Friday October 29, 2010

Poll Shows Christine O’Donnell Surge in Delaware

By Peter J. Smith

WILMINGTON, Delaware, October 29, 2010 ( – A new poll suggests that despite weeks of relentless hammering in the media, pro-life congressional candidate Christine O’Donnell has cut her opponent’s lead in half in two weeks. However, the poll was conducted before the internet gossip site Gawker published an unsubstantiated sex smear on the Republican woman, the effect of which for O’Donnell’s campaign remains to be seen.

A Monmouth University Poll shows O’Donnell has narrowed the gap to within 10 points of pro-abortion rival Democrat Chris Coons in Delaware’s U.S. Senate race. She now has the support of 41 percent of likely voters, while Coons has 51 percent.

Monmouth University pollsters say the change is significant: just two weeks ago, Coons led O’Donnell by 19 points, or 57 percent to 38 percent.

O’Donnell’s momentum seems to originate with independents, and she now leads Coons in this bloc, 47 percent to 42 percent. Two weeks ago, Coons had a majority of independent voters (51 percent), while O’Donnell trailed at 41 percent.

Another factor is that O’Donnell’s personal favorability ratings have risen, while Coons have taken a dip. Just 34 percent of the electorate view O’Donnell favorably and 51 percent unfavorably. In the last Monmouth poll, 31 percent had a favorable view and 58 percent had an unfavorable view of her.

Coons’s favorability rating has dropped to 45 percent (down from 50 percent), and his unfavorable rating has risen to 39 percent (up from 33 percent).

But a possible game-changer came on Thursday when Gawker published an anonymous writer’s story of his alleged drunken one-night stand with O’Donnell on Halloween three years ago. The story was met with outrage from women’s groups, including the pro-abortion National Organization for Women, which denounced the Gawker story as unacceptable “slut-shaming” and an outrage against all women.

The Coons campaign finally denounced the Gawker piece on Friday as “cowardly” and “despicable,” although not before the O’Donnell campaign lashed out at Coons for not immediately responding to “sexism and slander.”

So far, women are breaking for Coons, 57 – 34 percent, which suggests the Gawker story could in fact prove toxic for the Coons campaign.

Pundits are suggesting that the incident could generate sympathy for O’Donnell among women voters, who have had a low favorable opinion (28 percent) of her, and look upon Coons pretty well (50 percent favorable) according to the Monmouth poll. Losing women voters would put Coons in the danger zone on election day and possibly put the much-maligned O’Donnell across the finish line.

See previous coverage by

U.S. Senate Race Roundup: Washington’s Dino Rossi Fights Back, California’s Carly Hits Trail after Illness

Races Tighten in US Senate Races for Pro-life Candidates

Pro-Abortion Obama Sinks to New Low in Public Opinion Survey

Nevada: GOP’s Pro-Life Angle Builds Lead, while Harry Reid Crumbles in Polls

AUL Action “Life Counts Campaign” Targets ObamaCare’s Pro-Life Dems

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