Move To The Right, Suffer At The Polls (UPDATED)

That’s what we’re learning from Delaware’s 2010 GOP Senate candidate, Mike Castle:

This is one of the more surprising polls I’ve seen recently: Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, son of the vice president, is leading Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.) in a hypothetical 2010 U.S. Senate matchup. The Susquehanna Polling & Research survey has Biden beating Castle by five points. When they polled this race in April, Castle led by 21 points. (This poll was conducted from November 10 to November 15.)

What’s responsible for the Biden surge? He’s grabbed the lead in vote-rich New Castle County, built up a 41-point lead among Democratic voters, and moved to only 5 points behind Castle among independents. According to the pollster, the shift “may be a result of negative publicity [Castle] received in the state after casting a ‘no’ vote for President Obama’s health care reform bill in the U.S. Congress.” Castle, who has thrived as a moderate Republican in an increasingly Democratic state, has been casting more partisan votes–against the stimulus package, for the Stupak amendment–that have been well-reported in Delaware.

[Emphasis mine]

Delaware is a blue state and the home of Vice President Biden, whose former Senate seat Castle is running for.

I know the GOP is all about ideological purity uber alles, but they’re going to remain firmly in the minority unless they can tolerate candidates who sometimes violate the Republican Party orthodoxy.

Then again, if the GOP didn’t learn the lessons of 2006 and 2008–and surrounds themselves with the fantasy of a Republican takeover in 2010–then perhaps they deserve to remain in the minority.

UPDATE: In light of this, I wonder if GOP Rep. Mark Kirk–who is running for President Obama’s former Senate seat in Illinois–is finally going to give up on trying to get Sarah Palin’s blessing. Or is he going to keep alienating most Illinois voters in order to kiss her ring?