Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are heading to Delaware next week to try and keep Biden's old Senate seat in Democratic party hands.
Obama and Biden will team up with New Castle County executive Chris Coons, the party's Senate nominee at a fundraiser in Wilmington on Friday, October 15, according to the Coons campaign. Next week's trip will be Biden's third visit to his home state to help Coon's bid.
Two polls released Wednesday indicate that Coons has a large lead over Republican nominee Christine O'Donnell in the battle to win the seat held for nearly four decades by Biden.
A Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind survey indicates that 53 percent of likely voters in Delaware are supporting Coons, with 36 percent backing O'Donnell. According to a University of Delaware Center for Political Communication survey, 49 percent of Delaware registered voters support Coons, with three in ten backing O'Donnell.
Last month O'Donnell upset longtime moderate Republican Rep. and former Gov. Mike Castle in the state's GOP primary. O'Donnell, a conservative commentator who launched unsuccessful Senate bids in 2006 and 2008, was supported and helped by Tea Party activists and by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Since then O'Donnell's been in the spotlight for controversial comments she made years ago when she was a spokesperson for socially conservative causes.
O'Donnell's campaign says they've raised more than $2 million since the primary victory. Meanwhile, Palin has said that she will come to Delaware to campaign with O'Donnell.
Next Wednesday the two candidates face off in a debate at the University of Delaware that will be co-moderated by CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
The winner in November will fill out the remaining four years of Biden's final term in the Senate. Biden stepped down from his seat after his election in November 2008 as vice president. Former Biden aide Ted Kaufman was named as an interim replacement, and is not seeking a full term. After much speculation that he would run for his father's old seat, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden announced in late January that he would instead run for re-election as Delaware attorney general. Coon's announced days later and faced no serious opposition for the Democratic party's nomination.
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