Castle Will Not Endorse O’Donnell For Senate, NRSC Won’t Fund Her Campaign
Let the civil war begin:
A Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.) campaign source confirmed to The Hill late Tuesday that the longtime congressman will not be endorsing Christine O’Donnell.
The Tea Party-backed O’Donnell defeated Castle for Delaware’s Republican Senate nomination.
After the stunning primary loss, Castle’s campaign also said the longtime congressman is not interested in waging a write in bid this November.
And the National Republican Senatorial Committee doesn’t plan on sending her any money either:
The National Republican Senatorial Committee does not plan to spend money on its Delaware Senate nominee, Christine O’Donnell, an NRSC official said tonight.
O’Donnell, who defeated Republican stalwart Rep. Mike Castle in the state’s GOP Senate primary, surged in recent weeks amid donations from tea party groups and an endorsement from Sarah Palin. But she trails her general election opponent, Democrat Chris Coons, in most polls.
The official noted that if her position improves, the committee might reconsider its allocation of scarce resources.
When O’Donnell loses in November, expect her supporters to blame the establishment for not rallying behind her.
Update: John Cornyn, the head of the NRSC has seemingly reversed last night’s statement:
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.
In the weeks ahead, we will decide where to best allocate additional financial resources among the large number of competitive races at stake this November. While it’s not in Republicans’ interest to advertise our spending strategy to our opponents, it’s worth noting that just yesterday, the NRSC’s first independent expenditure ad aired in support of Dr. Rand Paul’s campaign in Kentucky, where we firmly believe that he will win in November.
So the real question is whether the NRSC will spend any additional resources on this race. My guess, based on the polls, is no.