Delaware Public Media

First State voters cast their midterm ballots Tuesday

Nov 5, 2018

Voters have the final say in the 2018 Midterm elections Tuesday.

Delawareans will decide who holds two of the state’s three seats in Congress and three other statewide races.

Incumbent Sen. Tom Carper seeks a fourth term.  The Democrat faces Republican Rob Arlett, who was Delaware State Chair for President Trump’s 2016 campaign.

And Democratic Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester tries to win a second term against Republican Scott Walker.

But the most competitive statewide race may be the one for State Treasurer. That’s where Republican incumbent Ken Simpler attempts to overcome a statewide registration disadvantage to earn a second term.  Democrat Collen Davis looks to unseat Simpler.

Meanwhile, Democrats hope to defend their slim one seat majorty in the state Senate.

Republicans’ best chance to flip the Senate appears to be in the Dover area 17th Senate District where Justin King is battling Democratic State Rep. Trey Paradee for the seat left open by Democrat Brian Bushweller’s retirement.  But the GOP also needs incumbent Greg Lavelle hold off a challenge from Democrat Laura Sturgeon in a district fairly evenly split between Republicans, Democrats and Independents.

And just how many Delawareans will show up to cast their ballots will be watched closely by campaigns throughout the day.

Traditionally, fewer voters show up for midterms than presidential election years.

Turnout for the past three midterms in Delaware averaged 43 percent.  That’s compared to an average turnout of 66 percent for the last three presidental elections here.

But a spike in primary turnout in September here in the First State suggests more people than usual may vote in this midterm.  Democratic primary turmout hit 25%, while Republican turnout was just shy of 20% - both higher than usual for the midterm cycle.

Polls are open from  7 a.m. until 8 p.m.  And Delaware Public Media’s live non-stop coverage of the results begins at 8 p.m. when the polls close.