A few items of interest which indicate the direction of the wind after Christine O’Donnell’s Delaware shocker last night…
1. After word leaked out last night that the National Republican Senatorial Committee wouldn’t support O’Donnell, a startling reversal today. This from NRSC chairman John Cornyn…
Let there be no mistake: The National Republican Senatorial Committee – and I personally as the committee’s chairman – strongly stand by all of our Republican nominees, including Christine O’Donnell in Delaware.
I reached out to Christine this morning, and as I have conveyed to all of our nominees, I offered her my personal congratulations and let her know that she has our support. This support includes a check for $42,000 – the maximum allowable donation that we have provided to all of our nominees – which the NRSC will send to her campaign today.
We remain committed to holding Democrat nominee New Castle County Executive Chris Coons accountable this November, as we inform voters about his record of driving his county to the brink of bankruptcy and supporting his party’s reckless spending policies in Washington.
2. Cornyn’s “clarification” was supplemented by RNC Chairman Michael Steele, who indicated to National Review’s Jim Geraghty (who has been no friend of Christine O’Donnell in recent days) that a full-court press to get her some resources is on the way…
Michael Steele: We’ve got a victory operation on the ground right now. That operation is being turned over to her team to work with the state party and work with the leadership to make sure that the two offices we’ve got, are fired up and ready to gom to not only help her but to keep that congressional seat, to keep Castle’s seat and to win the other offices that are on the ballot this fall. That’s number one. Number two, I’ve directed our finance department to contact their team to begin to talk about how we can help with fundraising. We know she’s gone through a tough primary, and spent a lot of money so now we needs to raise that. We’re asking people around the country, Republicans at large and far and wide to help us help her. This is an opportunity. My view of it is, I’ve got a good Republican running. The people in that state made that choice, and we support it, and we’re ready to rock and roll and win.
... NRO: Will you be doing anything to nudge Mike Castle to endorse her?
Steele: Look, I encourage it because I believe in a unified party. I understand the sting of losing. I understand the sting that comes with a loss like that. Mike Castle is a buddy, and I’ve been involved in some of his campaigns in the past, as a neighbor in Maryland. So yeah, that part of it hurts personally for me. But this is a time where we kind of husband that feeling and we go out there and we reocgnize that this battle is bigger than one election or one individual. This is about our country, this is about our state. This is a chance to take a message that I think the people will trust again. I don’t want that to get lost in the politics of who’s up, who’s down, who won and who lost. The primary is over. It is now time for every Republican in all of those contested primaries yesterday to rally around the nominees of our party for whatever office and to say that this now, is our moment to regain our footing and trust with the American people.
3. Meanwhile, O’Donnell’s fundraising figures have gone from nowhere to somewhere in less than a day. Last night she had $20,000 in cash on hand following her primary win over RINO Mike Castle. This afternoon she had picked up over $500,000. Democrat Chris Coons was sitting on some $900,000, and the conventional wisdom on the Left was that he wouldn’t need any more than that to win. Well, if nothing else the Democrats are going to have to start putting resources into Delaware to counter the Tea Party’s momentum there.
Coons’ lead is 50-34, according to Democrat polling outfit Public Policy Polling. That’s not an all-that-enormous lead under the circumstances (Scott Brown was behind by a lot more than 16 points in Massachusetts this far out before that election), and it also constitutes a lead based on polling which took place on September 11-12. It is by no means unreasonable to think that O’Donnell would have gotten a bump over the last four days, particularly thanks to…
4. …the amazingly rude treatment given to O’Donnell by former Bush political guru and current Fox News analyst Karl Rove, who on two separate occasions following her victory took personal cheap shots at the Republican nominee.
In between those two appearances, O’Donnell was on Good Morning America and conducted herself with a lot more class than Rove did.
5. The PPP poll indicated that O’Donnell’s unfavorables are 50 and favorables 29, while Coons’ are 33 and 31, respectively. In other words, Coons probably has less firm support than O’Donnell does by now, with the only difference being that he’s got less name recognition than she does. What that means is a good-sized third party spend can trash the Democrat’s favorables in the same manner that the Delaware GOP/Castle blue-blood establishment has trashed O’Donnell.
There is ammunition to do that, by the way, as Castle went from a founding member of the Amherst College Republicans to a self-styled “bearded Marxist” following a college trip to Kenya where he saw poor people. His performance as county executive in New Castle, the most populous of Delaware’s three counties, has been nothing to write home about – Coons proposed a whopping 25 percent property tax increase last year after a 17.5 percent increase in 2007. So short of cash, did Coons cut expenditures?
New Castle County spending has increased 10 percent under Coons’ stewardship and its budget rating was degraded to “negative” because Coons spent down the cash reserves.
Oh, and by the way – from the Delaware Libertarian blog:
Property taxes are but pocket change to someone as wealthy as Coons. Coons lives at 2301 Delaware Avenue in a nearly-4200 square foot, 6-bedroom, 4-bath stone mansion that sits on nearly half an acre of land in the high-dollar Highlands neighborhood in Wilmington. To give you a sense of the value, the property sold in 1981 for $225,000.00. Of course, what Coons paid for it is masked by a deed that cleverly states a purely-nominal sale price of $ 10.
This guy is hardly unbeatable. In fact, he’s a loser. O’Donnell isn’t exactly Sarah Palin or Carly Fiorina, but she doesn’t have to be to knock off a two-bit progressive hack running for the Senate after a five-year failed stint as a county executive.
So no – there is little reason to automatically assume O’Donnell can’t win. She wouldn’t beat Joe Biden in Delaware (just like she couldn’t when she was good enough for the GOP establishment/Mike Castle Fan Club in Delaware to run her as a sacrificial lamb in 2008), but she’s not running against Biden this year.