O'Donnell Trails Coons by Double Digits

O'Donnell Trails Coons by Double Digits

By Sean Trende - September 15, 2010

The latest Public Policy Polling (D) results suggest that Christine O'Donnell faces an uphill battle in her race for Vice President Joe Biden's old Senate seat in Delaware. In a poll of 958 likely Delaware voters conducted this weekend, PPP found that Democrat Chris Coons leads O'Donnell 50 percent to 34 percent.

The poll also found that Rep. Mike Castle, whom O'Donnell defeated yesterday in the primary, would have begun the general election effort with only a 10 point lead, 45 percent to 35 percent. RCP had rated the race as Leaning Republican because Castle was struggling to garner more than 50 percent support in earlier surveys against Coons.

The principle challenge O'Donnell faces is convincing Delaware voters that she is qualified to be a U.S. senator. According to the PPP survey, 49 percent of the electorate doesn't believe that O'Donnell is fit to hold public office. In head-to-head matchups, Castle would have garnered 30 percent of Democrats, 64 percent of Republicans, and 45 percent of Independents, compared to 54/16/27 for Coons. We see very different numbers for the O'Donnell/Coons race, with O'Donnell getting just 13 percent of Democrats and 36 percent of Independents, with 61 percent of Republicans backing her. Even if she manages to get Republicans to come home, she'll still trail Coons (who will presumably get a number of undecided Independents and Demcorats).

Altogether, this race moves from leaning toward a Republican pickup to a likely Democratic hold.

Sean Trende is senior elections analyst for RealClearPolitics. He is a co-author of the 2014 Almanac of American Politics and author of The Lost Majority. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @SeanTrende.

Latest On Twitter