Democrat Chris Coons holds a double-digit lead over Republican hopeful Christine O’Donnell in the first Rasmussen Reports post-primary survey of the U.S. Senate race in Delaware.
Coons earns 53% of the vote to O’Donnell’s 42%, with leaners included. One percent (1%) prefer some other candidate, and four percent (4%) are undecided.
So, if this poll is right and Coons is above 50 percent, O'Donnell not only needs to overwhelmingly win those still undecided, she needs some Coons supporters to switch to her. A recent PPP poll, conducted prior to the election, showed O'Donnell trailing Coons 34 percent to 50 percent. At RealClearPolitics, Sean Trende writes nevertheless that O'Donnell's primary victory is "almost certainly the end of GOP prospects for this Senate seat."
If anything, the PPP (D) poll showing O'Donnell trailing New Castle County Executive Chris Coons by 16 points was only surprising because the lead was so small. After the divisive primary battle, the revelations about O'Donnell, and her lack of ideological synchronization with the state, one would expect Chris Coons to be able to climb above 50 percent in a state where 62 percent of the voters voted for President Obama in 2008.
Regardless, it is still difficult to imagine that this is Coons' high point. Some conservatives have emphasized that there were 57,000 voters in the Republican primary, far more than expected. This is true. But the 2008 Democratic primary for Governor drew 73,000 voters, and Joe Biden drew 257,539 votes in his 2008 victory over O'Donnell. Tom Carper got 170,567 in 2006. In other words, even if O'Donnell gets all of the Castle primary voters (a dubious proposition at best), she still has an awful lot of Independents to convince.
Conservatives also like to point to Joe Miller, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ken Buck, Pat Toomey, Sharron Angle, and Ron Johnson as examples of candidates who were derided by the establishment as too conservative, and whose nominations drew groans. First, let's remember that none of these candidates have won yet. Angle and Johnson are no better than 50-50 shots to win right now, and all of the rest, save Miller, are just now opening up significant advantages.
More importantly consider these numbers: 38, 41, 51, 54, 55, 55, 56. These represent, respectively, the vote shares for President Obama in each of the states in which the above candidates are running. In Delaware, he received 62 percent of the vote. And O'Donnell starts her race with much more baggage than any of these candidates, with the possible exception of Angle. In other words, O'Donnell is the weakest nominee of this group, running in the least hospitable state. It is not a powerful combination.
Mike Castle might have been a wonderful general election candidate in the Delaware Senate race. But he ran a terrible campaign in the Republican primary, which is why he lost to Christine O’Donnell, a Tea Party favorite.
As the Republican primary for the Senate seat from Delaware manages to become even more heated than it's been thus far, the newest charge of O'Donnell backers is that Rep. Mike Castle voted to impeach President George W. Bush.
Those backers are referring to this vote, taken in June 2008. As you can see from the roll call, fully 24 Republicans voted to impeach President Bush, including conservatives like Pete King of New York and Kevin Brady of Texas. One imagines that would have been rather big news had it happened.
For those not concerned about character, the Castle/O'Donnell issue in the Delaware Senate race comes down to a straightforward calculus of electability versus ideology. The implicit argument from some has been that they cancel each other out in this case. Castle is a useless RINO and O'Donnell is an unelectable conservative.
1. Fun Facts about Delaware. The GOP circular firing squad is finally set to begin shooting today, as Delaware will hold its primary vote to decide between moderate Republican Mike Castle and Tea Party Express-backed Christine O’Donnell.
Democrats are licking their chops. They thought for sure that this seat was going to tip to the GOP by default, but now it looks like it might tip to their side by default.
Talk radio host Mark Levin is not very happy with my report yesterday on Christine O'Donnell's $6.9 million gender discrimination lawsuit against her former employer, a conservative group called the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. In the 2005 lawsuit, O'Donnell alleged that ISI caused her to suffer severe "mental anguish" by demoting and firing her. O'Donnell also falsely implied in the lawsuit that she was taking master's degree classes at Princeton.
1. Delaware Primary. The stakes are high in Delaware as First State Republicans are set to choose between moderate Republican Mike Castle and conservative, Tea Party-backed Christine O’Donnell. PPP is now finding a statistical tie between the two, and the battle has turned conservative allies against one another.
Wilmington, Del. About an hour before the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling released a new poll Sunday night showing moderate congressman Mike Castle trailing conservative activist Christine O'Donnell, 44 percent to 47 percent, in the Delaware GOP Senate primary, Castle predicted, in a most understated way, that he would win on Tuesday.
Court documents obtained Saturday by THE WEEKLY STANDARD reveal surprising new details about the gender discrimination and wrongful termination lawsuit filed by Christine O'Donnell in 2005 against her former employer, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, a conservative non-profit based in Delaware.* O'Donnell, who is now challenging moderate congressman Mike Castle in the September 14 Delaware GOP Senate primary, sought $6.95 million in damages. In a court complaint, she extensively detailed the "mental anguish" she suffered after allegedly being demoted and fired because of her gender. And, although she didn't have a bachelor's degree until this year, O'Donnell implied she was taking master's degree classes at Princeton University in 2003.
1. Latest signs of the Dem-Pocalypse. PPP polls Maine and finds both Democratic incumbents under 50%. In ME-1, Democrat Chellie Pingree leads Republican Dean Scontras 47-38. In ME-02, Democrat Michael Michaud leads Republican Jason Levesque 45-38. This is despite the fact that the Republican challengers in both districts are so unknown that 2/3rds of the voters do not have an opini
No direct quote from Sarah Palin yet (update: audio here), but on Sean Hannity's radio show this afternoon, Palin apparently endorsed conservative activist Christine O'Donnell in her campaign against moderate Congressman Mike Castle to be the Delaware GOP Senate nominee. Sean Hannity tweets: