A sleepy Senate race in tiny Delaware has suddenly gotten national attention, with Republicans growing concerned that their favored candidate for Vice President Joe Biden's old seat, Rep. Mike Castle, could be in danger of falling to a tea-party favorite.
Christine O'Donnell is something of a perennial candidate in Delaware, and is viewed by national and many state-level Republican leaders as standing little chance of winning the Senate seat in the blue-as-they-come Blue Hen State.
But she's also gotten late momentum and attention, with Sarah Palin and Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., providing late boosts to tea-party groups that have long mistrusted the moderate Castle.
Castle goes into the day a slight favorite. But he and the state Republican Party have had to drain resources to fight off O'Donnell, whose chances are boosted by the fact that Delaware has closed primaries, meaning only registered Republicans can vote in the GOP primary.
Republican leaders will be glad to put this primary season behind them. But if they prove unable to rally resources to save one of their top recruits -- one who provides a very real pick-up opportunity -- they'll be limping into a general election that they know is a sprint.