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Can Christine O’Donnell Win?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:18 pm - September 16, 2010.
Filed under: 2010 Elections

Well, maybe.

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.

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43 Comments

  1. You forgot about depressed Democratic turn out, that might add something to the mix as well.

    Comment by Paul in N.AL — September 16, 2010 @ 12:26 pm - September 16, 2010

  2. Paul, that’s what I meant when I wrote, “factoring in the relative enthusiasm levels of the two parties”. :-)

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — September 16, 2010 @ 12:35 pm - September 16, 2010

  3. Yes she can. If she stays on message and doesn´t fall into the Democrats trap that will throw the baggage at her that Mike Castle and Karl Rove so graciously gave them. Defending and clarifying personal issues can drain her war chest, her energy, and will ultimately drive the undecideds to her opponent. Ignoring or giving as little time as possible and staying on message is what the voters need to remember when they go to the polls.

    Comment by Roberto — September 16, 2010 @ 12:43 pm - September 16, 2010

  4. She’s also raised nearly a million dollars in a single day. Now, I know Delaware voters are liberal and stupid (They re-elected Biden like five or six times), but how much do they really want to elect a self-described “bearded Marxist” like Chris Coons?

    Comment by V the K — September 16, 2010 @ 1:23 pm - September 16, 2010

  5. And if the Democrats hate her, and the GOP hates her… that kind of makes her the ultimate independent in a year when the voter’s mood is “a pox on both your houses.”

    Comment by V the K — September 16, 2010 @ 2:02 pm - September 16, 2010

  6. She should begin her message by saying; ¨The man who occupied the senate seat from Delaware for the past 30 years help grow government to the leviathan that it is today. He said that ´paying higher taxes is patriotic.´ Delaware has a choice, to send a carbon copy of Joe Biden or to send me who will help shrink the size of government, see that the government exercises fiscal responsibility and stays within its means, and allow the private sector to grow the economy and reduce unemployment by repealing Obamacare and making permanent the Bush tax cuts.

    Comment by Roberto — September 16, 2010 @ 2:20 pm - September 16, 2010

  7. While Rasmussen has Coons over 50%, that pollsters numbers have also fluctuating widely over the course of the contest, with O’Donnell currently only 11 points behind. Not entirely insurmountable.

    OK, I actually laughed at that part. Since when it is ‘only’ 11 points behind? 11 points is pretty similar to how far Joe Sestak is polling behind Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania (actually more like 8-9 points, but whatever), and I’ve pretty much written that race off as unwinnable now.

    Looking at the current senate races, my current hottest races to watch are Washington, Illinois, Nevada, Florida, and California. All five could see either candidate win. Going further down (in descending order), Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and Colorado are competitive to some extent. I’ll be massively surprised if any states other than those eight go to anyone other than the candidate I currently see as winning.

    Comment by Serenity — September 16, 2010 @ 2:34 pm - September 16, 2010

  8. Serenity, Martha Coakley was not available for comment.

    Comment by John in Dublin CA — September 16, 2010 @ 3:19 pm - September 16, 2010

  9. Yes, O’Donnell can win.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — September 16, 2010 @ 3:40 pm - September 16, 2010

  10. @John: Chris Coons is not Martha Coakly (he actually has more campaigning ability than a rock), Christine O’Donnell is not Scott Brown (Brown was a liberal Republican who became known as a RINO almost immediately after entering office, O’Donnell has Tea Party backing), and the Democratic Party of this cycle is mostly certainly not complacent about their chances of holding Senate seats.

    Massachusetts was a case of the right candidate at the right time running while his opponents were apparently asleep. You can delude yourself all you want about O’Donnell, but it’s a completely different race.

    Comment by Serenity — September 16, 2010 @ 4:10 pm - September 16, 2010

  11. The Republican party (the New tea party) is doomed. Your leaders ( Limbaugh, Palin, Gingrich) are all a joke – laughed at and intellectually challenged Fox News drones. The GOP will be extinct in 10 years once the Hispanic vote overtakes you dinosaurs. Good work GOP – nominating a mentally disturbed woman in Delaware. She will lose by 30 points like she did with Biden. You may pick up some seats in 2010, (you will never win the Senate) which is normal in an off year….but wait until 2012 – Obama will be re-elected and Democrats will gain many seats.

    Comment by steve — September 16, 2010 @ 4:10 pm - September 16, 2010

  12. Christine O’Donnell used to live in Los Angeles and was part of the “Concerned Women for America” and other socially conservative groups, which speak out against homosexuality and supports “ex-gay” conversion.

    Christine O’Donnell was supportive of her assistant, Wade Richards, who was trying hard to be an “ex-gay” but when he decided he wanted to live his life honestly as an openly gay man — she abandoned him. Speaking about against homosexuality was more important for her.

    His story –
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-09-16/christine-odonnells-gay-former-aide-speaks-out

    Comment by James — September 16, 2010 @ 4:12 pm - September 16, 2010

  13. No.

    This should really be self-evident.

    Comment by adam — September 16, 2010 @ 4:22 pm - September 16, 2010

  14. stever is smoling happy smoke. He is not aware than hispanics have started to turn on Obama. Sus numeros se van por abajo. As usual Democrats promise but fail to deliver.

    Comment by Roberto — September 16, 2010 @ 4:49 pm - September 16, 2010

  15. #11 steve seems to follow these things very closely, so I was wondering his opinion of the liberal Democrats re nominating Charles Rangel in NY. And also his opinion of the liberal Democrat senate nominee in SC……and the performance of the liberal Democrat senate nominee in FLA…..

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — September 16, 2010 @ 5:01 pm - September 16, 2010

  16. O’Donnell think you are sinners and perverts, yet you support her? What the hell is wrong with you people?

    Talk about having screws loose and no self respect.

    Comment by Wayne Besen — September 16, 2010 @ 5:03 pm - September 16, 2010

  17. Wayne, please read my post and tell me where I praised Miss O’Donnell? I merely asked the question whether she could win.

    Please note as well that I backed Castle in the primary and earlier today referred to her “baggage.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — September 16, 2010 @ 5:08 pm - September 16, 2010

  18. Wayne: What do you mean by you people?

    Straight guys follow GayPatriot too.

    Comment by AF_Vet — September 16, 2010 @ 5:48 pm - September 16, 2010

  19. thanks AF Vet

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — September 16, 2010 @ 6:28 pm - September 16, 2010

  20. O’Donnell is on the right side on a lot of issues, but her evangelical Christian leanings give me cause for concern.

    Comment by Niall — September 16, 2010 @ 6:37 pm - September 16, 2010

  21. Serenity — being incredibly dim — has no notion of the idea of “trending.” It’s a whole different situation when a candidate is down 11 points this week who was down 5 pts the week before and tied the week before that (Sestak, Strickland, Crist) and a candidate who is down 11 points this week who was down 23 points two weeks ago.

    O’Donnell was down by a much bigger margin against Castle at the start of her campaign. Yeah, she has a mega-uphill fight, but the gap in her case is more likely to close than get wider.

    Comment by V the K — September 16, 2010 @ 6:37 pm - September 16, 2010

  22. Niall, ditto that.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — September 16, 2010 @ 6:47 pm - September 16, 2010

  23. $1,000,000 for the despised conservative evangelical nutjob in one day … none of it from unions, PACs, or phony 527′s.

    It’s rather disappointing that people see the embrace of Christian values as problematic. But, par for the course…

    Comment by V the K — September 16, 2010 @ 7:01 pm - September 16, 2010

  24. I thought that Tea Party folk weren’t too bothered by teh gayz. . .guess someone forgot to send the memo to miz o’donnell.

    Yeah V. . . miz o’donnell would just throw her arms up in joy and praise Caption this. . .she and her CWA sister’s would love your christian ethic.

    Comment by rusty — September 16, 2010 @ 7:39 pm - September 16, 2010

  25. Serenity — being incredibly dim — has no notion of the idea of “trending.”

    I know exactly what trending is, and I also know that the level of information you can derive about current trends depends primarily on the amount and quality of data points you have to work with.

    The 11 point lead refers to a recent Rasmussen poll that resulted in an identical margin to a September 2 poll by the same organization, so it seems there has been no movement there. I’m not sure to what the 22 point poll refers, it seems no one has given much information about it here.

    Also, if we’re going to start using technical terms, maybe we should be listening to people who know what they’re talking about. In case you don’t want to read, FiveThirtyEight just downgraded O’Donnell’s chances of winning from 16.3% to 5.9% while Rasmussen Reports have changed their prediction from Leans GOP to Leans Dem, and then from Leans Dem to Solid Dem.

    But of course all this depends on what you want from this race. If you want to try and take Senate control from the Democrats for the next Congress, then the nomination of Christine O’Donnell is an absolute disaster as the chances of that happening just fell considerably. On the other hand, if your aim is to shift the Republican Party further right in the hopes that the Democrats will be so weakened as to be completely unable to defend themselves come 2012, then this is the way to go. A very high-risk strategy, but then the Tea Party mentality does seem to be one of complete success or total defeat.

    Comment by Serenity — September 16, 2010 @ 7:57 pm - September 16, 2010

  26. I expect to see rusty grow more shrill as the polls worsen for his team. Latest news: Demonrats consider giving up on Ohio as a lost cause…

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/09/a-democratic-bloodbath-in-ohio/63093/

    Comment by V the K — September 16, 2010 @ 7:57 pm - September 16, 2010

  27. Besides which, Christine O strikes me as someone who… unlike most progressives… enjoys a good laugh and has a healthy sense of humor. She’d dig Cap This.

    It’s very telling that the progs would rather talk about what Chrissy O said on MTV 16 years ago than their current legislative accomplishments.

    Comment by V the K — September 16, 2010 @ 7:59 pm - September 16, 2010

  28. Straight Girls follow Gay Patriot too!

    Comment by katatinka caroon — September 16, 2010 @ 8:08 pm - September 16, 2010

  29. yeah V, the objectivication of women and other minorities is such a healthy outlet.

    Comment by rusty — September 16, 2010 @ 8:08 pm - September 16, 2010

  30. sorry objectification of women from the CWA

    Comment by rusty — September 16, 2010 @ 8:09 pm - September 16, 2010

  31. She is in a better spot than I thought she would be in, I would have pegged her at like 20 points behind. She can seemingly raise money as well, with her impressive cash bomb. I still think her problem will be the race will be about her and not about Obama or Coons. O’Donnell will have to pivot the race, somehow, turns her opponents because she won’t win always on the defensive.

    I will eat my share of crow is she wins, cause I am highly doubtful.

    Comment by darkeyedresolve — September 16, 2010 @ 8:49 pm - September 16, 2010

  32. Darkeyed, well said. While I think she has a path to victory, particularly if Democrats dwell on her flaws (and they are many) as it’ll backfire and she’ll win on a kind of sympathy vote, I doubt it’ll happen.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — September 16, 2010 @ 9:09 pm - September 16, 2010

  33. Yeah V, the objectivication of women and other minorities is such a healthy outlet.

    Damn right! In the immortal words of Lee Majors. “What? Women are things.

    And on Tuesdays, men get objectified, so it’s all equal opportunity.

    (I love not being a progressive sourpuss!!!!1111!1)

    Comment by V the K — September 16, 2010 @ 9:10 pm - September 16, 2010

  34. O’Donnell think you are sinners and perverts, yet you support her? What the hell is wrong with you people?

    And of course, we should note what Wayne Besen supports and endorses because it comes from the Obama Party base.

    “God don’t like men coming to men with lust in their hearts like you should go to a female. If you think that the kingdom of God is going to be filled up with that kind of degenerate crap, you’re out of your damn mind.”

    The problem with O’Donnell is that she’s white, female, and conservative. If she were black or liberal and saying the same thing, Besen would be praising and supporting her just like he has other such candidates.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — September 16, 2010 @ 11:14 pm - September 16, 2010

  35. Yeah V. . . miz o’donnell would just throw her arms up in joy and praise Caption this. . .she and her CWA sister’s would love your christian ethic.

    But then again, we know how Wayne Besen and his Truth Wins Out organization, as represented by Evan Hurst, and his fellow Obama Party members already treat gay conservatives.

    In short, Christine O’Donnell already treats gay and lesbian conservatives better than the Obama Party treats them.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — September 16, 2010 @ 11:21 pm - September 16, 2010

  36. Quit the meme of ODonnell thinks “you all” are sinners. That is a total fabrication. For the record, O’Donnell has a sister named Jennie who is an open lesbian. Guess what, Jennie is campaigning for O’Donnell and has stated that the attacks are false especially the homophobic one. I also respect O’Donnell for not exploiting her sister. She could easily shove her out into the public light to smack down a rumor but instead O’Donnell hasn’t said anything but her sister is choosing to step forward.

    Comment by Firelight — September 17, 2010 @ 1:11 am - September 17, 2010

  37. You know, Chris “the Bearded Marxist” Coons isn’t much of a prize either.

    In 2004, when Coons first ran for the job, he promised not to raise taxes. Since then he has raised taxes not once, not twice, but three times.

    Coons inherited a surplus. Celebrating victory on election night in 2004, he said his “top priority would be to continue balancing the budget without increasing property taxes,” according to an account in the local News Journal. Yet in 2006, he pushed through a 5 percent increase in property taxes. In 2007, he raised property taxes 17.5 percent. In 2009, he raised them another 25 percent.

    Coons wanted to raise other taxes, too. He proposed a hotel tax, a tax on paramedic services, even a tax on people who call 911 from cell phones.

    A politician who squandered a surplus, promised not to raise taxes then did anyway, and wanted to tax emergency services. Yeah, that’s right in line with the public mood right now.

    I’d say that’s rather a bigger deal that what O’Donnell said about masturbation 16 years ago on MTV. And, yes, we are all sinners.

    Comment by V the K — September 17, 2010 @ 5:04 am - September 17, 2010

  38. Properly formatted link: Chris “the Bearded Marxist” Coons isn’t much of a prize either.

    Comment by V the K — September 17, 2010 @ 5:08 am - September 17, 2010

  39. @#32,
    I’m going to suggest ‘empathy’ rather than ‘sympathy’…the attacks on her financials (the college loan, the near mortgage foreclosure), I think, backfired. Too many Americans at this time have or are in much the same boat. The attempt to discredit her regarding her failure to pay the IRS…well, hell, I thought that was a minimal qualification in the Democrat Party!
    None of those incidents were reported as products of a lifestyle where her finances were misapplied, but were revealed to be of a person struggling with education, jobs and career blunders.
    As far as the ex-homo and masturbation clips go…what does she believe NOW? If you’re a person who can’t grow, learn and change, I have MUCH more problems with you than if you just have an odd or even ‘extreme’ view on a subject.

    Comment by rodney — September 17, 2010 @ 9:58 am - September 17, 2010

  40. Also, as a Tea Party conservative, even if she didn’t dig my blog, her attitude would be “Live and Let Live.” As a tea partier, she’d be more focused on lowering the deficit and fixing the economy than attempting to socially engineer and micromanage people (you know, like by passing massive new health care and banking regulations). Besides, it’s the left that censors free speech, not the right.

    Comment by V the K — September 17, 2010 @ 9:59 am - September 17, 2010

  41. [...] to reader Firelight, I learn that Christine O’Donnell has a lesbian sister.  Apparently, some of the rather [...]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Christine O’Donnell’s Lesbian sister faults the “insane lies being tossed around” about DE GOP Senate nominee — September 17, 2010 @ 12:12 pm - September 17, 2010

  42. This is getting funnier and funnier! The harder they push, the more damage they do to the Democratic party.

    Think Progress is hosting a video of a young O’Donnell talking about her first date with a “witch”. Does the left intend to burn Christine at the stake?

    Will the kids who watch Twilight today be bothered 20 years from now, when they run for political office? Was The Witches of Eastwick (1987) really that influential a movie????

    What a BAAAD move! This invites a comparison between candidates?

    - Do ‘Bearded Marxists’ wear too much mascara?
    - Did witchcraft murder 100 million people in the 20th century?
    - Do people ‘grow out of’ Marxism? (or do they join the Democratic party?)
    .

    Comment by gastorgrab — September 18, 2010 @ 1:26 pm - September 18, 2010

  43. [...] indicated in my pre-primary posts).  When our reader Niall commented to one of those posts, “O’Donnell is on the right side on a lot of issues, but her evangelical Christian leanings give me …“, I responded, “ditto that” because he well (and succinctly) articulated my [...]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Christine O’Donnell & Gays — September 19, 2010 @ 3:01 am - September 19, 2010

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