Recent voter registration statistics have now largely answered a lively debate within Delaware’s Republican party about the reasons for Republican losses on November 2, 2010.
Mike Castle would likely have lost the 2010 election if chosen as the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate. Meanwhile, Republican candidates for all offices in Delaware faced a fundamentally more hostile electorate in 2010 than ever existed in past years.
Democrats added 29,650 voters — a staggering 11% increase — from 2008 to 2010 in a highly-aggressive voter registration drive by the Democrat Party of Delaware.
Known as “the First State” for ratifying the US Constitution first, Delaware is nevertheless a lightly-populated, mostly agricultural oasis. Only 305,716 votes were cast for US Senate in Delaware. Therefore, the 29,650 increase in Democrat voter registration represents almost 10% of all votes cast for US Senate. It may be assumed that newly-registered voters are likely to vote.
2010 election results for all Delaware offices may be largely explained by the failures of the Delaware and national Republican party to engage in party-building and voter registration, compared to an aggressive and effective party-building operation by Democrats.
Total registered Democrat voters in July 2008 were only 264,167 voters for the entire State of Delaware. Democrats managed to increase total Democrat registered voters by 29,650 — an astonishing 11% increase — to 293,817 Democrat voters registered for the 2010 elections.
Increases in Democrat voter registrations did NOT come (on net) from Republicans switching parties. The Democrat Party aggressively registered new, first-time voters.
During the same period from 2008 to 2010, Republican registered voters increased by 4,153, and “Others” increased by 10,516. Therefore, the Democrats 29,650 voter increase does not represent (on net) Republicans switching to Democrats, but represents
entirely new voters who had not previously voted in Delaware elections.
By comparison, Democrats showed a similar successful drive in prior years. Democrats increased registration from 2007 to 2008 by 14,451, while Republican increased registration from 2007 to 2008 by only 1,389, and “Others” increased by 1,286 voters.
Meanwhile, weaknesses in the Republican party’s core operations at the national level were just exposed by a controversial resignation letter by the Political Director of the Republican National Committee. Gentry Collins described an inadequate effort of party-building and fund-raising at the Republican National Committee.
Voter registration totals from 2010 are published online at: