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)