Discouraging poll numbers emerge as Castle mulls Delaware write-in

Rachel Rose Hartman
Mike Castle takes to the podium after his defeat on primary night.
Mike Castle takes to the podium after his defeat on primary night.

Republican Rep. Mike Castle said last week he would conduct polling to help him determine whether to wage a write-in bid for Senate in Delaware. While we don't yet know what Castle's internal polling has shown, a new Rasmussen Reports survey doesn't contain any encouraging news for the lawmaker.

Just 5 percent of Delaware voters surveyed would support a Castle write-in bid this fall, according to the survey. For the two major parties, Democratic nominee Chris Coons, a New Castle County executive, led Republican marketing consultant Christine O'Donnell 49 to 40 percent among likely voters surveyed.

The polling firm notes the unpredictable nature of write-in bids as a caveat to how they affect  poll results.  Rasmussen's analysis also suggests Castle would garner more support if he were to announce an official write-in campaign.

Castle is well known in Delaware as a former governor, lieutenant governor and most recently, via his 17 years as Delaware's sole statewide House member. Castle's well-established profile in the state made the primary win by conservative underdog O'Donnell all the more surprising.

The Rasmussen poll suggests that if Castle were to wage a write-in bid now, he would take more votes away from Coons than he would from O'Donnell.

In broader terms, a Castle write-in campaign wouldn't be surprising in this anything-but-ordinary midterm cycle. Several Republicans have already chosen to wage write-in or independent bids following unsuccessful primary campaigns.

Castle must announce a decision before the Sept. 30 state deadline in order to qualify for November's race. In a recent interview with the Delaware News Journal, the lawmaker said that the steep odds against succeeding as a write-in candidate made the idea a "remote possibility."

(Photo: AP/Steve Ruark)