The former chair of the Sussex County Republican Party has written of the “win” by the Republican U.S. senate candidate among Sussex County voters on Nov. 6, albeit acknowledging the state-wide drubbing by Sen. Carper. It reads much like the description of the Titanic’s first four days of smooth sailing, with the sinking an afterthought.
If the Republicans choose to make the 2020 race against Sen. Coons primarily about the erosion of education, jobs and religious freedom in Delaware, another gob-smacking awaits.
Folks, it’s not complicated. As of this month, among all registered voters in Delaware, 330,000 (or 47.5 percent) are Democrat, 194,000 (or 30 percent) are Republican and 171,000 (or 25 percent) are Independent. Democrat Sen. Carper garnered 217,358 (or 60 percent) of the vote, with his Republican opponent gathering a wispy 137,123 (or 37.8 percent).
Thus, Sen. Carper got 60 percent of the vote in the face of 47 percent Democrat registrants, and his Republican challenger got 37.8 percent of the vote in the face of 30 percent Republican registrants.
Clearly, any future Republican U.S. Senate candidate will need to do one of two things to win state-wide: enormously increase overall voter turnout to their advantage and/or capture the imagination of Democrats and Independents by inspiring a political vision that is both relevant to voter needs and preserves Delaware sovereignty within the framework of the U.S. Constitution.
The Republican senate candidate espoused a message of bringing people together while adhering to Republican dogma that may sell well in other states but is equal parts irrelevant and intellectually off-point in progressive Delaware.
If the Republican Party expects to nominate a serious, credible candidate to run against Sen. Coons in 2020, that person will have to part ways with elements of the national Republican Party Platform. And any candidate seeking the Republican nod will need to make the case they can and will attract Democrats and Independents, with an emphasis on how he or she will do so.
Sen. Coons’ positioning himself as a builder of political bridges exposes an off-putting naiveté of the current political climate. National threats to tiny Delaware are growing, and Sen. Coons is proving to be on the Democrat menu, oblivious to the tragedy that he is the main course, with senators from California, New York and Virginia wielding a carving knife.
Articles abound about progressive ideas for abolishing the Electoral College, increasing the number of Supreme Court justices, increasing the number of members of the U.S. House of Representatives, addressing the outsized importance of two U.S. Senators per state, to name a few. These are not ideas that bode well on the national scene for Delaware.
A Republican candidate will not unseat Sen. Coons by touting their personal life-style choices. It will only be done with a thoughtful, challenging platform that confronts Sen. Coons over lurking constitutional dangers to Delaware he seems to embrace and how a different path forward makes sense to the lives of all Delawareans.