Delaware SD10: Anatomy of Victory

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TO:               Interested Parties

FROM:         Jessica Post, DLCC Executive Director

RE:               Delaware SD10: Anatomy of Victory

DATE:          February 27, 2017

Democrat Stephanie Hansen’s spectacular win in this weekend’s special election was a tremendous victory for the citizens of Delaware, who will continue to be protected from the regressive policies of Trump’s Republican Party by their state’s Democratic government. However, Sen.-elect Hansen’s victory was also a triumph of DLCC’s successful deployment of strategy and tactics to successfully harness progressive energy and direct an effective campaign operation.

Sen.-elect Hansen’s margin of victory (unofficial totals have her winning over 58% of the vote) belies the real challenges faced by Democrats in this race. Special elections always present turnout obstacles, but a special election on a Saturday in February of an odd year offered a largely unknown landscape in terms of Senate District 10’s electorate. When this district was last on the ballot, the Democrat eked out a 267-vote win. Democrats had a slight registration and historical performance edge in this contest, but producing a victory on a February Saturday was going to be difficult.

But Democrats didn’t just score a victory in Delaware Senate District 10 on Saturday. DLCC’s electoral programs helped produce a turnout rate that far eclipsed the last race in that district in 2014 – a year when both U.S. House and Senate races were also on the ballot here. In a Saturday special election in an off year, Sen.-elect Hansen won over 1,000 more votes than the Democratic candidate garnered in the 2014 general election.

The special election in Delaware Senate District 10 showcased a number of DLCC programmatic strengths. The data below help explain why this win is just the latest of many electoral victories to come for down-ballot Democrats this cycle.

  • Legislative Majority PAC
    • DLCC supported an independent expenditure operation through Legislative Majority PAC, our affiliated super PAC and IE operation. LMP guided the deployment of targeted TV, radio, mail, and digital communications across the district. The paid communications, legal, and data support facilitated by LMP in support of a robust in-state IE effort helped produce over $500,000 in ads and mail across a variety of platforms. Internal projections demonstrate that Sen.-elect Hansen could well have lost this race without the independent expenditure’s efforts.