DE-Sen: Get ready for the Castle-Biden showdown
by desmoinesdem, Tue Oct 06, 2009 at 10:26:40 AM EDT
The National Republican Senatorial Committee has recruited the only person able to make the U.S. Senate race in Delaware competitive next year. Congressman Mike Castle, a former governor who has never lost an election, will seek to serve out the remaining four years in the term to which Joe Biden was re-elected in 2008.
Meanwhile, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden has safely returned from Iraq and is expected to announce his candidacy for the Senate seat. Castle has led Biden in three polls, but the most recent one (by Republican pollster Rasmussen) had Castle ahead by just five points, 47-42.
Swing State Project is now calling this race a tossup. There's a great discussion going on in that thread.
According to Taegan Goddard's Political Wire, the Cook Political Report also rates this race a tossup, while the Rothenberg Political Report is calling it "Lean Takeover."
Biden will have to fight for this one, although he won't be as big an underdog as his father was the first time he ran for U.S. Senate in 1972.
It's too bad that Democrats will have to invest resources in holding this seat (now represented by placeholder appointee Ted Kaufman). On the plus side, we are very likely to win the at-large House seat Castle will be vacating.
Update [2009-10-6 17:43:45 by desmoinesdem]: Public Policy Polling's first take since Castle's announcement:
When we polled the state in March Castle was leading Biden 44-36. But not surprisingly his name recognition was also ten points higher. Among respondents who had an opinion of Biden, whether it was positive or negative, the Democrat led 43-41. And the undecideds in such a scenario were 64% Democratic to 12% Republican, as well as 35% African American.
So Castle's early poll leads are largely a function of name recognition, and given his nearly 30 years in statewide office really aren't that substantial.