Thoughts from Others on O’Donnell Victory

Fred Bauer talks about how O’Donnell actually pulled it off, after a career of being somewhat of a joke in Delaware politics. Overall, I think her victory ends up being a good thing, even if I think she’s a lousy candidate. Not so much for the practical impact, but for the message it sends. Castle is obviously dumbfounded, and is, so far, not endorsing O’Donnell. Jonah Goldberg thinks it was a tactical mistake to nominate her, but correctly notes:

When you have an organic grassroots uprising, it’s sort of silly to expect that it will make every decision with surgical skill and perfect foresight. Indeed, the attempt to play mincing games of compromise threatens to cool the very passions that have gotten us this far. In this Rush, I think, is basically right.

Jim Geraghty also relays a letter from a Delaware native that seems to grasp the First State’s political climate quite well:

Both parties in Delaware have been led by blue-blood patrician types for eons. That probably isn’t unusual in most states, but in a small state it plays out in a very interesting way. The big donors and loyalists of both parties are members of the same bar association, members of the same country clubs, do business together and send their kids to the same private schools. They live in the same neighborhoods, too. This co-mingling created a genteel centrist quality in Delaware politics that has not been challenged in any significant way, until now.

Last, but certainly not least is from the Belmont Club:

It’s news that nobody from the establishment wants to hear. The Democrats may win Delaware, but at the price of watching a new political fault line define itself without being able to take much advantage of it. To the traditional horizontal divide between Republican and Democrat is added a vertical one: Washington insider vs outsider. It has divided politics into quadrants.

I think, in the end, O’Donnell’s victory may be a tactical loss, but strategically, it probably needed to happen. What surprising is that Mike Castle was able to avoid a significant primary challenge for as long as he did. It was his time to go.

12 thoughts on “Thoughts from Others on O’Donnell Victory”

  1. Why does everyone say that she will lose in Nov.? She was not supposed to win the primary but she did. Anyway you look at it there one less rino. Maybe folks in Delaware are fed up too.

    1. People are saying she’ll lose because they can read numbers. As more information came out about her, she surged with the GOP voting base. Unfortunately, as more information came out about her, polls among the rest of the voters (including some of the base) show that less than one-third of Delaware voters believe she’s remotely qualified to hold office. Polls also showed Castle winning the seat by likely double digits and the same outfits show she’ll lose by similar numbers. Granted, the only poll that matters is on Election Day. But, she’s got an awful lot of ground to make up before that day less than 2 months away. Realistically speaking, she’s toast. Every single person who voted for her would need to be out knocking on doors, making phone calls, driving people on Election Day, and generally giving every spare dime in order to pull it off. That might happen, it’s not out of the question. It’s just a matter of how likely it is to happen.

      The reality is that there are more competitive races worth our attention, time, and money this year. Oh, and I’ll add that she only won the least populated counties. She lost the county that determines pretty much every election in the state. That means if she loses any level of support that Castle had, it’s really hard to see how she can win it.

  2. No offense, but that guy seems out of date. While there is a good ole boy network in both parties, it’s weakened a lot with Markell’s election for the Democrats in 2008 and now O’Donnell for the Repubs. Over the last decade Delaware politics has essentially fragmented regionally. Republicans control the middle and southern counties. Democrats control Newcastle in the north. Since Newcastle is the most populous county by a wide margin (and is stuffed full of expats from Maryland and New Jersey), Democrats win all the statewide popular elections.

    Democrats have also kept Republicans from accumulating any political experience where it would matter in a statewide race (in Newcastle). The Republicans have resorted to running southern politicos and college professors. In a state with one newspaper and handful of radio stations, nobody ever knows who these people are. They all lose.

    The sole exception to this has been Mike Castle. He’s a moderate Republican. He wins in the South because he’s Republican and he wins in the North because he’s moderate. And people know who he is. Now he’s out and O’Donnell is in.

    It’s quite possible that O’Donnell will beat past performance (65-35 to Biden in 2008). Hopefully all this news exposure will overcome the major problems of name recognition that De Republicans almost always suffer from. Now people have to like what they see. My wife, a moderate Republican, already thinks she’s an idiot and is considering voting for Coons.

  3. She could win, but she has a massive uphill battle in that Democrats have a heavy registration advantage in Delaware, and Independents tend to break for the Democrats. It’s an uphill battle Castle didn’t have because he has enough independents, and he has name recognition.

    I’m hoping O’Donnell pulls it off, especially given that the Democrat is a crazy marxist. But given her political background, or rather lack of one, she’s going to have a very difficult time pulling off a statewide race. Granted, her state is smaller than many Congressional districts, so she has that advantage.

  4. Conventional wisdom (otherwise known as the assumptions the newspaper folks make) was trumped by real people voting for a candidate they liked. The fallback assumption that this is good for the Democratic candidate may well be proved false. If O’Donnell wins I don’t imagine that newspapers and “the media” is going to change their attitudes or assumptions. I foresee the news writing weeks and months and years of articles about a hostile congress preventing progress (more taxes and spending).

  5. She is pulling in real big money on her web site! BIG money. The kind you need if you are attempting to win.

    The dems won’t show up in November in De. The independants will vote conservative. They want jobs and to slow down government spending.

  6. I’m done voting for Rhino’s who are the lesser evil and then betray me for some DC favors.

    I wouldn’t count any conservative out of this election. The wave coming to wash away the liberals is massive – maybe massive enough to sweep her in.

  7. I agree it’s massive, but all waves will break on something, and Delaware is looking more like a jetty than some seaweed.

  8. I’ve always been puzzled by the term qualified when it comes to candidates. It is always used as a synonym with “formerly elected to office”. If Republicans don’t find Mike Castle to be worthy of voting for then voters at large may so find O’Donnell to be worthy (even if not “formerly elected to office”) of voting for.

    I don’t doubt that it will be a challenge for O’Donnell (as was the primary) but I think it is less so than the conventional wisdom (another synonym for what the media says) would assert. I may be proved wrong but free will is still at work IMO.

  9. Should folks vote for this “idiot” over Coons?

    Well, her views may seem nutty to those on the Left, and a bit extreme even to SOME of those on the Right, but does it matter?

    Would she vote to scale back government spending? Yes.
    Would she vote to repeal Obamacare? Yes.
    Is this particular election about SoCon values? No.
    Would this “nutjob” do more harm than her Marxist opponent? No.

    Vote her in. Yes, I know it is the lesser of two evils again, but at least it is not the same soul with a different face. If you want a different result, you need to get someone different.

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