The new survey of the Delaware Republican Senate primary by Public Policy Polling (D)
gives insurgent conservative activist Christine O'Donnell a three-point edge over the Republican establishment's favorite, moderate Congressman Mike Castle.
The numbers: O'Donnell 47%, Castle 44%. The survey of likely primary voters has a Â±3.8% margin of error. There is no prior PPP survey of this primary for direct comparison.
The primary will be held this Tuesday. It should be noted that the TPM Poll Average for the general election
has Castle leading the presumptive Democratic nominee, New Castle County Executive Chris Coons, by a margin of 47.0%-37.1%. On the other hand, Coons leads O'Donnell in the average by 44.0%-37.5%.
From the pollster's analysis:
It's clear that Castle's popularity has taken a sharp turn in the wrong direction over the last month. An August PPP poll found his favorability with Delaware Republicans at a 60/25 spread. Now his favorables within the party are negative at 43/47. That's largely a product of 55% of voters in his party saying they think he's too liberal compared to 37% who think he's about right.
GOP voters are pretty sharply divided about O'Donnell as well. 45% have a favorable opinion of her with 41% seeing her unfavorably. Only 50% of primary voters think she's fit to hold public office but she does much better than Castle on the ideology front- 53% think she's about right.