Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Delaware Dems and Rep. Castle's Senate loss (Update)

Reluctant Senate candidate Mike Castle loses to Tea Party-backed Christine O'Donnell

Delaware Dems and Rep. Castle's Senate loss (Update)


UPDATE: Sean Hannity: O'Donnell is electable! Karl Rove: No, she's Not! Wall St. Journal blog here.

EARLIER: Delaware Democrats want to believe  conservative Republican Christine O'Donnell's underdog defeat of popular ex-Gov. and veteran U.S. Rep. Mike Castle in today's GOP Senate primary vastly improves chances for their own underdog challenger, Chris Coons. And that O'Donnell doesn't represent a locomotive that could run over Coons, too.

O'Donnell won with 53% of the vote. O'Donnell's conservative downstate-builder Glen Urquhart also leading over wealthy business-widow GOP mainstream candidate Michele Rollins to face Democrat ex-Lt. Gov. John Carney for US House. Castle and Rollins won Wilmington-suburban New Castle County but got clobbered downstate. Official results here. Inquirer note here, WDEL here.

Here's the mixed message I got in a note from double-Yale-graduate, two-term New Castle County executive Coons' Democratic US Senate campaign:

First the excitement: O'Donnell's win is "a devastating blow to Republican leaders in Delaware and across the country... O'Donnell's surprise primary win makes our campaign to elect Democrat Chris Coons more important..."

Then the rallying of the threatened social left: "With Christine O'Donnell, we face an ideology rather than a record. One of Sarah Palin's newest 'Mama Grizzlies,' O'Donnell will fight to roll back a woman's right to choose (abortion) and lead the charge against stem-cell research, falsely claiming that this ground-breaking research exploits women. She has a record of supporting discrimination against gays and lesbians, and pressing for public schools to teach creationism" and allow oil drilling somewhere off Rehoboth Beach.

Then a lot of complaining about out-of-state meddling in Delaware races, as if that was a new factor under New York- and Philly-funded Democratic Gov. Jack Markell.

And finally the desperation: "We cannot let Joe Biden's seat fall into ultraconservative hands - into the grasp of a candidate who is out of touch with Delaware and the challenges we face."

Wall St Journal reports national Republicans think O'Donnell is a goner in November and have written her off, at least for now. Bloomberg, quoting the Wilmington News Journal, notes that O'Donnell needs the job - the Moorestown native has been more or less unemployed while running for office - and quotes the state GOP chair calling her win "a train wreck."

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About this blog

PhillyDeals posts interviews, drafts and updates that Joseph N. DiStefano writes alongside his Sunday and Monday columns and ongoing articles about Philadelphia-area business.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn. He taught writing and research at St. Joe’s. He has written for the Inquirer since 1989, except when he left a few times to work at Bloomberg and elsewhere. He wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six kids with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at, 215.854.5194, @PhillyJoeD. Read his blog posts at and his Inquirer columns at Bloomberg posts his items at NH BLG_PHILLYDEAL.

Reach Joseph N. at or 215 854 5194.

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