The other interesting election this week: Delaware

Tiny Delaware in America is lucky to have maybe 800,000 900,000 people, if that. It’s a tiny strip of coast along the Delaware Bay that is mostly flat. It has one of the world’s few semi-circular boundaries, which it shares with Pennsylvania; also, I think, with New Jersey. (There are tiny pieces of land on the New Jersey side of the bay that are actually part of the State of Delaware—it’s true! Go figure with that one, eh?)

Well, yesterday back home, it’s primary election day in Delaware. The Republican candidate, Michael Castle was expected to have an easy time of getting the party nomination for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Vice President Biden, until along came a Tea Party backed candidate called Christine O’Donnell.

Ms. O’Donnell isn’t exactly as polished as Congressman Castle, whose been serving Delaware state government in one form or another since I was an undergrad at Penn. Delaware is in Philadelphia’s media market, so if you ever live in Philly you will get the news about Delaware. He used to be Governor Castle then, so you figure he’s made a lot of friends and gotten backing across the state. Ms. O’Donnell, though, seems to have made up what she lacked in tenure with gumption and stick-to-it-iveness.

Nate Silver at the New York Times says in his blog that if Ms. O’Donnell is the Republican nominee for the seat, it increases the chances that the Democrat, Chris Coons, will hold it for the Democrats. Right now, Coons is expected to lose to Castle.

If the Republicans can’t pick up the seat, it makes it much more difficult for them to reach the 51 votes needed to control the U.S. Senate next year.

You might ask: 800,000 900,000 people get not one, but two U.S. Senators? Yes.