Tuesday, October 6, 2009

2010 Cycle Update

A nice win for Republicans today, as Rep. Mike Castle will announce that he's going to compete for the open Senate seat in Delaware. On the Democratic side, Beau Biden is presumably going to run, so this is a real heavyweight bout, at least by Delaware standards. Early polls show Castle with an edge, but I'd call this one a toss-up going in. That's very good for the GOP; if Castle had passed, the seat would be fairly safe for Biden. It is a pickup opportunity for the Dems on the House side. If he wins, Castle would be a strong candidate to become the third most liberal Republican Senator, so that will be worth watching. I've read nothing about the possibility of Castle drawing a conservative opponent in the primary, but he'll have to tread carefully on a variety of votes in the House this year and next, while Biden will be more free to duck tough choices. It's also worth noting that Castle, while very popular in Delaware, will be 71 by the time of the election.

In Florida, meanwhile, the campaign of conservative spoiler Marco Rubio is picking up steam with a decent fundraising quarter. One thing that Crist won't have to worry about is his appointment of fill-in Senator George Lemieux coming back to bite him; as I predicted, LeMieux has been a safely conservative vote so far, sliding in just to the right of Chambliss and Thune to rank as the 10th most conservative Senator so far.

[Udate: typo corrected; thanks Matt!]


  1. Curious to see if the Republicans can mount a northeast comeback next cycle with Castle and whoever ends up challenging Senator Dodd. Personally, I find it hard to believe that Dodd will lose his seat when the actual voting counts. He has been too good a Senator and his problems the last couple of years haven't been that severe.

  2. With the open NH seat one that could go the other way. Very few of the Democrats' most vulnerable House seats are in New England or the middle Atlantic states (NY, NJ, MD, PA, DE); the main exceptions are the two New Hampshire seats. However, there are quite a few NY and PA seats on Charley Cook's "Likely Democratic" list. The Democrats also have a fair number of somewhat vulnerable seats in the industrial midwest.

    If Obama can stick to his current popularity (just north of 50% approval, nationally, so safely above 50% in the northeast), the Democrats will probably break even in that region in the House and avoid serious losses nationally.

    Presumably, the national Republican party is poison for GOP candidates in the northeast, so we'll see how well Dems do at the old game Republicans have been playing in the south for decades now of tying local candidates to extreme statements and actions of the national party.

  3. I like the typo for the governor of Florida....I'm not sure what to make of it, but I like it.

  4. Matt --

    Uh....I was confusing him with Chris Christie, the NJ Gov candidate, maybe?

    Thanks for the catch. I don't even want to think about how many misspellings and typos I'm contributing to the world.


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