October 6th, 2010
12:02 PM ET
4 years ago

O'Donnell far behind, new polls say

(CNN) – One week before a Delaware Senate debate co-moderated by CNN's Wolf Blitzer, two new polls indicate Democratic Senate nominee Chris Coons has a large lead over Republican counterpart Christine O'Donnell in the battle to win the seat held for nearly four decades by Vice President Joe Biden.

A Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind survey released Wednesday indicates that 53 percent of likely voters in Delaware are supporting Coons, with 36 percent backing O'Donnell.

According to a University of Delaware Center for Political Communication survey also released Wednesday, 49 percent of Delaware registered voters questioned support Coons, with three in ten backing O'Donnell and 13 percent undecided.

The survey indicates that O'Donnell leads 62 to 18 percent among Republicans, Coons leads 77 to 7 percent among Democrats and holds a 39 to 20 percent advantage among independent voters.

Last month O'Donnell upset longtime moderate Republican Rep. and former Gov. Mike Castle in the state's GOP primary. O'Donnell, a conservative commentator who launched unsuccessful Senate bids in 2006 and 2008, was supported and helped by Tea Party activists and by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Since then O'Donnell's been in the spotlight for controversial comments she made years ago when she was a spokesperson for socially conservative causes.

Coons, the executive of New Castle County, the state's most populous county, faced no serious opposition in the Democratic primary.

The Fairleigh Dickinson survey also indicates Coons' leading among Independents and O'Donnell only grabbing 68 percent support among Republican voters.

"Typically, Republicans are more loyal to their party than Democrats," says Dan Cassino, professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University and survey analyst for the university's PublicMind research group. "This hesitation by Republicans is hurting O'Donnell."

According to a CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll released two weeks ago, Coons held a 55 to 39 percent lead over O'Donnell among likely voters in Delaware. Among the wider pool of registered voters, Coons' led O'Donnell by 25 points.

The CNN/Time survey indicated that if Castle had won the primary, he would be leading Coon's 55 to 37 percent in the general election match up. Last week Castle announced he would not run in the general election as a write in candidate.

Coons and O'Donnell face off October 13 in a debate at the University of Delaware that will be co-moderated by Blitzer, anchor of CNN's "The Situation Room."

The winner in November will fill out the remaining four years of Biden's final term in the Senate. Biden stepped down from his seat after his election in November 2008 as vice president. Former Biden aide Ted Kaufman was named as an interim replacement, and is not seeking a full term. After much speculation that he would run for his father's old seat, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden announced in late January that he would instead run for re-election as Delaware attorney general. Coon's announced days later and faced no serious opposition for the Democratic party's nomination.

The University of Delaware poll also indicates that there's weaker emotional support for O'Donnell among her supporters than Coons has among his. The survey is the first released since Castle announced he would not seek a write-in candidacy.

In the battle for Castle's state wide congressional seat, which he's held for 18 years, the survey indicates that Democratic candidate John Carney holds a 48 to 31 percent advantage over Republican Glen Urquhart. According to a Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll released Tuesday, Carney leads Urquhart 51 to 36 percent among likely votes.

The Fairleigh Dickinson University poll was conducted Sept. 27-Oct. 3, with 801 likely voters in Delaware was questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

The University of Delaware's Center for Political Communication poll was conducted Sept. 16-30, with 901 registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.


Filed under: 2010 • Chris Coons • Christine O'Donnell • Delaware • Polls
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Thersa

    That 30% supports O'Donnell shows just how ridiculous our country has become. There is a 30% idiot factor that has to be factored into everything. Thanks FOX!

    October 6, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  2. TangledThorns

    CNN, did you even pay attention to the sampling? It's 24% Republican and 34% Democrat. Can you say biased?

    October 6, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    This state was smart enough to keep Joe biden in office for decaes- what nade anyone think these popel lost their minds and would put this lunatic O Donnell in?
    I think you will see almost all the Tea Party candidates lose in November- America is not an extremist nation.

    October 6, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "CNN, did you even pay attention to the sampling? It's 24% Republican and 34% Democrat. Can you say biased?"

    No. The sampling is only biased if it is not fairly representative of the demographic breakdown of Delaware's population. Delaware is, in fact, heavily Dem, so a 10% spread is likely quite representative. You guys need to stop trying to be armchair statisticians...you sound like freekin retards.

    October 6, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  5. geecee

    The Democrat is winning the Delaware contest? Really???

    October 6, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    Put her in a State seat first – she MAY just be looking for an easy retirement benefit from the FEDS. She has NEVER held a job, and she ain't no spring chicken. Test her out on something that can't damage the entire country first.

    I don't know why so many illiterates love this woman and her idol, sara. They are both NUTS.

    October 6, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  7. Fair is Fair

    It's obvious that Christine O'donnell is a democratic party plant. Right, dems?

    I've got 2 words for you dems... "Alvin Green".

    October 6, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. 27 Days until Socialism dies in the United States

    So the people of Delaware would rather send Obozo a rubber stamp, self-avowed marxist? There is only ONE THING worse than a witch and THAT IS IT! At least she isn't out to steal your freedom and hard earned money. Besides, with kooks and imbeciles like DemocRATS Alan Greyson, Barney Frank, Bernie Sanders, not to mention crooks Rangle, Waters, Dodd, what is the big concern all of a sudden about a witch?!

    October 6, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  9. NVa Native

    I guess the witch's spell wore off?? hah hah hah
    Maybe not enough or too much eye of Newt?
    No matter – the Newt doesn't need them, he's always been blind to real American's values.

    October 6, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  10. Tam

    OOOOH, can't wait for that debate! Entertainment or what!

    October 6, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  11. Marcus

    Given the abysmal 'quality' (I am being sarcastic) of her statements about Education, Sexuality and Religion, the fact that there are still people who will vote in her ticket says a lot about a significant portion of the population!!!

    October 6, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  12. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    Hiding from both National and Local media is not a good formula for success...not to mention lying about your college education or lack thereof.

    October 6, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  13. Dave

    When we consider the alternative, we had better get out and vote to keep these loons out of office. The firefighters that
    stood and watched a poor man's house burned to the ground probably was a good indicator of the tea party mentality. Evil persists when good people stand by and do nothing.
    VOTE DEMOCRATS! VOTE!

    October 6, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. T'SAH from Virginia

    Thank you DELAWARE!!!!

    Delaware will be the FIRST state thus far and I hope ALL other states will follow. It is NOT about BIG BUCKS and buying an election!!! VOTERS in every state should let the OUTSIDERS know that they will NOT be run by BIG corporations, foreign corporations run by RepubliCAN’Ts, 527 groups run by RepubliCAN’Ts, Tea Party groups run by RepubliCAN’Ts – billionaires who are RepubliCAN’Ts, millionaires who are RepubliCAN’Ts and all other far right EXTREMIST – and tell them to BUTT out and MIND THEIR BUSINESS!!!!!

    DEmocrats in DE – you STATED your CASE – you UNITED the BASE – and you will WIN this RACE in November 2010!!! Yes We Can!!!

    This is T'SAH from Virginia and I approve this message!!!

    October 6, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  15. ART

    Maybe she could use her magic wand for something other than magic

    October 6, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  16. Rickster

    So apparently the people of Delaware are willing to vote for a self-proclaimed Marxist? Well, I guess that falls in line with them voting for Obama and Biden. I'd take my chances with an unknown O'Donnell as opposed to another pencil-necked socialist/marxist democrat from the same mold as Obama.

    October 6, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  17. ST

    You got to fight hard for what you want. She is not fighting anymore. How can she expect to pull it out!

    October 6, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "I've got 2 words for you dems... "Alvin Green"."

    Two words right back: "open primary."

    SC has one...DE does not.

    Here's an extra word for free, just because I'm feeling generous: MORON.

    October 6, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  19. Steve Oehmen

    NVaNative: "Eye of Newt" Terrific! One of the best puns I've read on here in quite a while! Well done!

    October 6, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I caught Mr. Coons on Rachel Maddow last night, and I must admit that as much as Rachel tried to get him to say something negative about O'Donnell he held his tongue and would NOT take the bait.
    I do not know much about Mr. Coons, but I must say that I was impressed with his restraint on Maddow's show.

    October 6, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  21. Robert

    The October 13 debate will be CNN's highest rating show.

    October 6, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  22. PalmReader

    Reap what you sow, GOPers. So much for the "vote against Obama – Republican landslide" predicted month after month after month after, well, month, this past two years . . .

    Hard to believe CNN was covering the Tea Party non-stop this time last year in hope of gaining more "conservative" viewers, isn't it?

    October 6, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  23. Marie MD

    @27 days, blah, blah . . . . . I'll give you some of the rethugs that should be sent home packing or should have been impeached:
    the half term governor because the media are the only ones in love with her, sanford, ensign, angle, o'donnell, bachman, dimwit, wilson, haley, barbour, delay, nixon, ney, rud,y, scanlon, cunningham, hastert, libby, safavian; c allen, doyle, tobin, ralston, doolittle, burns, kolbe, frist, crawford,paul, miller, weldon, noe. crawford.
    The list goes on and on. I threw in nixon because he was, after all, a crook!!

    October 6, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  24. ingrid

    Would the people who are against Obama stop saying he is a "self-avowed marxist." He never said that. You may think he is a marxist because you are uneducated and listen to Glenn Beck, Limbarf, and other right-wing idiots, but that does not mean that Obama has ever called himself a marxist. Our government owns less than 1% of our industries versus a true socialist country like Cuba which owns about 90%. Moreover, the government took over these industries so that they would not fail and lead to even more unemployment. Do you not remember what happened a little over a year ago? Do you just for the day???

    October 6, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  25. NVa Native

    27 Days – take your meds .. or is that your mommy calling?
    Fair and fair – tea-baggers ravinously endorsed and funded this their new idol in a skirt, O'Donnell. Alvin Green was funded and voted for by people who don't want to be known.
    Clearly Repubs in both cases – and your silly effort at transparent conjecture won't cover that up – unless of course you are a fox follower, or what previously has been called a "half-wit".

    October 6, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
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