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Mike Castle to vie for Biden's Senate seat, maybe against Beau

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Another handicapper, Jennifer Duffy of the Cook Political Report, calls the race a tossup.

In his announcement press conference, held in Wilmington, Del., the mild-mannered Castle made clear he knows he’s in for a spirited contest if Biden runs.

“I like Joe and I like his family a great deal,” Castle said. “And that is a very political family, by the way, very competent in the art of politics, and I realize when you deal with any of the Bidens you’re dealing with all the Bidens.”

“I don’t know Beau as well, but obviously I respect him, too,” Castle added, noting Biden’s recent return from a year of service in Iraq.

Though Delaware is a sold blue state, party affiliation is only one of many factors voters will consider – especially given Castle’s moderate positions (such as support for abortion rights and embryonic stem cell research). Democrats, who control the White House and both houses of Congress, have been under gun, boosting GOP prospects for 2010.

Then there’s the Mike factor.

“Many voters don't seem to care about Mike Castle's positions on the issues,” says Allan Loudell, a talk radio host at WDEL-AM in Wilmington. “They just like the guy.”

The two Senate party committees reacted quickly to Castle’s announcement.

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