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10:40 a.m. – Delaware Republican Senate candidate Mike Castle thinks a vote today for his opponent Christine O'Donnell is a vote for a Democrat in November – and the outcome of this Delaware primary could keep the Senate in Democratic hands. He took polite swipes at former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and the Tea Party Express. He says he believes this campaign is a test case for the internal squabble about the future of the Republican party.
The 9-term Republican Congressman and former Delaware Governor stopped to talk to reporters on his way in to vote this morning in Wilmington Delaware. The very polite Delaware press corps addressed Castle as an elder statesman, and a calm, confident seeming candidate answered each and every question. That's rare.
Asked by CNN if he believes Christine O'Donnell can win a general election, Castle said simply "I do not." Pressed to elaborate he explained "I believe her appeal is a limited segment of the Republican Party and I just don't feel that appeal carries over to independents and Democrats and I think she would have no chance of winning a general election."
As for Palin's involvement in the race the longtime Republican said "I do not appreciate it. I really don't know what she is up to – if she is trying to build some sort of conservative movement to run for President or just try to keep her name in front of the public." He also bemoaned the spending by outside groups, especially the Tea Party Express saying "I have never seen any election in Delaware – Republican, Democrat primary or general where there was so much outside influence as in this one."
And Castle said this is all about the future of the Republican party. "This particular campaign has become a bit of a test – can the very conservative elements of the Republican party take out an incumbent with whom they don't always agree," he lamented. Adding that it's "what we are dealing with here, beyond just Delaware."
Asked if an O'Donnell win today means Democrats will control the US Senate he says "It has that effect." Though he adds "I suppose the people who are supporting Christine would not look at it that way" and he says "I am not one who necessarily thought Republicans would control the Senate."