O'Donnell Wins In Delaware. Democrats Rejoice.

O'Donnell Wins In Delaware. Democrats Rejoice.



Public Policy Polling explains…

Republicans more than likely cost themselves a Senate seat last night. Chris Coons begins the general election in Delaware with a 50-34 lead over Christine O’Donnell. Mike Castle would have led Coons by a 45-35 margin.

While O’Donnell may have ingratiated herself to Delaware’s small group of registered Republicans over the last month she’s turned off everyone else. An August Daily Kos/PPP poll in Delaware found her favorability rating at 23/33. It’s now 29/50.

Very lopsided unfavorable numbers this close to the election? Think she can turn that around? Highly unlikely.

So what did Republicans (or, more accurately, Tea Partiers) in Delaware throw away last night? A super easy pick up. Now a lot of moderate Republicans will be backing Coons as a protest vote against O’Donnell…

If Castle had won he would have received more Democratic support than any other Republican Senate candidate in the country. Now our polling suggests with O’Donnell’s victory that Coons will win more Republicans than any other Democratic Senate candidate in the country. That’s because of a general unwillingness to support O’Donnell from Castle’s moderate base- folks from the centrist wing of the GOP are planning to support Coons 54-31.

By the way, O’Donnell’s opponent Mike Castle will not be endorsing her.

  • kranky kritter

    I’m always glad to find out that an extremist is going to lose. And It’s pretty clear that in some cases angry populist tea party conservatism is going to lead the GOP to back the wrong horse in terms of picking november winners.

    But lets face it, this doesn’t exactly leave democrats with much to rejoice about. How delighted should democrats be that they can probably beat a fringe kook? One, there don’t seem to be enough of them to go around to save democrats from losing a ton of congressional seats. And two, the last thing democrats should be doing is taking solace in any development that suggests they don’t need to worry about angry, anti-incumbent populism.

    Maybe this is the crest of the growing trend of anti-incumbent anger. And maybe not. We’re just passing through the primaries now. Can we really say that there are good reasons to think that public dissatisfaction is running out of steam? I sure don’t think so.

    I’m already considering an upward revision for the mid-terms. The GOP is going to come within a seat or two of re-taking the senate. And I’m not convinced today that it’s impossible. And they will probably end up with the house.

    Beyond that, what about governorships? Today, I would book Charlie Baker as slight favorite to beat Deval Patrick. I haven’t see any polls, but based on the debate I saw, he clearly has the message that is more in tune with public sentiment.

    And that’s what the likely democratic swoon in November comes down to…that they have not come up with effective ways to affirm public dissatisfaction. Blaming the GOP and “the policies of the past” is very clearly not going to get it done.

    O’Donnell is likely to prove to be a conservative over-reach. But GOP overreaches aren’t going to save democrats from public perception that they are out of touch. And unwilling to make the kinds of fiscally sober decisions about matching expenditures with resources that many everyday Americans have already been facing for over a year.

    I still expect Obama to buck this trend and get re-elected, unless a Chris Christie type candidate emerges to lead the GOP. A year of working with a GOP congress might be the best thing that could have happened for Obama’s re-election bid, It will allow him to position himself in charge of the middle while the GOP is stuck with its more conservative elements running the show.

    And because Obama’s rack to the middle will be a matter of necessity, it inoculates him from a legitimate challenge from the left.

  • WickedWays

    Seriously. Do you think the GOP wants a RINO senator who mirrors Harry Reid? He voted for Porkulus. Stimulus. Tarp. Health Care. Cap and Tax. And hes pro-life.

    Hell he is more liberal then Harry Reid.

    Seriously? Give Us a conservative or give Delaware an honest Democrat.

  • Tillyosu

    I dunno I wouldn’t count O’Donnell out. Scott Brown faced a similar challenge in Massachusetts and stunned everyone by pulling that off. Coons ignores her at his peril. I’m sure she’s planning to spend every day from now until the election shaking as many hands and meeting as many voters as she can. Oh and she’s very charismatic, unlike her opponent…sound familiar?

  • Trescml

    The anger of the electorate should not be underestimated. People are voting with emotion even more than usual and O’Donnell is well suited to be channel for that anger. I think Republicans that voted Castle will move more to support her than vote for Coons. It will come down to Independents and that should tip things to the Dems since O’Donnell’s views can be seen as extreme, but it will be closer that the polls are showing now.

  • http://kikoshouse.blogspot.com shaun

    Count O’Donnell out.

    This is because she has enormous unfavorables. Okay, not as large as Sarah Palin, who endorsed her. She couldn’t carry the most populous of Delaware’s three counties, winning only in the more conservative lower counties. Her opponent actually has government experience and already is being backed by 25 percent of Republicans in a very blue state with a 70-30 Democratic registered voter edge.

    My further thoughts here:


  • JimS

    Scott Brown isn’t as extreme as O’Donnell. Coons isn’t going to make the mistake of ignoring her. Brown never made claims of conspiracies against him. The list of differences between Brown’s campaign and O’Donnell’s is extensive.

  • Alistair

    Coons should win this election but it may not be double digit win because a lot of progressive liberals are acting like conservatives did in 2006.

  • kranky kritter

    I’m from MA. Scott Brown won because he sounded moderate and sensible, and because he said things that showed he was really listening to the concerns of the portion of the electorate that felt he it had been totally ignored. In a way that explicitly included pragmatic independents. His big winning issues were the same ones that are big with many discontented folks now: he was opposed to the nature of healthcare reform and the way it was passed, and he was opposed to government spending way beyond its means.

    If democrats want to, they can try to defend the rectitude of either of those things. But if and when they do, they are swimming straight upstream against the popular sentiment of a majority of voters.

    I know very little about either Delaware or its voters, but it sounds a lot like Massachusetts. O’Donnell can only win if her message speaks to the same swath of the electorate that Brown attracted. Scott Brown assiduously avoided sounding like an ideologue, and he is not a political neophyte. If O’Donnell can cast her self as sensible, pragmatic, and not a naive rabblerousing ideologue, then she can win.

    One last point. My gut tells me that the tide of public discontent has NOT crested. Back in spring, Scott Brown won by a shockingly comfortable margin when one considers what the dominant take on the race was 4 to 6 weeks before the election. This suggests to me that the overwhelming majority of fence-sitters swung for Brown. My take is that they did so largely because Martha Coakley presented herself as such a complacent, business-as-usual politician.

    So I would absolutely not dismiss the idea that a few very conservative somewhat kooky conservatives could get swept into office via a late groundswell.

    If Coons wants to win, the way to do so is to battle with passion and show folks a serious commitment to listening to everyone and then following through with substantive changes that reflect genuine listening and agreeing with the electorate. Avoid defending healthcare reform except in the context of changing things folks don’t like. Avoid defending deficit spending or back-patting for how much good work has already been done controlling state spending. Admit more needs to be done and show commitment to doing it.

  • theWord

    You said
    So I would absolutely not dismiss the idea that a few very conservative somewhat kooky conservatives could get swept into office via a late groundswell.

    Curious as to what someone would need to do or say to be actually kooky for you? If Angle were a Democrat I’d have no problem saying she was a kook and not voting for her. Is there a bar at all on the GOP side? I haven’t been able to detect one.

  • Chris


    What happens if our government is replaced with people who were around too much lead dust when they were infants? Need I say more?

  • michael mcEachran

    I’m super liberal and I agree with Kranky. We can’t rejoice yet for the short term – people are pissed, and they’ll elect a kook just to spite Washington. And although the tea party is wrecking the GOP, I’m not exactly rejoicing for the long term, either. The kooks can do a lot of damage before we correct. (We should have learned that lesson with BUsh.) I once swore that Palin didn’t have a chance at the presidency – not in 2012 nor ever – but I’m starting to re-think just how sure I am. Against Sharon Angle, Palin looks like a moderate genius. I think everything we were ever sure of before is out the window.

  • tadcf

    Important Announcement: We Need You

    Today, this country is faced with the typical problem of the political party in charge losing its voting strength in the mid-term election. This situation has occurred with some regularity in recent U.S. history. But, this election is different. We’ve witnessed the worst recession (some say depression) since the 30’s and 40’s. And, of course, severe unemployment and economic despair may cause many citizens to think that the Administration should take a different tact. However, it’s a matter of whether President Obama is going to have a Congressional team to allow him to continue with the recovery, or whether we elect more Republicans (and in some cases extreme Conservatives), and radically change the complexion of the Congress, so as to create a reactionary movement back to the situation we were in before Barak Obama became President.

    Many say, “What has he done for us?” Or, “Shouldn’t he do more, or at least something different?” There may be various answers to these questions in our electorate, but many over-look what President Obama and the a friendly House of Representatives, despite a filibuster-crazy Senate, has accomplished anyway:

    Decrease in national debt by 8%. [ http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/04/13/politics/washingtonpost/main6391441.shtml%5D

    This is accompanied a stabilization of the Dow Jones Average at above 10,000.

    Created a health care program—although flawed, some may say—which will provide protection for an estimated 45 million people without insurance or under-insure. Sure, health care may not be an important issue to the 80% of Americans already covered, but what about those who have no such protection? How many people would otherwise die?.

    Although unemployment is still unacceptably high, the Obama administration has halted this increase which was occurring when President Obama took office. We are at a pinnacle like has never occurred in our recent experience. It is no longer necessary just to create industries —industries that can just outsource jobs overseas—we need to create industries which will keep jobs in this country, and cannot be shipped overseas. Do you really think the Republicans can do this? They don’t even know that this is the goal. The old way just doesn’t work any more.

    His administration Reformed the rules of the Wall Street financial industries. Many say, “Not enough”, and I agree. But at least the Congress got something positive accomplished amidst Republican objection. Can you imagine how little would have been accomplished if the Republicans had been in charge? Nothing.

    To view a list of 100 of Obama accomplishments in his first year of Presidency, see

    A vote for the Republican Party this November means a vote for the 25% far-fight, radical element, which is embraced by the Conservative (Republican) Party. Why, that’s only somewhat smaller than the percentage of people in the U.S. who believe the solar system revolves around the Earth—and probably includes much of the same people. Let’s look at what these people believe—as represented by some of their most vocal representatives—before considering turning our government over to them:

    Not only are Conservatives supporting the Bush tax cuts for the middle class, but only is it includes a tax cut for the upperclass—who really need it. In January, the Bush tax cuts are set to expire. The Democrats support reinstating them for the middle class, but not the upper class. By allowing these tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, the Republicans deny the government several trillion dollars in revenue, based on the assumption that these people will put it back into the economy through investment. But who say this will happen? If it doesn’t, this country stands to increase the deficit by $3-4 trillion dollars. What a gamble, based on a theory. I say ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’–no pun intended.

    Some of the most radical members have seemed to suggest ‘gun play’ in the event they don’t win. Others suggest ending social programs, like medicare and social security, because they’re too expensive, while profiting from these very programs all these years. Do we really want persons like this representing the American people.

    What do conservatives have to offer about improving the economy? All they can talk about is complaining about ‘tax and spend’ Democrats—on balance, will they take a page from the George Bush play book, and become ‘borrow and spend’ Republicans instead, or just continue to talk? I still I haven’t seen the Republican plan.

    Many of the right-wing have exhibited statements suggesting religious, ethnic, and gender intolerance—currently directed toward the Muslim and GLBT community. Essentially, they simply don’t believe in freedom for all people—to them freedoms are bestowed upon whom they prefer to pick and choose. We have seen this in our history with the KKK, and anti-Semitism, and prejudice toward many other immigrant groups. And we’ve seen it more recently, with the emergence of ‘the Birthers’ and a wealth of photos depicting President Obama as a witch doctor or pimp—next thing you know they’ll be saying he’s a space alien. Do you really want these kind of sentiments having an influence on government?

    Conservatives are constantly calling attention to the high unemployment rate. But they forget to remind you that during the Reagan administration, the unemployment rate went to 9.7-9.8% and remained there for two years—and that was a mild recession compared to this near depression. [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-abrams/pop-quiz-under-reagan-wha_b_341348.html]

    Changing the economy is not an easy job; and the Republicans don’t have the answer by regressing back to the practices of the Bush days.

    If you agree with what I’ve said here, go out and vote Democratic in November. We’re almost certain to lose some seats in congress because of a traditionally low turnout of progressive voters during mid-term elections. So we need Independent and Democratic voters to turn out and vote for progressive candidates to minimize the number of seats lost to reactionary conservatives. We’re especially vulnerable to losing the House of Representatives, where some important bills originate. Don’t let this happen! And vote Democratic for Governor too—where applicable.

  • Alistair


    And that would put America towards it’s fall from the entire world because people like Palin & Angle would be getting an ear fold from the Neo-Cons, Fox News and start an unjust war in the Middle East by using the same talking points as Bush said you either are for us or against us.

  • kranky kritter

    Word, not sure what you are asking. In case you’re not aware, I don’t pay close attention to what all of the various politicians are saying, and I seldom watch fox news or msnbc. I don’t even usually click through when Justin or some other web site posts a “poster child for conservative kookery” link.

    There are plenty of kooks out there, and I’ve talked about them at length in the past. That group that protests military funerals and was going to burn korans is a good example. And I consider hardcore ideologues who traffic solely in oversimplistic cant to be pretty close to kookery, unless I think they are hiding their intelligence due to opportunism. Politically, I think anyone who holds political positions primarily on faith and is unwilling to do serious critical thinking about complicated issues is sort of a kook. Because when we as Americans are talking about policies and approaches that affect the entire country, it’s kooky to have an opinion even if you haven’t though things through. Faith in ideology is laziness and fear.

    I haven’t called O’Donnell a kook. This does not reflect my opinion of her political positions. I know almost nothing about her. She’s Delaware’s problem.

    Mike, I still think that a Palin gop pres nom would guarantee Obama’s re-election.

    It’s funny to see the signs here of panic from some liberals, along with a sinking into apocalyptic visions. It was only 1.5 years ago that these same folks were declaring conservatives to be irrelevant.

    When the GOP gains seats in congress, the primary manifestation will be reductions in spending, along with the beginning of attempts to repeal healthcare reform, which they cannot due until they have power to override a presidential veto or regain the white house.

    And even with that, republicans have been careful to say that they “only want to repeal parts of it.” With a democratic President and a closely split congress, we’ll get less government action, and it will come via hard fought compromise. That’s a good thing.

  • Tillyosu

    Just as a little perspective, O’Donnell is down by 11 points. Scott Brown was down by 15 points, just two weeks before the election.

    Food for thought…