DE-Sen: New poll shows Castle, Biden in virtual tie

A new Research 2000 poll of the Delaware Senate race shows Republican Congressman Mike Castle and Attorney General Beau Biden virtually tied:

Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 10/12-14. Likely voters. MoE 4% (no trend lines)

Beau Biden (D) 45
Mike Castle (R) 46

Well, it couldn't be any tighter than that in this marquee matchup. Castle easily leads other potential match ups (Castle 51 Kaufman 37, Castle 49, Carney 41, Castle 51 Coons 39), but the Biden-Castle one is most likely because the political establishment loves its monarchies, and so do the voters. Interestingly, while Castle has solid Republican support (82-9), Biden gets less than three-quarters of Democrats (72-21). Independents lean toward Castle (48-40). If Biden brings Democrats home, it gets much harder for Castle to win.

I would bank on a sizable number of Democrats coming home if Biden runs for his dad's old Senate seat.

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DE-Sen: Get ready for the Castle-Biden showdown

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.

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Sen. Carper on public option - "day one" no, "trigger" yes

Delaware Liberal reports that Democratic Senator Tom Carper of Delaware - who reportedly "doesn't oppose" a public option - would not support a public option plan that is "available on day one." Instead, Carper supports Olympia Snowe's "trigger" plan, AKA the "fall back" plan - where a public option health plan would ONLY be created if health insurance companies fail to cut costs and expand coverage after a specified period of time - presumably after collecting millions in government subsidies and spending it all on more tea parties and re-electing Chuck Grassley. This is virtually the same as the GOP's Medicare-D drug bill from the Bush Administration.

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DE-Sen, DE-AL: Castle running for Senate?

Delaware's at-large seat in the House of Representatives is the second-most Democratic-leaning House district currently held by a Republican, but perhaps not for much longer. Local newspaper columnist Ron Williams says Representative Mike Castle will run for Joe Biden's old Senate seat in 2010:

Expect a public announcement in the next month.

Castle is not yet talking, but there are a number of high-ranking Republican operatives who know Castle's moods and inclinations, and they say hands down that he's in for the seat now held by Ted Kaufman, Biden's former chief of staff. Kaufman is stepping down in 2010.

If I owned a ranch, I'd bet it on a Castle candidacy.

(Hat tip--shudder--to the National Review Online.)

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden is expected to seek the Democratic nomination for his dad's old seat, but Williams wrote that Biden might sit the race rather than run against the popular Castle.

Then again, jason330 of the Delaware Liberal blog says Williams is a "well known dumbass," so take this speculation with a grain of salt. But Castle is probably the only Republican who could make this a race, and he is being heavily recruited by the NRSC.

UPDATE: Thanks to BENAWU for the reminder that Louisiana's second district is actually the most Democratic-leaning seat currently held by a Republican--though that shouldn't last long either.

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A Constitutional Amendment Banning Civil Unions? In Delaware?

In Delaware, the state legislature can amend the constitution by passing a bill with a 2/3rds majority in 2 consecutive sessions. The people, and the governor, have no say in the matter.

Delaware Senate Bill 27 will ban ALL LEGAL UNIONS (ie, Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships). Some state legislators have been fooled into thinking this just covers gay marriage. Church groups have been outcalling our state legislators 4 to 1 on this issue. PLEASE HELP!

The committee hearing is today. Call the Senate switchboard - (302) 744-4286 - and ask them to transfer you to the office of Senator Bunting, Katz, or Ennis. They are the swing votes on the committee.

  • This bill is bad for the economy - it will chase away entrepenuers

  • According to Gallup, 55% of Americans support Civil Unions, and Delaware is more socially progressive than the average state.

  • If this amendment passes, Delaware will become the ONLY state in the Northeast to ban Civil Unions.

Read below for the full text of my post on this subject from Delaware Liberal

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