The Blog

Bye-Bye Bidens?

12:50 PM, May 5, 2009 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Something about the idea of a Biden dynasty makes me shudder more than the Clintons, Kennedys, or Bushes. Apparently, the people of Delaware-who know the Bidens best!- are in agreement:

A just-released poll shows Congressman [Mike] Castle with a sizable lead over Attorney General Beau Biden in a hypothetical Senate race.

The survey by Pennsylvania-based Susquehanna Polling and Research shows Castle, an 8-term Republican Representative, with an overall 55-to-34-percent lead over Biden, a Democrat and the son of Vice President Joe Biden.

Obama's high numbers in the state and the relatively low number of undecideds so early on bodes better for Castle than even the promising numbers indicate:

"That Congressman Castle polls so strongly in this matchup, in a state that gives a 62% approval rating to President Obama is clear indication of his appeal across the political spectrum," said Jim Lee, president of Susquehanna Polling & Research.

Lee continued, "The low number of undecided voters (at 8%), this far out from the 2010 elections shows that both Castle and Biden are well known to Delawareans and that even before this hypothetical matchup takes shape, Castle is standing on very solid ground should he chose to run for the Senate."

The ball is in Castle's court, a well-respected Republican in an increasingly Democratic state:

The Delaware Republican, who turns 70 in July, has three options: retire from the House seat he has held for the past 16 years, run for reelection against a well-known Democrat who has already won statewide office or wage a campaign for the Senate in a race that would most likely pair him against the son of Vice President Joe Biden.

The stakes couldn't be higher for the GOP. Castle is likely the only Republican who could hold the House seat and likely the only one who could capture the Senate seat that will be left open when appointed Sen. Ted Kaufman, a Democrat, steps down in 2010.

"The question for Mike Castle is: What does he want to do?" said Mike Hudome, a Delaware-based GOP strategist.

"Delaware has become one of the most Democratic states in the nation," noted Delaware Democratic National Committeeman Rhett Ruggerio. "[Castle] is the last man standing."