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Delaware political establishment tops polls

James Dawson/Delaware Public Media
Sen. Tom Carper (left) with Sen. Chris Coons during a 2015 press conference near Clatyon.

Delaware Democrats don’t seem poised to give up their grip over state politics anytime soon according to new favorability rankings.

The First State’s elder statesman, Sen. Tom Carper tops the poll with 64 percent of Delawareans holding a favorable opinion of him, compared to 17 percent who don’t.

Gov. Jack Markell, Congressman John Carney and Sen. Chris Coons also favorability ratings surpassing a two-to-one margin.

“The political landscape in Delaware has been pretty consistent over these years. There’s been no big scandals, there’s been no big turmoil, so Delawareans in general seem to feel pretty positively about these politicians who have been representing them," said pollster Paul Brewer from University of Delaware's Center for Political Communication.

Matt Denn greatly enhanced his name recognition in the two years since taking the Attorney General’s office, with 47 percent approval to 16 percent.

Republican Treasurer Ken Simpler is also boosting his profile with a 34 to 10 split, potentially putting him on solid footing to pursue a more prominent office.

“Depending on the political landscape, Simpler is not starting out from zero and a non-presidential election year could be a better opportunity for a Republican to knock off one of those Democratically-held offices," Brewer said.

Still, Brewer says it would be an uphill battle for Simpler against overwhelming voter registration deficits.


Both remain significantly less known than Markell and the state’s congressional delegation with more than 35 percent those polled saying they never heard of them or couldn’t rate them.

900 registered voters were polled with a 3.8 percent margin of error.