Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Collapse of GOP and rise of third parties in Delaware

The recent WNJ article on the troubles that the DE GOP is having in filling its ballot lines for the 2012 General Election left out a major component of the changing face of Delaware politics:  the rise of the third party movement.

Despite the Demopublican General Assembly attempting to end fusion candidacies last year, despite raising the number of registered voters necessary to maintain ballot access, and despite the clearly partisan attempts to keep third party candidates out of the UD/DFM debates, third party interest in Delaware is surging--primarily at the expense of the Republican Party.

The statistics don't lie.

At this moment, when the dust clears from the September primaries, the DE GOP will be running 54 candidates across Delaware in local and statewide races.  This is DOWN significantly from the 63 candidates that the DE GOP ran in 2010, when there were also fewer races.

The Libertarians, Greens, and Indpendent Party of Delaware will be running at least 29 candidates.  Fusion candidacies make the number for 2010 harder to calculate for third parties (some Democrats ran fusion candidacies with the Working Families Party; some Republicans ran also as IPOD or Libertarian; at least one candidate ran as IPOD and Libertarian), but my best count is that about 21 actual third party candidates were ballot qualified in 2010.

So the GOP is down nine candidates and third parties are up by eight.  And it is actually worse than that:  the GOP list is being steadily infiltrated by those with current and former third party ties, like Libertarians Will McVay and Brent Wangen.

Even more significant is the fact that many more third party candidates like Alex Pires, Scott Gesty, Andrew Groff, James Christina, Margaret Melson, Wendy Jones, John Machurek, and Ronnie Fitzgerald are running real (if low-budget) campaigns as opposed to the "paper candidacies" often attributed to third parties.

Why the shift?  It is becoming more and more obvious that many Delaware citizens are unhappy with virtual one-party rule, but are equally unwilling to embrace the strife-ridden, ideologically hidebound GOP.  So they are seriously looking at alternatives, and alternative candidates are coming forward to meet that interest.

Ironically, at this point only two things are really propping up the GOP:

1.  The Delaware media, which is reluctant to cover the upsurge.

2.  The Delaware Democratic Party, which likes the status quo with an inept opponent just fine.


Eric Dondero said...

This will all change, and change quite dramatically come November 7. As soon as Romney/Ryan is elected, deeply blue states like Delaware (Mass, CT, Maryland, Illinois, and most especially California and New York), will be left out in the cold. Republicans will control the House, Senate and the Presidency. Which means, Delaware will get far less attention from the Feds.

The few Delaware Republicans out there will be in the catbird's seat. They'll be the only link the State has to the incoming administration.

The elections in 2014 will be dramatically different, with Republicans gaining significantly in DE. It's just the way politics works.

Eric Dondero said...

Here's a prediction: In the early months of 2013, watch for a number of Delaware Democrats to switch to Republican. State Reps., Senators and such. They'll see the writing on the wall.

Markel? Certainly everyone expects Joe Manchin in West Virginia to switch to the GOP once he's reelected, and it's clear Republicans have the majority in the Senate.

I would not be shocked if after Manchin switches, and a couple other top Democrats, that you see Jack Markel, who as Democrats go, is sort of moderate, and not too bad on business issues, switch parties to Republican.

You heard it here first at Delaware Libertarian.

Eric - Newark

Eric Dondero said...

(Sorry for posting so much)

FYI, there's a big article headlining at Politico this morning: "Why will be in the Romney administration?"

Even the liberals know Romney's gonna win. But just as importantly, they mention ED RENDELL!!!! as the one possible Democrat to be in the Romney administration, possibly as Transportation head.

Political parties traditionally take on one or two prominent members of the other Party into their administrations. Been like that for centuries.

But why Rendell? Why not Jack Markel? I think Markell would be a far more likely candidate for a Romney appointment.

Rendell is scandal-ridden, muchos skeletons in his closet - failed marriages, rumors of Sandusky-like cover-ups, ect...

Prediction: Jack Markell gets an appointment in the Romney administration.

Will McVay said...

"As soon as Romney/Ryan is elected"

As soon as hell freezes over, pigs fly, and the mothership returns to orbit...

Will McVay said...

Markell's not bad on business issues? I have a Karma and a Bloom Box to sell you.

Unknown said...

Eric, I'm not sure what you're smoking, but it must be really good sheit. Keep drinking that Koolade too!

Eric Dondero said...

Markell is "not bad on business issues" as far as Democrats go. Perhaps I should've made that clear. Oh, yes. He's a socialist. But he's a moderate socialist, not of the Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao, Stalin variety which is so common in the Democrat Party today, about 80 to 90% of the donks.