Attorney General Race Is Tight
Democrat Beau Biden and Republican Ferris Wharton are in a dead heat in their race for attorney general of Delaware. According to the most recent poll results from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind, Wharton gets support from 35% of likely voters, while Biden gets 34%. When including voters who say they lean to one candidate or the other, Biden opens it up to a three-point lead of 40 to 37%, but that is still within the poll’s margin of error. One of five voters (22%) say they are still undecided in this race.
Wharton is struggling with name recognition. Only 57% say they have heard of him, compared to 89% who say they’ve heard of his Democratic rival Beau Biden, the son of Delaware's Democratic Senator Joseph Biden, Jr.
On the other hand, of the 57% who recognize Wharton, he maintains better than a 5:1 ratio of favorable to unfavorable opinion. By comparison, Biden’s favorable to unfavorable opinion ratio is a little better than 4:3.
Wharton’s favorable to unfavorable ratio among men who recognize him is 6:1, and among women 4:1. Two-thirds of self-described conservatives have a favorable opinion of Wharton, and only one-third have a favorable view of Biden.
Wharton also does better than Biden among strong partisans. Three-quarters of Republicans say they support Wharton, but only two-thirds of Democrats say they are voting for Biden.
Wharton leads by six percentage points among white voters, but Biden leads by a 4 to 1 margin among non-white voters. Men and women go their own way in this race with men giving Wharton the edge by 45-34% and women giving Biden the nod by 46-30%. Finally, those who report they’ve heard or read "a great deal" about the race favor Wharton by a 2 to 1 margin.
"The dynamics of this race are unusual," said Peter Woolley, director of the poll. "You have a candidate that is behind more than 30 points in name recognition but is so well liked by those who know him that he is making a strong race."
The PublicMind poll of 502 randomly selected likely voters statewide was conducted by telephone from October 18 through October 24 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percentage points.
Contacts: Peter Woolley 973.670.3239; Dan Cassino 973.896.7072
For more information, please call (201) 692-7337.