Poll: Markell, congressional delegation supported by majority of Delawareans


DOVER — A new University of Delaware poll indicates a majority of state residents view Delaware’s governor and congressional delegation in a positive light.

The survey of 900 registered voters shows results that are in line with previous polls, which have reported high favorability ratings for elected officials.

Jack Markell

Jack Markell

Gov. Jack Markell is viewed positively by 62 percent of residents, while 25 percent dislike him. Gov. Markell, a Democrat who won election and re-election in landslides, has consistently received high marks. A spring poll ranked him as the fourth most popular governor in the country, and a 2014 UD survey put his favorability rating at 55 percent.

The state’s senior senator, Tom Carper, is viewed favorably by 64 percent of respondents. Seventeen percent say they have a negative opinion of him.

His favorability rating has been at least 61 percent in two polls conducted by the university over the past three years, and an outside organization ranked him as the fourth most popular U.S. senator last month.

A Democrat, he was first elected in Delaware in 1976 and has won 13 elections in total.

Rep. John Carney, the Democratic nominee for governor, is seen favorably by 59 percent of people and unfavorably by 19 percent. Seventy-seven percent of people had an opinion on him, up from 68 in a 2014 survey.

A poll from the university released earlier this week gave him a 32-point edge over Republican Colin Bonini in the race for governor.

Thursday’s survey says 55 percent of people approve of Sen. Chris Coons, while 25 percent do not. Attorney General Matt Denn, who is more well-known than two years ago, according to polls, is seen favorably by 46 percent of participants and unfavorably by 16 percent.

Both Sen. Coons and Mr. Denn are Democrats.

Fifty-five percent of people said they did not know or could not rate Treasurer Ken Simpler, the lone Republican among the officials named in the poll. Among those who did, 34 percent reported approval, while 10 did not.

Given Democrats outnumber Republicans 318,000 to 188,000 in Delaware and five of the six elected officials mentioned in the poll are Democrats, the results are largely predictable.

Paul Brewer, the University of Delaware professor who oversaw the survey, said the ratings did not surprise him. Delaware politicians have generally avoided scandals, and Gov. Markell, Sen. Carper and Rep. Carney have all won at least five statewide elections.

“For the people who have been around a while … there’s really pretty striking stability that suggests the political landscape in Delaware has really been pretty stable over the last four years,” Dr. Brewer said.

The survey was supervised by the university’s Center for Political Communication last month. It has a margin of error of 3.8 percent.

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