Delaware Republicans ready to vote in presidential primary

Delaware is one of five states holding presidential primaries Tuesday.  The state GOP hopes the small state will have a big impact for its size.

Delaware is small enough where “retail politics” – actually meeting with the voters – could make a difference.  While Mitt Romney made one visit to the state during the campaign and Ron Paul did not visit at all, Newt Gingrich has been to Delaware several times in recent weeks. 

Gingrich spent Monday night making phone calls at a Delaware State Republican fund raiser.  He spent the most time in the first state.  He told newsworks, “a win in Delaware could change the national narrative for the campaign.”  He will spend some time Tuesday calling voters around the state.  His state coordinator, state senator Colin Bonini will lead the get out the vote effort.

His campaign recieved a big boost when long time Delaware Republican convention delegate Priscilla Rakestraw switched her support from front-runner Mitt Romney to Gingrich.  The former U.S. House Speaker said her support was a direct result of the way he had campaigned around the state.

“We know the difference between Delaware and Delaware County, Pennsylvania,” said Gingrich.  “It’s a little presumptuous that Mitt Romney is going to kick of what he says is his national campaign tomorrow (Tuesday) in New Hampshire.”

The race was supposed to be a line in the sand for another campaign. Rick Santorum dropped out of the race earlier this month.  Delaware Republican Party Chairman John Sigler said the departure from the race of Santorum could make things even more interesting. 

“Now it remains to be seen whether the Santorum supporters become Gingrich supporters or Romney supporters and that, of course, will add some drama,” said recently on ‘First.’ 

Sigler also said while Paul did not campaign here, he does have some support especially in the central and southern part of the state. 

The Delaware primary is “winner take all” for 17 delegates.  It is open to Republicans only, and is the only matter on the ballot. 

Polls are open Tuesday from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.   

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.