The Grim Outlook for Christine O'Donnell

Now trailing by 21 points, her Senate bid falters at the finish line

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Tarred with a endless string of embarrassing revelations, humorous blunders and more serious political gaffes, Christine O'Donnell's Delaware Senate campaign is sputtering to the finish line. For a Tea Party wunderkind once touted (in a positive way) as the next Sarah Palin, it seems likely that she will be making concession speech on Tuesday night before slowly fading from the political spotlight. (Don't rule out a reality TV show, however). She currently sits 21 points behind Democrat Chris Coons in the latest poll. Her campaign's post-mortem is already beginning to be penned.

  • What the Poll Means: She'll Lose Unless There Is a 'Historic Comeback'  Associated Press reporter Ben Evans highlights the latest grim poll for the O'Donnell campaign and succinctly summarizes the litany of gaffes the candidate has made so far. "O'Donnell, who has raised more money than Coons, has been dogged by past television appearances in which she spoke out against masturbation, characterized homosexuality as a disorder, and acknowledged dabbling in various religions, including witchcraft as a teenager. She also has drawn criticism for her thin resume and spotty financial history," he writes.
  • O'Donnell's Surging in the Wrong Direction observes Slate's David Weigel, who doesn't appear to find this poll too surprising. "More seriously, this is going to make for an odd election night. The Delaware race, one of the most-covered campaigns in the country, will be decided very early on election night for the Democrats. And it won't have any relationship to the Republican routs in other states.
  • Evangelicals Are Already Looking Past Her  "Though hanging out with pagans as a young woman amounted to nothing, her admission and the frenzy that followed took the shine off her evangelical credentials," notes Politics Daily contributor Paul O'Donnell. "She appears to have been sunk by her flubbability, her proximity to the D.C media hive, and her financial history, but also by practicing a polarizing style of faith-based politics while Christians are already on their way to a new evangelical politics."
  • This Is What Happens When 'Outsidery Underdoggedness' Is Taken Too Far  Time magazine's election preview appears to be penning the first postmortem for the flailing O'Donnell campaign. The author, David Von Drehle, describes a Delaware candidate who has relentlessly pursued the Senate seat and is rumored to be "paying off the household bills" with her campaign proceeds. "The surprise came when O'Donnell defeated Castle for the Republican nomination. This was both a high-water mark and a low moment for Tea Party influence inside the GOP. It proved that the small-government purists were in fact the driving force of 2010."
  • The Media Attention Was Flattering, But Delaware Prefers Coons  Delaware's The News Journal handed its endorsement to Democrat Chris Coons on Wednesday, describing the candidate as "having a history of finding solutions to real problems, making bureaucracies more innovative and...making hard choices." In contrast, the editorial board noted that O'Donnell, while bringing more attention than "ever imagined," offered "no blueprint and acknowledges no hazards to her plan" of merely cutting taxes.
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