I’m definitely a latecomer to following the Delaware Senate primary between Republicans Mike Castle and Christine O’Donnell, but now that I’m aware of it, it’s striking to me just how differently the two candidates perform in the new Rasmussen poll featuring each candidate against Democrat Chris Coons.
This is a case where the top lines truly speak for themselves. Castle leads Coons 48-37 (MoE 4.5) for an 88% chance of being ahead after this poll. However O’Donnell trails 36-47 for an 11% chance of being ahead. The results basically flip from Republican to Democrat depending on which candidate the Republicans nominate, with Coons going from down 11 to up 11 if O’Donnell manages to knock off Castle.
As I said before, O’Donnell’s challenge in doing that is to find a way to get Delaware Republicans to vote against the very popular Castle, and Castle still shows as popular in this poll. His favorability ratings are lopsided in his favor at 67% favorable/30% unfavorable/3% not sure. I question how Coons at 49/34/15 can come back to win in the general against Castle, but I also question how O’Donnell at 39/44/17 can beat either Coons or Castle.
In particular, Liberty.com’s attacks on Mike Castle, questioning his loyalty both to his party and to his wife, seem not to have moved the needle in Christine O’Donnell’s favor.
If Castle weren’t quite as popular among Delaware Republicans, maybe O’Donnell would have a shot. But I just don’t see it happening for her. Delaware is a small state and Castle has done so much retail campaigning over the years during his runs for the House that it’s all added up in his favor.