in the House, is running for Governor this year leaving his House seat an open race.  The GOP in Delaware is pretty vacant when it comes to a bench of candidates.  Still, state senator Colin Bonini is perhaps the best chance for the GOP.  However, given Carney’s popularity and the fact that he has been groomed for either this job or a Senate seat, one does not suspect any surprises here in the gubernatorial race.

As for the open House seat, perhaps the only good thing to come out of it is a contested Democratic primary with six declared candidates.  But again, don’t expect a Republican surprise here.

District of Columbia

Three electoral votes to Clinton.  The Democrats can run a dead horse here and it would still win.

Maryland

There is an open Senate seat as Democratic incumbent Barbara Mikulski is retiring (and good riddance).  For the Democrats, it will be Chris Van Hollen who formerly represented the Fourth Congressional District.  He endured a primary against fellow Congresswoman, Barbara Edwards, who had her district redrawn in 2010 and won reelection in 2014 in that new district.  Some pundits expected a close race between Van Hollen and Edwards, but it never materialized.

For the GOP, it will be Kathy Szeliga considered by some to be the most powerful female of either party in state politics.  She previously sat on the powerful state house appropriations committee and worked her way up the state house ranks to become minority whip.

The only thing preventing Van Hollen from winning this race is complacency.  Szeliga has not done anything to shoot herself in the foot and she is respected in Annapolis among her peers on both sides of the aisle.  This is not necessarily a sleeper race, but the Democrats were caught with their pants down in the 2014 gubernatorial race that saw a Republican win.  Polls indicate a huge Van Hollen victory.

There are two open seats in their House delegation and another of marginal interest.  The open seats are in the very blue 4th being vacated by Van Hollen.  Here, his likely successor will be Anthony Brown who lost that 2014 gubernatorial race after being the handpicked successor to Martin O’Malley.  In the 8th, Edwards’ failed Senatorial run costs her a seat in the House, but the Democratic candidate, Jamie Raskin should easily win.

The other race of interest is in the 6th District where Democratic incumbent John Delaney will take on Republican challenger Amie Hoeber, a former Deputy Undersecretary of the Army.  The Sixth district encompasses the more conservative Maryland panhandle and extends, after redistricting, to the DC suburbs.  That latter part gives Delaney an advantage.  This is the district formerly held by Republican Roscoe Bartlett who was always a target of the Democrats and who always won.  Only redistricting cost him his job in 2012.  Hoeber may make this a close race, but with Clinton at the top of the ticket, expect Delaney to win again and their Congressional delegation to favor Democrats 7-1 (Andy Harris being the lone Republican in the 1st District).

Clinton will easily win Maryland by at least 20 points.

West Virginia

There are three House seats and a gubernatorial election this year.  The GOP had the opportunity to pick up a Governor’s mansion.  West Virginia is solidly in the red column.  Polls indicate that Trump will easily win this state by a projected 16 points or more.

Yet, despite the rightward drift of the state, the Governor’s mansion remains in Democratic hands.  With incumbent Earl Ray Tomblin term-limited, the GOP candidate is state senate president Bill Cole who will take on Jim Justice, a billionaire coal executive.  Polls indicate that despite the promise of a pick-up here, Justice will likely win this election.  He has even stated that given her hostility to the coal industry, Justice is not endorsing Hillary Clinton.

All three Republican House members should win their reelection efforts.  Democrats are targeting freshman member Alex Mooney.  I expect no changes here.

So after this analysis, Clinton now leads in the electoral vote count 59-5.  The GOP still leads in the Senate 54-46 and in the House 245-190.

Next:  Tennessee and Kentucky