This morning, to test a theory that the votes were there (with the question remaining whether or not she could get them to the polls), I checked Michael Barone’s Almanac of American Politics. In her 2008 bid for the same Senate seat, O’Donnell won 140,595. In the most recent off-year Senate race in 2006, Democrat Tom Carper won with 170,567 votes, Republican Jay Ting had 69.734. Throw in the Libertarian candidate and you have a total turnout of 242,972.
If O’Donnell gets all her 2008 voters to the polls (and that’s a big if) and turnout is roughly same as 2006, she wins with 58% of the vote. But, how many of those voters came to vote in the presidential election and voted for her as the Republican candidate?
If “O’Donnell spends the next seven weeks pounding away on ObamaCare and deficits while Democrats talk about masturbation and Bill Maher,” Timothy P. Carney “wouldn’t be surprised to see a Senator O’Donnell.” Hitting those issues and factoring in the relative enthusiasm levels of the two parties, he may well have reason for his absence of wonder.
While Rasmussen has Coons over 50%, that pollster’s numbers have also been fluctuating widely over the course of the contest, with O’Donnell currently only 11 points behind. Not entirely insurmountable.