Mike Castle, the longtime Delaware congressman, has decided against a write-in campaign for the open U.S. Senate seat in his state, Politico and other news outlets have reported. Castle was upset in the Republican primary by Christine O’Donnell on September 14.
In a statement released last night, Castle said, in part:
Jane and I have been humbled by the strong encouragement from so many friends, colleagues and supporters to undertake this effort. While I would have been honored to represent Delaware in the U.S. Senate, I do not believe that seeking office in this manner is in the best interest of all Delawareans.
A Castle write-in campaign would have set up a three-way general election match-up between himself, O’Donnell, and Democrat Chris Coons. It was seen as likely increasing O’Donnell’s chances, who is currently trailing Coons in a one-on-one race, according to opinion polling. Again, though, this is not a normal political year, and conventional wisdom may or may not apply. All the media bashing of O’Donnell could also backfire.
Blogger Robert Stacy McCain claims that an enthusiasm gap may be in play in the state as well:
Tuesday night, Coons brought in Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine for an event at the University of Delaware where, according to the Associated Press, “about 100 people” showed up. Meanwhile, at a nearby pizza restaurant, so many O’Donnell supporters turned out for a volunteer meet-up that it was “overflowing” with many forced to “stand out on the sidewalk.”