Senate Ratings

October 6, 2009 · 11:08 AM EDT

Cong. Mike Castle’s (R) entry into the U.S. Senate race to fill the remainder of Vice President Joe Biden’s term dramatically alters the dynamic of the race.

Even if Attorney General Beau Biden (D) runs for the open Senate seat – certainly not guaranteed given the cordial relations between Castle and Joe Biden over the years, and the fact that Castle would be filling only the last four years of Biden’s unexpired term — Castle, the former governor who has been elected statewide for over 25 years, has the early advantage in the race.

An early March Public Policy Polling (D) survey had Castle leading Biden 44%-36%. Susquehanna Polling & Research (R) showed Castle up 55%-34% in late April. And a Sept. 30 Rasmussen Reports poll had the Republican ahead 47%-42%. The latter survey also showed that both men are very well-liked. Castle was at 61% favorable/34% unfavorable and Biden 60% favorable/32% unfavorable.

We’re moving the Delaware Senate seat from Currently Safe for Democrats to Lean Takeover for the GOP. However, even if Beau Biden takes a pass on the contest, the combination of the state’s Democratic bent and Castle’s popularity strongly suggest a very competitive contest.

Here are our latest Senate ratings.
#- Moved benefiting Democrats
*- Moved benefiting Republicans

Lean Takeover (0 R, 1 D)
Toss-Up (4 R, 2 D)
Narrow Advantage for Incumbent Party (2 R, 2 D)
  • Burr (R-NC)
  • Vitter (R-LA)
  • Reid (D-NV)
  • Specter (D-PA)
Clear Advantage for Incumbent Party (1 R, 2 D)
  • FL Open (LeMieux, R)
  • Bennet (D-CO)
  • Lincoln (D-AR)

Currently Safe (11 R, 11 D)