Castle, O’Donnell, And The Issue Of Electability

A preview of Public Policy Polling’s statewide poll in Delaware gives much food for thought as Delaware voters head to the polls:

-In Delaware Chris Coons polls 26 points better against Christine O’Donnell than Mike Castle. Castle’s net favorability is 25 points higher than O’Donnell’s. That electability gap is even wider than what we saw a month ago when Castle did 20 points better against Coons than O’Donnell.

Polls close in Delaware at 8pm.

FILED UNDER: 2010 Election, Congress, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Peacewood says:

    You have to wonder, however, how quickly that will turn if (when?) O’Donnell is the official conservative candidate in the race. I suspect there’s a whole lot of Republican moderates who have an unfavorable view of O’Donnell but will hold their noses and vote for her anyway. Heck, look at Rand Paul, who started in a mucky position and now has a commanding lead.
    Granted Delaware isn’t Kentucky and all, but I believe my point stands nonetheless.

  2. Westcliff says:


    I think you are right, some of the Republicans in Delaware will indeed hold their noses and vote for O’Donnell rather than vote for Chris Coons.  But unlike Kentucky, Delaware is a solidly “blue” state, where 46% of registered voters are Democrat, (as of the 2008 election, according to the Delaware Department of Elections website), a full 16 point advantage over registered Republicans.  So a Republican running for a statewide or national office has a numbers problem and needs to do a lot more to win than just convince members of her own party to hold their noses and vote for her.

    Here, even if O’Donnell gets every Republican vote, she will still need to win almost every “independent/other” vote or peel off some number of Democrats in order to win.  (I realize that actual voters determine who wins, not registered voters, but Democrats and Republicans voted at roughly the same percentage in 2008, although they certainly might not do so here — enthusiasm gap and all.)