Internal polling and a shakeup within his campaign staff is casting doubt on the future of state Sen. Colin Bonini’s (R-Dover South) bid for governor next year.
Bonini confirmed internal poll numbers showing 46 percent of those surveyed supporting Democrat and current Congressman John Carney while 25 percent back Bonini.
He says he hasn’t made any decision one way or the other about dropping his campaign, but notes that he’s meeting with supporters to chart a final course, with another office potentially in the mix.
Bonini’s campaign manager, Emily Taylor, also recently resigned, leaving him without anyone to head his efforts to grab Delaware’s highest elected office.
“I guess we’re sort of in-between right now. Emily left and she had better opportunities, which had nothing to do with the campaign or anything like that," he said. "She got better opportunities, but we have not, at this point, hired a replacement, but we’re absolutely in the process of interviewing folks.”
State GOP chair Charlie Copeland says he hadn’t seen the polling numbers, but when he heard them he said, "Then he ought to get out there and work. He ought to get out there and campain."
It’s not news that Republicans face a steep deficit in registered voters compared to Democrats in Delaware, and Copeland says it especially shouldn’t be a surprise for candidates.
“If he wants to run he should run. If he doesn't want to run he shouldn't run. Looking at polling data for an exit strategy seems odd to me,” Copeland said.
Bonini has served in the state Senate since 1994 and previously ran a statewide campaign for treasurer in 2010, narrowly losing to Democrat Chip Flowers by two percent of the vote.
Should he drop out of the race, retired state trooper Lacey Lafferty would be the lone candidate seeking the GOP nomination for governor.
Bonini says he will make a decision about the future of his campaign in the next couple of weeks.