I don’t know enough about Castle or Christine O’Donnell to weigh in on whether Castle is a RINO or O’Donnell is a true conservative — but both Bainbridge and Riehl implicitly assume the point. I also don’t know about whether Castle is a sure thing in the general election, and O’Donnell a likely loser — again, Bainbridge and Riehl implicitly assume the point (although Bainbridge more so than Riehl).
So, assuming Castle is a RINO yet significantly more likely to win in a general election, what to do?
I say, vote for the candidate you prefer, and let the electoral chips fall where they may. That is so now more than ever.
The argument is that a Castle election may be the difference between Republican control of the Senate or not, assuming the tsunami happens. So what? So long as Republicans control the House (the much more likely scenario), further legislation implementing the Obama agenda is DOA with or without the Senate.
If the electoral tide is strong enough for Republicans to carry the House, the Democratic majority in the Senate — at best for Democrats — will be reduced to 51-53. There is no huge advantage to Republican majority rule by one vote in the Senate, if the cost of that razor thin rule is that Mike Castle (assuming he is a RINO) is the deciding vote.
Majority rule in the Senate would allow the House and Senate to pass Republican legislation, but with an Obama veto pen in hand, until there is a Republican President we are playing damage control, trying to stop the bleeding caused by Obamacare and other Democratic legislation. Affirmatively implementing policy will have to await the 2012 election regardless.
Majority control in the Senate will have importance in the judicial nomination process, but what is the chance Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Lindsey Graham, and Mike Castle all would vote against anyone but the most extreme Obama nominee?
Whether Republicans are up a vote, or down a vote or two, in the Senate will not alter the course of history — so long as the House goes Republican.
In short, the House is the key in the 2010 election. In the Senate, a marginal one vote majority (assuming all cards fall into place in a perfect storm) is not of such importance that you should vote for someone you do not want in the Senate.
Vote for the person you think is best for the job.
Update: At HuffPo, three political science professors are predicting a 50 seat swing in the House:
Our preliminary 2010 forecast will appear (with other forecasts by political scientists) in the October issue of PS: Political Science. By our reckoning, the most likely scenario is a Republican majority in the neighborhood of 229 seats versus 206 for the Democrats for a 50-seat loss for the Democrats. Taking into account the uncertainty in our model, the Republicans have a 79% chance of winning the House.