Monday, January 25, 2010

Thoughts on Delaware

It's bad news for Democrats that Beau Biden's not going to run in Delaware. I'm not going to dispute that. But it's not quite as end of the world for the party as you might think:

1) Beau Biden is not an overwhelmingly popular politician in Delaware. When we polled the race there last month his favorability breakdown was 43/35. That's solid but it's not great. He trailed Castle by 6-8 points each time we looked at it.

2) Right now voters are very much down on the political establishment. A Castle vs. Biden race would have been establishment vs. establishment. Democrats have an opportunity now to field a candidate who can run more credibly as an outsider against nine term Congressmen Castle than Biden could have.

3) Yes, Democrats will likely have to run someone now with less initial name recognition. But remember that Scott Brown's name recognition was just about zero at this time two months ago. And Kay Hagan and Jeff Merkley were both pretty obscure before being elected to the Senate two years ago. Initial name id tends to be pretty overrated in statewide elections.

It would have been better if Biden had run but I don't think chances of a Democratic hold are that much worse than they were before.


Christian Liberty said...

For a Democrat to win statewide in this election cycle, with little name recognition, he will have to run to the right of Joe Lieberman, or he will have no chance of winning enough independents. Such a candidate would have to oppose an individual mandate for health insurance, oppose energy taxes or other "climate change" schemes, oppose tax increases (including those on high earners, aka small businesses), oppose union card check, and oppose deficit spending for a second stimulus package. Other than perhaps supporting Obama's taxes and restrictions on the unpopular big banks, he could hardly take any position that would risk distinguishing him (or her) as a Democrat in any way (at least on economic issues).

Dave Barnes said...

My, how things change.
8 months later and Christine O'Donnell is the REPUB.

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