A Tale of Two Elections

Biden Hedges His Bets, Running for V.P. and Senator

As Delaware voters arrived at the polls today and disappeared behind blue curtains, they noticed one candidate’s name listed twice on the ballot. “Joseph R. Biden Jr.,” affectionately labeled “Delaware’s Own,” ran two campaigns.

Biden is the vice presidential running mate with Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). Delaware voters also had the opportunity to give Biden a sixth term to Washington as their U.S. senator.

As the incumbent, Biden’s Senate re-election seemed a foregone conclusion. As of 9:30 p.m. (EDT), Biden was leading Republican challenger Christine O’Donnell by almost a 2-to-1 margin.

“Because Biden has been in the (U.S.) Senate for so long, his senatorial campaign wasn’t much of a struggle,” said Paul Ashton, a spokesman for the Delaware Obama-Biden campaign. “It was not that difficult for Biden to step away from his senatorial campaign.”

If he were elected vice president, Biden, of course, would have to give up his senatorial seat.

In that case, said Ashton, “his current senatorial term would end 10 days before he would swear in as vice-president. The governor would appoint someone for two years. Then in 2010, another election would be held for the position of senator. “

Some speculate that Biden’s son, Joseph R. “Beau” Biden III, may take his place. The younger Biden, Delaware’s attorney general, is a U.S. Army captain in the Delaware National Guard currently training in Texas for his deployment to Iraq.

Meanwhile, some Delaware residents appeared unfazed by Sen. Biden’s dual campaigns.

“I like Biden. He is a good guy, and he’ll get my vote,” said John Cain, who voted Tuesday in District 8, which covers parts of Newcastle.

“I don’t have a problem voting for Biden twice, if his name is on the ballot. I’ll vote for him,” said Stephanie Simpson, who voted in District 15 covering Bear and Newcastle.