September 22nd, 2010
04:26 PM ET
12 years ago

CNN/Time poll: Coons up 16 over O'Donnell

(CNN) - A new poll suggests that Delaware Republicans might have blown their chance to win back a Senate seat long held the by the Democrats.

According to a CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Wednesday, 55 percent of likely voters in Delaware say that they are backing Democratic Senate nominee Chris Coons, with 39 percent saying they support GOP nominee Christine O'Donnell. Among the wider pool of registered voters, Coons' leads O'Donnell by 25 points.

Last week O'Donnell upset longtime moderate Republican Rep. and former Gov. Mike Castle in the state's 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.

But the survey indicates that if Castle had won the primary, he would be leading Coon's 55 to 37 percent in the general election matchup.

"Castle would have had a significant ideological and geographical advantage over O'Donnell," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Castle would have had a 24-point lead among independents, but O'Donnell appears to have a seven-point deficit among them. Castle would have also had a 19-point edge in New Castle County, the most populous part of the state, but O'Donnell is losing that key region by 18 points."

According to the survey, a small but significant chunk of Republican voters may be helping to put Coons over the top. "CNN has conducted polls in nine other Senate races this fall, and the Democratic candidate has never gotten double-digit support among Republicans in any of them. But 15 percent of Delaware Republicans are choosing Coons. That may not sound like much, but in today's polarized political environment, it's a big advantage that any Democrat would like to have," Holland said.

The poll also indicates that Coons, the executive of New Castle County, holds a nearly two to one advantage among female voters, and takes 49 percent of the male vote to O'Donnell's 46 percent. Coons also has a 15 point advantage over O'Donnell among voters 50 and older, who tend to make up a larger percentage of the electorate in midterm elections than they do during presidential election years.

The winner in November will fill out the remaining four years of Vice President Joe Biden's final term in the Senate. Biden, who served in the Senate for nearly four decades, 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 CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted September 17-21, with 1,366 registered voters in Delaware, including 703 likely voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for registered voters and 3.5 percentage points for likely voters.

Full Results

- CNN's Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Filed under: 2010 • Chris Coons • Christine O'Donnell • CNN Polls • Delaware
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. geecee

    Well, now, there you go Tbaggers. And you thought because Coons said he was once a "bearded Marxist" people would turn away from him, right? Well, I don't mind the Marxist part, but "bearded" ewwwwww, that sure scares me!! You guys will cut off your noses to spite your faces, that's your problem!!

    September 22, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. Expat American

    Chris Coon versus the Christ Nazi Loon.
    It's truly amazing to see how much the rabid, frothing at the mouth Tea Bigots are enamored with their brainless, desperate fool.

    September 22, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  3. Republicans is smart in the head area

    Cue right wing apologists saying but there are more Dems in Delaware so the fact that she's behind actually means she's ahead. It's logic like this that brought us the Tea Baggers in the first place.

    September 22, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  4. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    CNN just doesn't get. The tea aprty does not care about winning.

    September 22, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  5. annie s

    Well, sanity may well prevail in Delaware. Now, how about the rest of the country. Allowing these radical conservatives to take control of the legislature will be a death knoll for America.

    September 22, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. Barry

    That's a big lead. It will be hard for O'Donnell to overcome that.

    September 22, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  7. Earl

    "if Castle had won the primary, he would be leading Coon's 55 to 37 percent"

    Chris Coons does not have an apostrophe in his name.

    September 22, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  8. vic, Nashville TN

    Don’t worry November 3rd she will blame national media in FOX news

    September 22, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  9. ex-repulican since McCain picked Palin

    Thank you Lord, it seems America is coming back to its senses and thinking with its head instead of thinking with hate.

    September 22, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  10. Tina in PA

    Mark my words it's all about money for Christine Odonell

    September 22, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. Voice of Reason

    And this tune is playing in mid-term races across the country. When given the choice between a seasoned polictician (even with some capitol-hill baggage) and a looney, wingnut teabagger who still thinks the Earth is flat, the American people will do the sensible thing and vote in a democrat.

    This notion that 'All political experience is bad', and that folksy, pop-wisdom can take the place of having a clue how our country really works is completely out-of-touch with reality. The GOP made this bed, now they have to lie in it (pun intended).

    September 22, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  12. Charles W. Skinner

    It's still early. Also, this is a pretty weak poll, all things considered. 703 likely voters is a pretty small number to be basing this sort of headline story on. Give it a few more weeks, and this race will tighten up considerably. The Media spin is still in the "O'Donnell can't win" mode. Once her marketing catches up, and she starts spending some of the MILLIONS of dollars pouring into her campaign now that she's the nominee, Coons' lead will pretty much evaporate.

    September 22, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  13. Susan

    isn't it a common sense to reject another Palin.
    Delaware isn't that dumb (except some who dissed Mike Castle).

    September 22, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  14. Devon

    Time for the controlled opposition known as the GOP to die, to be replaced by a true nationalist party. Sure, the TP is a GOP front, but even small stepping stones can be useful.

    Of course, the liberal elite -- of both the Democrat and Repub variety -- that runs this country will try to ban any kind of nationalist movement. Can't have "hate" in private speech, let alone in a party platform. Then the gloves will come off.

    You libs should have grabbed all those guns when you had the chance. Too late, now. Sleep tight.

    September 22, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  15. ToGetherWeStand

    I have to admit it, the Tea Party once again demonstrates it's lack of vision and planning. I am suprised to see that the races in NV and CA are still too close to call. Unfortunately, people from AK and KY most likely will end up with buyer's remorse after electing far right candidates.

    September 22, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  16. neverquit

    The Republicans were all too eager to feed this tea-party Frankenstein that has now escaped, unleashed, wreaking havoc upon the town and chewing up those very hands that fed him.

    September 22, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  17. NotFooled

    People may be angry, but I dont' think they're going to throw their representation to this crackpot. It's not a game, it's people's future. Good sense will win over anger – I don't think delaware will cut off their nose to spite their face.

    September 22, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  18. Jeb

    Even a racoon let alone Coons could whump O'Donnell by at least 16 points.

    September 22, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  19. T'SAH from Virginia

    It's a WASTE of TIME to take polls in DEmocrat Country – the Republicans hid behind the Tea Party and this is what happens!!! I said from day ONE over a year ago – it will ALL backfire!! And the best part about it is – YOU AIN'T SEEN NOTHING YET!!

    DEmocrats in DE – UNITE the BASE and WIN this RACE in November 2010!!!

    T'SAH and not the Impersonator – the true Original Liberal – approves this message!!

    September 22, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  20. Marie MD

    I am surprised that it's only 18 points (if this poll is correct). I am glad that people in DE realize that this is their/our future they hold in their hands. As much as we might be mad at what Congress is doing right now sending incompetent fools to run the country and make decisions is way more scary!!

    September 22, 2010 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |