Coons leads O'Donnell in first post-primary poll
Thursday, September 16th, 2010
As expected, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Chris Coons has a sizable lead over Republican Christine O'Donnell. Coons leads 53% to 42% over O'Donnell. The poll of 500 likely Delaware voters was done on Wednesday and has a margin of error of +/- 4.5%.
After a very divisive Republican primary which featured Republican party leadership calling O'Donnell a liar, some have questioned the unity of Delaware Republicans. But according to the Rasmussen Poll, O'Donnell has the support of 71% of Republicans. Although it's fairly high, Pollster Scott Rasmussen says O'Donnell's support among Republicans is "down from where she would like it to be." He says, "I suspect that number will increase as we get closer to election day, but it will never reach the 90% level that we find in some elections." Coons is backed by 84% of the state's Democratic voters.
While both O'Donnell and Coons have said they want the campaign to stay focused on the issues, long time Democratic political analyst in Delaware, Bob Byrd, says he expects the race to turn negative sooner rather than later. "I have always said, 'People like negativity.' It will move that last five to seven percent that you have to move, and because of that, a lot of us don't like it, but you're still going to see it because, quite frankly, it works."
Byrd says O'Donnell and her Tea Party supporters are capitalizing on the anger of voters, and Coons will have to tap into that anger. The Rasmussen poll suggests that anger against the Obama administration and policies may not be enough to win in Delaware. Rasmussen says, "That doesn't work in Delaware. The President's still popular in the state, much more so than he is nationwide."