October 13th, 2010
04:34 PM ET
8 years ago

CNN/Time Poll: O'Donnell down 19 points in Delaware Senate battle

(CNN) - Hours before they meet in their first debate, a new poll indicates that Democrat Chris Coons holds a large lead over Republican Christine O'Donnell in the Senate battle in Delaware, a race that has captured national attention.

Full results (pdf)

According to a CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday, 57 percent of likely voters in Delaware support Coons, the executive of New Castle County, with 38 percent backing O'Donnell, who scored a major upset last month when she defeated Rep. Mike Castle to win Delaware's GOP Senate nomination.

Thanks to support from the Tea Party Express and a major endorsement from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, as well as the strong anti-establishment and anti-incumbent feelings among voters this year, O'Donnell topped Castle, a moderate Republican who served nine terms in the House as the state's sole congressman.

According to the poll, Coons' 19 point lead among likely voters is up from a 16 point lead in mid September. Among the larger sampling of registered voters, Coon's holds a 29 point lead, up from a 25 point advantage last month.

The survey indicates that Coons has the support of more than nine in ten Democrats, holds a 16 point advantage among independent voters, and has the backing of 17 percent of Republicans, with O'Donnell grabbing three out of four Republican voters.

"Coons is winning among independents despite the fact that a quarter of them are Tea Party supporters," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Take the independents who back the Tea Party out of the equation and Coons wins 71 percent among non-partisan independents, as well as 68 percent among moderates."

The Wednesday evening debate will be co-moderated by CNN's Wolf Blitzer, anchor of the Situation Room, and by longtime Delaware news anchor Nancy Karibjanian of Delaware First Media, and will be held at the University of Delaware in Newark, in New Castle County.

"Coons is winning in the northern part of the state, which is his home turf, by a two-to-one margin. O'Donnell has a seven-point lead in the two downstate counties, which tend to vote Republican," Holland notes. "Delaware is a very suburban state, and Coons has a wide lead in the suburbs, although O'Donnell draws some strength in the suburbs that were built in the 1980s and 1990s south of Wilmington and around Dover and were the key to her victory over Castle."

Since her primary victory, the constant unearthing of controversial and colorful comments O'Donnell made around a decade ago on cable television when she was a spokesperson for conservative causes, have kept her in the national spotlight. The "I am not a witch" declaration in her first campaign ad of the general election is a response to comments she made years ago on the program "Politically Incorrect" that she "dabbled in witchcraft." Bill Maher, the host of that program, is now highlighting those old clips in his weekly HBO program "Real Time."

In O'Donnell's first two commercial's she's also said "I am you." But the poll indicates that likely voters, by a 54 to 34 percent margin, say that Coons "better understands the needs and problems of people like you."

The winner in November will fill out the remaining four years of Vice President Joe 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.

According to the survey, 47 percent of likely voters approve of the job President Barack Obama is doing in the White House, with an equal among saying they disapprove. Among all adults, Obama's approval rating rises to 57 percent with his disapproval dropping to 37 percent.

The CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted October 8-12, with 1,510 adults, including 1,363 registered voters and 834 likely voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, with a sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for likely voters.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Get the latest poll results here.

Filed under: 2010 • CNN/Time poll • Delaware • Polls
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Jennifer

    O'Donnell, face of the tea party, keeps on failing. This will happen to the rest of those tea bigots. Watch.

    October 13, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  2. stufit

    This is what the left wing media can do when it decides that the Obozo agenda it promotes so much may be in trouble. They in combination with the slimy unions and their ACORN subsidiary stole it for this incompetent idiot we have as president in 2008.

    October 13, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  3. Michael in Houston

    apparently unemployed witches are not polling well

    October 13, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  4. diridi

    Any one that has a Brain, will vote for Democrats....Only Democrats....o.k.....I do not surprise if they win with thumping majority....because, tell the truth, John Boehner, Mitch McConnoll, Erick Cantor, nor Sarah Palin, Karl Rowe and Rush Limbu, nor Glen Beck do not have any Brain....they are nothing but bunch of BS...and nonsense for the nation...GOP sold to Saudi Arabia....Obama is doing what nation needs for 150 years...truth, truth, truth...you can read truth for 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 times....o.k...

    October 13, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  5. Expat American

    What a mug! O'Donnell looks like much the clown...Perfect for the Poor White Tea Trash Patriots....

    October 13, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  6. Darth Vadik, CA

    I'll write here because the comments are closed on the Obama administration appealing the DADT ruling, so you lefties like me listen up, I've given up trying to explain things to Republicans a long time ago (they are like a spoiled child ad all you can do is whack them with the back of your hand and let them sulk), for lefties who are smarter LISTEN UP:



    DADT is one of the worst laws since the old "separate but equal" BS, and as a 7 year Marine veteran I can tell you that if you are gay and want to serve your country, you should be able to not only serve it, but have your country accept you as you are. DADT is a huge bigoted injustice done to a group of Americans who should be proud of who they are.

    One day my fellow gay brothers and sisters, DADT will be gone, as far as bigots in the US, there will always be insane people, we just have to put them back in the holes they belong.

    October 13, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  7. Marie MD

    Even if I lived in DE I wouldn't watch. I already know about this woman to question everything she has done. Her ethics and character leave a lot to be desired.

    October 13, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  8. LacrosseMom(real one)

    When all is said and done on NOvember 2nd, the Republicans will discover that their bet on the Koch-TeaPartiers was a HUGE mistake!

    October 13, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  9. Dean

    That the Dem is up in this race isn't that reassuring when you see that 38 percent of voters are still willing to vote for a professional campaigner (you can't call her a "professional politician" if she never actually wins) who runs to make money which she then doesn't appear to actually use to pay her bills, and who doesn't even seem to take herself seriously. How has the GOP not launched a write-in campaign or some other avenue to get a serious candidate on the ballot?

    1 out of 3 people you pass on a street in Delaware think that she should be taking a role in choosing what kind of country we leave for our children? Washington might be broken but you don't have to go and vote for candidates who are also a few pieces short of a puzzle.

    October 13, 2010 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  10. Me

    Your polls mean nothing.
    I have to teach myself and others NOT to go by these stupid Stupid STUPID POLLS
    Even the polls that make me feel do nothing but give me a false hope...a false confidence.
    The polls that make me feel bad are also often misleading
    I don't know ANYBODY who has EVER participated in one of these polls.
    I know people who run from pollsters and people who offer surveys because they are bothersome.
    Don't trust these polls. CNN uses them for filler anyway.

    The only poll that matters is the one that we all participate in and that happens in November

    I'm Kelby Pierson, and I approve this message

    October 13, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  11. Monster Zero

    Anyone else notice the trolls on here that post attacking Obama and/or the Dems as a Tea Party member or GOP member with some ridiculously racist or gutter style rant and then bash their own post? The latest suspect writes in Caps frequently, perhaps they should do some sleuthing and disguise themselves a little better, and best watch those posting times also.....I am a complete idiot without any concept of what government is to provide for other than a handout and I approve this message.

    October 13, 2010 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  12. Dennis

    What are these qualifications you are saying ODonnell has to prove? If you look at the "qualifications" of current Senators, I don't think people want a new Senator to be a crook , liar, adulterer, or some other pervise trait. I hope voters see that the current seat holders have done nothing to the good of the nation. Get them out!

    October 13, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  13. DE mod rep

    Not all DE republicans are teabaggers. Some of us didn't vote for COD but against Mike Castle. Where do the teabaggers get they're info, Castle was definitely in the party of 'NO'. We would like to see our representative vote for the constituents that elected them. I guess this will bring out the name-calling, but if you have to be a teabagger to be GOP, I'd rather not 'soak' in their hypocrocy.

    October 13, 2010 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  14. Peasant

    Does O'Donnell weigh as much as a duck? Then, she's made of wood. And therefore . . . A WITCH!!

    October 13, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  15. maybe

    Carville has done it again. By secretely supporting tea baggers it eliminated moderate Republicants. Then (check mate) when running against Democats the result is very clear! It was a big gamble for Republicans but the recent rants by Rov sows you that they realize they made a BIG mistake!

    October 13, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  16. R

    "....because, tell the truth, John Boehner, Mitch McConnoll, Erick Cantor, nor Sarah Palin, Karl Rowe and Rush Limbu, nor Glen Beck do not have any Brain"

    I don't know where you went to learn english, or to form a complete sentence, but I would suggest asking for your money back.

    October 13, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  17. George of the jungle

    well it sounds like the people in Delaware have a brain. Thank goodness

    October 13, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  18. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    Looks like that the demonizing, degrading and demeaning that the Democrat libs and their willing accomplices in the Obama controlled media have performed on O'Donnell is working. The only way she can win is if the libs start smoking the dope early and pass out (a very likely possibility, except the union bosses will probably give it to them after they know they have voted).

    October 13, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  19. Shirlee

    Debate? This will be a debacle for O'Donnell, not a debate. How can sane people expect someone as unqualified as her to be a US Senator? The dumbing down of America has come home to roost.

    October 13, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  20. AlexandraF

    Im a Republican and I couldn't vote for her if I lived there. Much as Id like the win, she's just a bit too wacko for me.

    October 13, 2010 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  21. maybe

    righties come on admit it, your knee jerk reaction to libs was satisfying for the moment but it is going to cost you even more. you think Obama's rise to power was causing heart burn just watch you fall totally apart in November. You got what you wanted, tea baggers like this woman. But now you got caught with your pants down. Admit it, it was a mistake though temporarily satisfying. passive agressive paranoia does not win in the long run

    October 13, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  22. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    So much for the "I'm NOT a Witch" television ads. SNL made a mockery of it and the polls are obviously reflecting that. Rove was right for once...despite their insistence that he be a cheerleader instead of a realist.

    October 13, 2010 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  23. D

    Why is the media covering a race that is all but over. Oh yeah because the witch bumps up the ratings. God forbid covering a closer senate race, one where the outcome is not for certain. Why am I not surprised.

    October 13, 2010 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  24. John

    Christine O'Donnell is the most UNQUALIFIED to be in the U.S.SENATE.She lie about stuff she claim to know about China. And all the other stuff she said on that TV Show,it was her that was said it sitting in that chair. And no body was holding her arm behind her back. She try to be a ,SARAN PALIN look a like,and that just make her look even a bigger nut case.

    October 13, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  25. stormerF

    I guess when all the attention is on,your high school years and none of the Marxist you are running against,the people only know what the lame stream media has reported. Where is the story about the self proclaimed Marxist chris coons?

    October 13, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
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