Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Delaware U.S. Senate Race

Race of the Day

August 9, 2006
90 Days Until Election Day

Delaware U.S. Senate

Status: Democrat Incumbent
2004 Presidential Result: Blue State (East)

Outlook: Safe Democrat

The U.S. Senate Contest in the First State may be the last one that is closely followed by political junkies outside of that state this year.

Incumbent Democrat Tom Carper is seeking a second term and he is a proven vote getter in the state, having served as Governor before ousting a long-time Republican Senator in the 2000 elections.

Several of Delaware's more prominent Republicans long ago decided to forgo this race, leading Carper with the task of facing some lower tier candidates.

While three Republicans will face off in the September primary, including airline pilot and two time previous statewide candidate Mike Protack, the candidate who easily received the endorsement of the State Republican Party is Jan Ting, a former Assistant INS Commissioner. Ting is using his experience in dealing with immigration matters to make illegal immigration one of the centerpieces of his campaign, calling for such strict enforcement measures as building fences along the southern border. If Ting wins the nomination, he might receive some notice for being a rare Asian-American candidate for U.S. Senate, but he simply is not going to have the means to compete seriously with Carper.

Despite the fact that Delaware is pretty favorable to Democrats, the state's Democrat Governor was reelected in 2004 by a surprisingly close margin and has since grown more unpopular. Joe Biden, the state's talkative senior Senator, who makes no secret of his Presidential ambitions, had also caused some eyebrows to be raised by being held to just 58 percent in his last reelection against a non-descript opponent.

The state's lone Congressman Michael Castle, is a popular moderate Republican who certainly could have given Carper a run for his money, but both Capitol Hill House Republicans and the folks in Delaware are probably quite pleased to not have to worry about defending an open House seat, just so Castle could have gambled on an uncertain proposition.

Delaware GOP link (because the immigration stuff is causing me to not be able to officially endorse Ting at this time, not that I think he really cares):

2006 Senate Races predicted thus far: 3 D, 1 R
Predicted post-election Balance of Power thus far: 30 D, 41 R