O’Donnell faces an uphill battle in New Castle County, but is holding her ground in Kent and Sussex.
Christine O’Donnell, the surprise winner over Congressman Mike Castle in September’s Republican Senate primary, has an edge in name recognition over Democrat Chris Coons. However, the Tea Party favorite trails the New Castle County Executive by 17 points in a statewide poll. The Fairleigh Dickinson University Public Mind poll gives Coons a 53%-to-36% lead, with less than a month to go before the election. Coons also enjoys a lead among independents, 46% to 37%.
Political Science Professor Dan Cassino says it’s not all bad news for O’Donnell. She is in a statistical dead heat with Coons in Kent and Sussex counties, the traditional base of Delaware’s Tea Party presence.
However, Republicans as a whole have not unified behind O’Donnell, who is running for the Senate for the third time.
“This poll shows that O’Donnell is 10 points ahead of the 26% she polled after the 2008 primary,” Cassino says. “She has already matched the 35% she ultimately received in the 2008 race against Biden. But she needs to unite her own party.”
In a hypothetical race, the FDU poll finds that Castle would be leading Coons, 50%-36%.
Continuing frustration over the nation’s economic condition also may be a factor. 53% of those polled believe the economy is “on the wrong track.” Those who believe that also back O’Donnell in the Senate race, 60%-to-28%.
801 likely voters were surveyed for the poll from September 27th through October 3rd. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.5%. FDU plans to release another poll on the Senate race in late October.