Castle Takes Aim at O’Donnell in Delaware
Taking a cue from Joe Miller’s upset victory over Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) last month, Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.) is taking no chances a week before his Senate primary contest against Tea Party-backed candidate Christine O’Donnell. Unlike Murkowski, who only failed to take her challenger seriously until it was too late, Castle is up with an ad today that pulls no punches in its attacks against O’Donnell.
The ad, which draws largely from a Delaware News Journal article in March that chronicles the O’Donnell campaign’s financial woes, casts O’Donnell as an unreliable figure who has at various times owed money to the IRS, her university, her campaign staffers, and on her mortgage. Tea Party leaders and their allies in the state, however, will likely be unswayed by this line of argument. “That’s not not having an effect,” argues Russ Murphy, executive director of the 9-12 Delaware Patriots. “The majority of the people look at it and say who amongst us isn’t having trouble?”
What counts, however, will be how it influences Delaware’s GOP voters who show up for the closed primary next Tuesday. The historically moderate Delaware GOP base looks ready to support Castle’s bid for Senate in a general election, but first it must turn out in great enough numbers to outmatch the growing popular enthusiasm for O’Donnell among conservative activists in the primary.