DE-SEN: Castle Leads R2K Poll by 18

This hasn’t been posted anywhere, for some reason, so I decided to make it the subject of my first diary. R2K polled the Delaware Senate Race and the results were pretty ugly for team blue:

Mike Castle (R) 53 (51)

Chris Coons (D) 35 (39)

Note the really bad news here for Coons (which is ignored by Daily Kos commentator Adam B. – don’t know why he wrote about this instead of Steve Singiser, the usual polling guru): Coons is actually down and Castle is up from the last time they did this poll.

Adam B. tries to spin this as not being all bad news for Coons, but his reasoning seems a bit specious to me. Mainly, he suggests that this is like the Carper-Roth race in 2000 in that you have two popular incumbents, one of whom is much younger than the other and is running as the representative of the more popular party in the state. For those of you who don’t know that race, Carper, then the Delaware Governor and a Democrat, ousted the Republican Senator Bill Roth, although both were popular at the time, by a substantial margin.

Here’s why I don’t buy it: 2000 was a presidential year, which drove Dem turnout in Delaware that year, and it was a Democratic year over all (I think five Republican Senators lost that year). This year won’t be either. Also, I think Roth had some pretty severe health issues which I don’t believe Castle has (I know he’s had a stroke in the past, but he seems to have recovered from that pretty well). Also, Carper had been elected to some pretty heavy statewide offices – I know Coons represents two-thirds of the state as an executive, but that’s still not the whole state and still not governor.

Feel free to tell me I’m wrong about this. The Dem lean of the state means I wouldn’t write off Coons chances completely, but this poll does not give me a lot of hope.