Mike Castle led Beau Biden 45-39 on the Delaware Senate poll we put out yesterday but I actually thought there was plenty of good news for Biden within the survey.
First off, only 24% of voters in Delaware have a favorable opinion of Congressional Republicans with 57% viewing them unfavorably. The Democrats' numbers aren't great- a 42/46 spread- but they aren't nearly as bad as the GOP. This is one place where nationalizing the race next year will definitely be a good strategy for Democrats. Biden needs to get voters to think less about how they like Castle and more about how they don't like Congressional Republicans in general. Because it's been a long time since Castle had a serious challenge he hasn't really been held accountable for the broader behavior of his party. That will change next year.
Second, the undecided voters in the race at this point are a very Democratic leaning lot. They voted for Barack Obama by a 64-21 margin last year and still approve of him 59/29. Many of them are Democrats who like Castle but can't commit themselves to voting for a Republican. If the voters who like Obama broke to Biden and the voters who don't broke to Castle, Castle's lead would be reduced to 50-48. That's not a bad position for Biden considering how popular Castle is and how unblemished he's been in recent campaigns.
Campaigns matter, and I think there's a very good chance that Castle's poll numbers right now represent his peak. If Biden gets in I think Democrats will hold on here.