In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Castle's Senate Run Creates House Dem Pickup Opportunity

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Newscom / RICHARD B. LEVINE

"I think it's an overwhelmingly Democratic district," said a Democratic source, "and we have a great candidate who has run and won statewide before, has a great profile and people know him. So it definitely makes it a strong pick-up opportunity for us."

A Republican source acknowledged that this will be a tough race, but doesn't at all view it as being lost: "Delaware's presidential numbers from last year are a little bit misleading, because Joe Biden was at the top of the ticket. It only gave John Kerry 53% in 2004." That number would typically put a district in the ranks of swing seats.

The GOP has had five possible candidates: State Rep. Tom Kovach, who is close to Castle; businessman Anthony Wedo; Ferris Wharton, a former prosecutor who narrowly lost to Beau Biden for state Attorney General in 2006; former U.S. Attorney Colm Connolly; and former state Senate Minority Leader Charlie Copeland.

"I don't want to make it seem like once we have a candidate, that candidate will be a frontrunner," the source said. "I think everyone knows it will be an uphill battle to hold the seat. But I feel confident that we can run a credible candidate and run a vigorous campaign to hold it."