How O’Donnell Brought Down the Delaware GOP

January 2nd, 2011 at 10:48 pm | 80 Comments |

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The FBI is investigating whether Christine O’Donnell misused campaign funds during her Senate run. While we wait to find out whether she’s guilty on that count, we already know that she is guilty in another way: for destroying and cannibalizing the Republican Party in Delaware. Despite the media’s continuing fascination with O’Donnell (to the point where even Chris Coons is still asked about her) less attention has been paid to O’Donnell’s negative effect on the down-ticket races in Delaware, or to the fact that the damage she did will last for several election cycles. There has also been no attempt to hold accountable the conservative media figures who endorsed O’Donnell.

O’Donnell had a consistently negative effect on the close down-ticket races in Delaware. Republican Party officials in the state who spoke to FrumForum on and off the record expressed great frustration with the damage she caused. O’Donnell did this in several different ways. She cost the GOP several candidates in the Delaware State House, giving the Democrats a super-majority. She hurt the campaign for the Republican nominee for State Treasurer. She boosted a Democratic party which has been growing stronger in the state, and solidified in the minds of many voters the view that the Republican party was an atavistic and unserious party, which the mainstream had rejected. In a year when Republicans had a wave to take advantage of and the opportunity to grow across the entire country, O’Donnell failed her party and brought it down.

The election results show several close Delaware State House races where Democrats won by incredibly small margins. Not only were the percentages that separated these races very small, they were also small in absolute terms. The closeness of these races speaks to the success of the Democrats’ get out the vote efforts, which were driven largely by motivating voters against O’Donnell.

There were seven State House races where the Democrat won by less than than 1,000 votes. In three of those races, the Republican candidate had been recruited to take on a Democratic incumbent. The power of incumbency is hard to defeat in any election cycle, and a wave election is a rare chance to counter it.  Yet in the races for the 6th, 9th, 10th, 14th, 18th, 32nd, and 41st districts, the GOP candidate lost. The vote margins were very small: 407, 282, 734, 879, 438, 296, and 939 votes respectively.  (The race for the 7th was also close, decided by 1,364 votes.)

Many of the candidates who were recruited to run in this cycle did so with the expectation that Mike Castle would be on the top of the ticket. Not only did the Republicans have a weak candidate on the top of the ticket, Democrats (and independents) were given more motivation to vote against O’Donnell and the entire GOP ticket. Neither Chris Coons nor any of the other Democrats on the ticket were considered exceptionally inspiring among the Democrats. One Republican told FrumForum: “There really was no motivation for Democrats to vote in this election until the O’Donnell thing happened.”

In a year when Republicans made gains in state legislatures across the country, the Republican caucus in Delaware’s State House got smaller, going from 17 Republicans to 15. This has given the Democrats a super-majority in the State House. They can now write revenue related bills without the Republicans if they choose.

In addition to the lost opportunities in the House races, Republicans in Delaware also expressed frustration with the results in the State Treasurer race. The Republicans had nominated State Senator Colin Bonini and he lost to Democrat Chip Flowers Jr. 51% to 49%. Everyone that FrumForum spoke to described Bonini as a candidate who was significantly more conservative than Mike Castle, a candidate who would have likely appealed to Tea Party voters. By losing his State Treasurer election, the Democrats not only won another close race, they also gained an important long-term advantage for candidate cultivation.

Many of Delaware’s highest ranking politicians have previously held the State Treasurer position. Some notable previous holders of that spot include current Democratic Senator Tom Carper and current Democratic Governor Jack Markell. With Delaware’s Senate and House seats both going into the Democratic column, being able to get a Republican into the State Treasurer position was critical for cultivating a conservative candidate who could be competitive in future election cycles.

As a candidate, Bonini clearly had appeal beyond just the conservative base. Bonini and every other Republican running in statewide races managed to get more votes than Christine O’Donnell. This was not enough to overcome the Democrats get out the vote effort though which was sustained by opposition to O’Donnell and led many to vote for Chris Coons and other Democratic candidates on down-ticket races.

In addition to the lost opportunities in 2010, O’Donnell’s run caused damage that will last beyond the midterms. The Republican brand within Delaware has gone from just being unpopular to being toxic. Republicans who spoke to FrumForum described the Republican party meetings that are attended mainly by senior citizens, as well as Tea Partiers who view college degree holders with disdain. In this environment, professionals and businessmen in Delaware are finding the Democrats to be the more appealing option. One person bluntly stated that the Democrats figured out how to win in Delaware simply by nominating candidates “who are not crazy left-wingers.”

The Republicans who spoke to FrumForum noted that this election allowed Democrats to build on their efforts to attract independents and even Republicans to support Democratic candidates. The 2008 Democratic primary for governor was very close.  In that race, voting in the primary (and registering as a Democrat) became the real way to influence the result since it was apparent the eventual Democratic nominee would win the general election. (This is a dilemma that Republicans who live in Washington D.C. should be intimately familiar with.)

With the Delaware GOP’s voting base now down to its most radical elements, and with fewer qualified candidates being cultivated to run for higher office, it is difficult to imagine a mainstream candidate winning the GOP primary — let alone a general election — in future election cycles. The fact that Joe Biden will be on the presidential ticket in 2012 will not help.

This carries real consequences at the national level. Incumbency is always hard to overcome and Delaware’s incumbents gain an additional advantage. Since Delaware is in the Philadelphia media market, campaigns in Delaware are expensive to run and it is hard for a new candidate without financial support to challenge a candidate who has established fundraising channels. Even if a Republican is elected President in 2012, that President will face a Senate with more Democrats sitting in Delaware’s seats than there needed to be.

The irony about fundraising is that Christine O’Donnell actually managed to raise a significant amount of money out of state. However, it should be apparent now that just because a candidate has strong national appeal among extreme conservatives because of groups like the Tea Party Express, this does not mean that candidate has any appeal in the actual race they are running in.

This leaves the last question of why the conservative movement won’t hold the promoters of Christine O’Donnell accountable for what happened in the state. O’Donnell received the endorsements of Rush Limbaugh, commentators on Fox News, Sarah Palin, and Jim DeMint, without any attempt to vet her. Yet despite weakening Delaware’s GOP and handing the Democrats a Senate seat, none of these supposedly “real” conservatives are being held accountable.

In a particularly amusing episode about the irresponsibility and flippancy of these “conservatives”, Sarah Palin originally promised to campaign for O’Donnell after endorsing her but she never did. When presented with an opportunity to attend a Tea Party rally in Delaware, Palin decided to attend a Jets football game instead.  DeMint also endorsed O’Donnell but did not visit the state either. It seems that the real priority was to cannibalize Mike Castle and Delaware’s GOP in the name of being “pure conservatives”.

The FBI will determine if O’Donnell was guilty of misusing campaign funds, but it is already clear and she and a large segment of the conservative media are guilty of causing significant harm and pain to the Republican party of Delaware.

Follow Noah on Twitter: @noahkgreen

EDIT: An earlier version of this piece incorrectly stated that Colin Bonini was a State Representative when he is in fact a State Senator. The piece has been corrected.

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80 Comments so far ↓

  • dave227

    nuser
    I wish i was. Notice how all of those claiming that my posts calling Obama a chicago machine marxist never challenge any of the of content of my posts (his looong list of horrific friends or his “spread the wealth around” comments) they just call me ignorant or say that i’m “red baiting”.

  • anniemargret

    dave227: “As I recall, odonnell simply said that the words “seperation of church and state” are not found in the constitution- and she’s completely correct. “She was not questioning the concept of separation of church and state as subsequently established by the courts. She simply made the point that the phrase appears nowhere in the Constitution.”

    Did you use the words, ‘simply said’ that the words of separation of church and state’…are not found in the constitution?

    Simply said? It brings chills to my freedom-loving heart. Didn’t it to you?

    She was and is a manipulator. Makes no difference to me if she was trying to be clever. We all know that the exact phrase is not in the Constitution, but we all also know what the Founding Fathers meant. We all know what ‘sweet land of liberty’ means, so you and OD don’t have to play ‘gotcha.’

    Perhaps that little concept of ‘separation of church and state’ which every judicial system in this country would defend as part and parcel of our freedoms, is not something that troubles you if a politician of OD’s stature would try to play word games with.

    It bothered me. It ‘simply’ meant to me that Ms. OD hasn’t the least affection for it, nor has the decency to pretend she didn’t know how precious it is. She played manipulative word games with a phrase that means quite a lot, thank you.

    The last thing I want in high public office is an politician who is longing to make our government a religious fascist state, which OD would do, if she ever got within 10 feet of it.

    And before you accuse me of not being ‘a Christian’ – I am. I am ‘simply’ an American. And as an American I am proud that I live in a free nation where to aspire to find God that is meaningful to me, with no coercion or prejudice, or where a person might choose to not find God, is still one of our most precious freedoms.

    Or perhaps the single precious freedom…..to think. OD doesn’t think. That’s quite obvious.

  • anniemargret

    And her manipulation extends to her fudging resumes. In the real world, where OD never lived since she has spent her adult life running for office, she would be thrown out of the job market running in a New York minute for trying to pass off lies.

    Pretending she was going to Oxford when she was on the campus! And then pretends she is a ‘Christian?” The lady is a grand manipulator and is banking on the ‘cutsie’ smiles to get her shenanigans by.

    Lucky the sane Delawareans stood up and took notice.

  • How O'Donnell Brought Down the Delaware GOP | FrumForum | The Daily Conservative

    [...] reading here: How O'Donnell Brought Down the Delaware GOP | FrumForum Share and [...]

  • Gramps

    ”How does it feel to know that you voted for the guy who is going to go down in history as the man who saved jimmah carta from being dubbed the worst president in ever? ~~~ dave227 // Jan 3, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Dave, I resemble that remark…I’ll have you know, I never voted for Dubyah Bush, neither once, nor twice…actually didn’t vote fer his olde man neither…run on sentence my olde, tired, sorry, bony, arse…[?]

  • Chris Balsz

    I am sure “all” of America does not know that exact phrase is in the Constitution. I am not sure “most” of America does not know that exact phrase is in the Constitution, from the flak O’Donnell caught for saying so. I also question whether we all know what the “Founding Fathers” meant by it, since they allowed textbooks with prayers in them for over 175 years.

    I will credit you with knowing it’s not in the Constitution, and here’s the significance of the difference: You are agreeing with a consistent recent majority of the Supreme Court, because you like the result; and a lot of us are disagreeable with that majority, because of the result, and because of the arrogant, undemocratic, and intellectually confused method by which a free people were ORDERED to redefine themselves to suit the Court.

    The real threat to freedom of conscience is the Left, not the Right. The Right has used its popular majorities to restrain government from infringing varieties of religious expression; the Left is litigating and legislating to deny conscientious objection from commerce or compliance with regulation.

  • Rabiner

    Chris Balsz:

    “I will credit you with knowing it’s not in the Constitution, and here’s the significance of the difference: You are agreeing with a consistent recent majority of the Supreme Court, because you like the result; and a lot of us are disagreeable with that majority, because of the result, and because of the arrogant, undemocratic, and intellectually confused method by which a free people were ORDERED to redefine themselves to suit the Court.

    The real threat to freedom of conscience is the Left, not the Right. The Right has used its popular majorities to restrain government from infringing varieties of religious expression; the Left is litigating and legislating to deny conscientious objection from commerce or compliance with regulation.”

    That’s an interesting revisionist history since the Right used Jim Crow to institutionalize racism and bigotry in all aspects of life. While I may disagree with a court ruling or agree with it, I can at least accept it as the law of the land.

    Dave227:

    Just because you can dub Jimmy Carter the worst president ever doesn’t mean it’s true. I’m sure any historian will find Buchanan the worst.

  • anniemargret

    chris balsz: “The Right has used its popular majorities to restrain government from infringing varieties of religious expression..”

    Are you kidding? The Right has exposed its religious penchant – to ‘christianize’ the federal government. OD couldn’t stop using God in her political talk if someone ‘ordered’ her to. Palin extensively used religious symbolism and phrases to win over votes. I would venture to say the Religious Right in the GOP would make any and all attempts to ‘christianize’ this nation if they ever got a chance to do it.

    Republicans are the God-talk party. Republicans don’t respect anyone who isn’t white, Christian and God-fearing. They don’t believe in religious expression for all. They only believe in Christian religious expression (according to their own version of it)….and as a Catholic-reared individual, I know it doesn’t mean me. Or the Jews. Or the American Muslims, or the agnostics or the atheists in America.

  • anniemargret

    chris balsz: I would also venture to say that the vast majority of Americans in this country have heard the phrase, ‘separation of church and state’ and they know what it means. They may not know it wasn’t exactly phrased as such in the Constitution, but they also know that our judicial system upholds what that expression means for every American.

    And the reverse of that would be clear, wouldn’t it?

    OD tried to perform her very unclever manipulation of that topic for her religious purposes and it failed. Thank God. ;-)

    Then again, if a person is a devoted OD supporter, perhaps they believe God is a Republican… it wouldn’t surprise me.

  • Gramps

    “Just because you can dub Jimmy Carter the worst president ever doesn’t mean it’s true. I’m sure any historian will find Buchanan the worst.”~~~ Rabiner // Jan 3, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Rabiner…the historical reference of time, has not yet been written…
    I’m still thinkin’ Dubyah, will eventually, get the “brass ring”, not Buchanan…?

  • anniemargret

    gramps: I guess I would agree with you that Bush will get the ‘brass ring.’ Or whoever has done the most damage to American ideals and ideology….and right now, it looks more like GWB43 and Cheney wins that prize.

  • DEConservative

    Good old Frum Forum….never let’s the facts get in the way of a good false narrative. Give me a break…O’Donnell didn’t hurt ANYONE…what killed Colin Bonini for Treasurer was the fact that he was getting paid thousands of dollars to sit on a committee whose meetings he attended about 18% of the time….She also paid out money to most of the down ticket candidates…further…she drove UP Republican AND Independent turnout and drove DOWN Democrat turnout. (http://deconservative.blogspot.com/2010/12/turns-out-christine-odonnell-actually.html)

    As for the Separation of Church and State…Christine made a valid point…. the phrase Separation of Church and State does not appear in the Constitution. NOR did the Founders intend for the establishment clause to mean that religion has no place in government. There are any number of quotes from all of the Founders that make that argument fall flat on its face. In fact, the only place that the phrase “Separation of church and state” is used, is in a letter from Thomas Jefferson to a group of Baptist ministers who were concerned about whether or not the U.S. Government would begin to wield religion the way the British had wielded the Anglican church….as a tool to control the people. THAT is what Jefferson meant when he said that he envisioned a wall of separation between church and state. Let’s look at the portion of the 1st Amendment we’re discussing:
    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”

    Two clauses, one line, they must be taken together. Congress shall MAKE NO LAW respecting the establishment of religion – this CLEARLY is intended as a reaction to the Church of England which repressed other religions (like those of the Founders) and it was inserted to let would be American’s know that our government would never wield religion as a weapon of control.
    “or the free exercise thereof” – taken with the establishment clause this would seem to contradict the idea that the 1st Amendment gives the ACLU the standing to challenge prayer ANYWHERE it wants.

    The problem is liberal/progressive judges in the courts and a move AWAY from Constitutional Law to “Case Law”. Case law has allowed anyone who wants to, to interpret these clauses anyway they want to. The Constitution was not meant for that. It was meant to be firm in it’s meaning and not fluid. Again, any review of the writings of the Founders would show the average knucklehead that fact. That some of you folks can’t see it simply tells me that you are certainly in the right place with Frummy Boy.

  • Chris Balsz

    Domestically Polk was as bad as Buchanan, and Polk invaded Mexico, and Polk sent Scott to Veracruz because Tyler was a political opponent and getting too much credit.

    Rabiner
    I think you are using “Right” a bit freely there. “Jim Crow” was DIXIE, not right/left wing. Hubert Humphrey found it alien, because it wasn’t in Minnesota. The federal civil service wasnt’ segregated until Woodrow Wilson ordered it. In any case that does not deal with ‘religion’.

    I do not think the convoluted and various opinions offered on religious expression are respectable; nor do most of the Court justices, who keep offering diverging “concurrent” opinions trying to nail it down once and for all. I reserve for the entire People, the cherished privilege of 9 Justices to consider a Supreme Court ruling as a temporary settlement.

    anniemargaret: I am Catholic and it does not mean, to me, that I must be spared a Protestant prayer at a high school ball game. I’m offended by the lyrics the same kids play in the parking lot on public airwaves, but somehow that type of offense is harmless and necessarily endured, compared to the civic evil of voluntary prayer. I am also educated enough to know, even 70 years ago, the American people drew exactly the opposite conclusions from the same Amendment.

  • jakester

    dave227
    It doesn’t take to much for me to appear classy in comparison to likes of you and your stupid repetitive red baiting rubbish. All you have done here is vomit the sordid contents of the Michael Savage and Glenn Beck shows here then get all huffy when just about everyone else here, from right to left, called you on your stupid paranoid rubbish. Does that mean that everything you said was a lie or Obama has no leftist connections? no. But your hysterical conclusions, guilt by associations and cheap accusation marks you as a person of negligible integrity or thought. Considering that Obama has made no real horrible mistakes and hasn’t even served half his term, calling him the worst president of all times marks you as just another talk radio brainwashed fool, especially after 8 years of W. I think you would be better off at one of Breitbart’s sites or The Fox Nation where you can get the kind of intellect-free support you seem to need.

  • jakester

    DEConservative
    considering the kind of rubbish that right wing politically active churches come up, I am happy that the political process more or less shuns such irrational idiocy and fairy tales. I know that some on the right want to go back to the “GOOD” old days where the states and locals could have their established churches so they can take over some and boot out all the bad people, non believers or false faiths.

  • anniemargret

    DEconservative: Since you defend OD’s point of separation of church and state, what exactly was her point? What’s your point? Thomas Jefferson had contempt for organized religion; he ripped pages out of the Bible, didn’t he?

    But let’s forget the Founding Fathers for a moment. What do you want?

    Do YOU want this veil between religion and government to fall in this country? OD sure does. We all know that, she has made herself pretty clear with all her preaching, as if she some icon for purity…

    Ha to that one.

    As to separation of church and state, do you propose we break down the barrier? are you and ODs out there so ideological that you would prefer that government choose which religion works best for the country? Would you deny that same right to anyone outside of mainstream extremist Christianity?

    Chris Balsz: What exactly do YOU envision for America? You guys will spend endless time debating this issue. What do you prefer? Separation or no separation. I have listened to harangues from “Christians’ who tell me I am not a ‘true’ Christian because I am Catholic. Imagine that? I have heard them say people are damned to eternity because they are not in their religious worldview.

    I would prefer to live in a country whereby all men and women of good conscience can come to that decision themselves. That my once-time evangelical friends would not envision a ‘christianized nation’ which is exactly what they want. If that doesn’t frighten you, what does? And how is this attitude different than a totalitarian state in which a religiously oriented government decides which laws to pass, or not pass?

    According to most Christians in this country, gays should have no rights. Some border on pure hate.

    I don’t want these attitudes to twist this nation’s vision for freedom for all, justice for all.

    Lawd, you guys are scary as hell.

  • Rabiner

    DEConservative:

    “Good old Frum Forum….never let’s the facts get in the way of a good false narrative. Give me a break…O’Donnell didn’t hurt ANYONE…what killed Colin Bonini for Treasurer was the fact that he was getting paid thousands of dollars to sit on a committee whose meetings he attended about 18% of the time….She also paid out money to most of the down ticket candidates…further…she drove UP Republican AND Independent turnout and drove DOWN Democrat turnout. (http://deconservative.blogspot.com/2010/12/turns-out-christine-odonnell-actually.html)”

    You can’t quote yourself as evidence of it being true. And after reading your blog post you’re inability to use +/- figures in the exit polls shows your analysis to be lacking in completion.

    Chris Blasz:

    Dixie is Right. Are you saying that Dixie Democrats from the 1940s aren’t today Republicans? There is plenty of evidence showing this to be the case. Also it doesn’t have to deal with religion to be a valid point. Either you respect the court’s decisions or you don’t. Picking and choosing which ruling to be valid after the fact just screams of ideological pandering. Do I like Citizens United? No, but I’m not going to undermine it beyond attempting to find legislative solutions to the gray areas left in the ruling.

    “I am Catholic and it does not mean, to me, that I must be spared a Protestant prayer at a high school ball game. I’m offended by the lyrics the same kids play in the parking lot on public airwaves, but somehow that type of offense is harmless and necessarily endured, compared to the civic evil of voluntary prayer. I am also educated enough to know, even 70 years ago, the American people drew exactly the opposite conclusions from the same Amendment.”

    As a Jew if I was forced to listen to a Christian prayer being led by public school teachers then yes, my rights would of been violated. The public school teacher leading the prayer is a public endorsement of that prayer and the religion it belongs to. Also it would of ostracized me from the other students who participated versus myself who would not of. I find it intellectually dishonest to compare a public employee led religious prayer with music played on a private radio station for this discussion.

  • anniemargret

    rabiner: But these guys arguing separation of church and state either are doing it because they are playing word games for political purposes, or they believe there should be no separation of church and state. We know O.D. believes this, it is why she tried to manipulate Coons on the subject.

    As a Jew, you are correct. I find it absolutely ignoble that there are some in this country who would be perfectly fine if our First Amendment undergoes a religious metamorphosis. Either everyone has the freedom to find the God of their choice, or freedom to not find it or be left alone by it, or we can just admit as a nation that we give lip service to this ideal.

    No one in this country is stopped going into a church, synagogue or mosque. People can pray anywhere they wish. Even within their heads, silently, which is the best way. The intrusion of this Christianist worldview that is now pervasive within politics is appalling.

    OD leads the pack, but is followed closely by Palin and the other ‘religious’ figures in politics. Enough with the God-talk in politics. They need to start finding solutions for our myriad problems instead of worrying about the sexual habits of private citizens, or which God I believe in, or not.

  • DETruth

    You can always rely on DEConservative to show up and prove his complete ignorance of all things political. He’s very reliable that way.

    This is great: “You can’t quote yourself as evidence of it being true.”

    From my perch here in Delaware, Noah got it exactly right. But several commenters added a necessary layer: the Delaware Republican voters are ultimately responsible, because they were duped into voting for her.

  • Delaware GOP Establishment Blames O’Donnell : Delaware Liberal

    [...] Delaware GOP establishment went running to the David Frum to find a friendly outlet for venting. The establishment blames Christine O’Donnell for its shellacking in November. The FBI is investigating whether Christine O’Donnell misused campaign funds during her Senate [...]

  • mattcc

    It seems absurd to be debating the validity of the separation of church & state in a place like this, but in case any of you actually have doubts, the phrase not only comes from Thomas Jefferson (the man who requested the amendment) but also from James Madison, the author of the amendment:

    According to his writings, Madison intended for “the total separation of the church from the state.”

    Also:

    “Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion & Govt in the Constitution of the United States” – James Madison

    “Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance.” – James Madison

    I could go on and on with similar quotes but you get my point. You might as well deny the validity of “checks & balances,” “separation of powers,” “states’ rights,” etc as those exact phrases don’t exist in the Constitution, but you would just show yourself to be disingenuous and/or ignorant for doing so.

    Bonus:
    Madison wanted chaplains removed from congress and the military.

  • chris87654

    Palin IS responsible for this. She basically admitted her mistake with endorsing O’Donnell when that was all she did. O’Donnell flipped into high gear after the endorsement and went nuts – the “I’m not a witch” ad should never have happened – O’Donnell regretted it (no surprise), but this was just one nail in her coffin. Karl Rove suggested O’Donnell “get real” and deal with valid concerns especially her finances. O’Donnell is a classic example of what happens when an incompetent person is given a lot of money and an ego boost – she ran with it and buried herself. The only reason she won the primary is because “normal” Republicans didn’t vote in the primary (not sure how many sat out the general).

    The worst part is support came for a Republican SEAT in the senate – not for the Republican candidate. The majority of contributors had no interest in Delaware, nor did they care. Thank God the voters got their wish – this was the third time they said NO to O’Donnell – and she STILL hasn’t gotten the message – still blaming everything except the will of the voters for her defeat. Maybe the FBI will help Delawareans get this chick to give it up. Some people should stay out of politics – there’s a limit to what can win a general election.

  • Republican David

    I wish your analysis were correct. Then the problem would be Christine’s not a systematic Delaware GOP issue. The fact is we were losing seats before Christine and managed to continue to do so. Mike Castle may have won. He would have cast the same votes as Coons in the lame duck, so no gain.

    He won in 2008 with well over 60%. The party lost big. He was personally popular but had no coattails.

    The main problem with your analysis is that it talks about less than 1000 votes, but when a district is only getting 8 to 10,000 voters. The percentage shows that at most 2 races and the state treasurer’s race could have been in flipped. The 6th and the 9th.

    There was a positive wave. Kent picked up a house, senate and levy court seat. The balance of power on another levy court seat and row office was held by the resergent libertarians. Not only did Sussex row offices flip, but popular incumbents had to work. Pete had a competitve race. He is normally a 70% without a sweat guy. John Atkins always works hard, but he is quite popular and also had competitve race. Any race under 1000 votes and around 55/45 is competitve not winnable on election day by turnout unless it is much closer. Can you flip 350 votes in a race that you lost by 699 in a small district? No. It is a systemic problem which was did not just show up in 2010.

  • lessadoabouteverything

    dave227, I know I am late to this but I can’t stand this nonsense about the “bearded Marxist” assuredly dave227 never read the article in which Coons made that jest, and jest it was. He came from a rock solid Republican party but when he was a young man during his junior year of college, Coons studied abroad at the University of Nairobi in Kenya. The experience changed his views and he came back a more progressive man than when he left, not a Marxist, but to his family anyone not a Republican was tantamount to being a Marxist, now of course he meant this tongue in cheek and no one in his family objected, but dave227 sees fit to stick his nose in the Coon family household and twist an in joke about his family into something sinister shows how deranged dave227 is.

  • jakester

    As far as moniker of who is the “Worst President Ever”, they are mainly bunk. Even in W’s case, lets let 20 years go by before anyone makes a rational, not impassioned or partisan, claim of who is best or worst.

  • abj

    Republican David,

    The main problem with your analysis is that it talks about less than 1000 votes, but when a district is only getting 8 to 10,000 voters. The percentage shows that at most 2 races and the state treasurer’s race could have been in flipped. The 6th and the 9th.

    That’s a question I had when I read the article – how large are these districts? Delaware is a small state, so unless all those districts were in the metro Wilmington area, 1000-vote differences separating candidates could be fairly substantial. And indeed many were. Thanks for the info.

  • DETruth

    I think FrumForum brought in a few extra districts into the debate, but there were four who were all significantly affected by O’Donnell: 6, 9, 10 & 18. All in New Castle County, all Democratic in registration, all with a lot of anecdotal evidence from poll greeters of Democrats voting against O’Donnell. Count me among those who believe that at least 5% fewer Democrats would have voted in New Castle County had Castle been on the ballot. And if two of those districts had gone R instead of D, the GOP could have stopped tax increases in Delaware. Now they can’t. Another example of purists shooting themselves in the foot.

  • Chris Balsz

    “Madison wanted chaplains removed from congress and the military.” Did he? And since the rest of the nation’s representatives there with him were not agreeable, what can we infer?

    Anniemargaret: Have you read all of the Perry v Schwarzenegger decision?
    http://documents.nytimes.com/us-district-court-decision-perry-v-schwarzenegger#document/p103
    “Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians.” Stated as a fact derived from evidence. It does not say that such beliefs PROVOKE harm. The beliefs are the harm. And as evidence it notes that exit polling shows 84% of those supporting Proposition 8 attended church regularly.
    Does having a federal court declare religious beliefs, harmful, help build an America where we each determine our own conscience? Or does it set the stage for litigation where those “harmed” by religious views remove that “harm” from the military, college campuses, public parks, etc.?

    The notion that legislatures have no right to “impose morality” by enacting laws which, to this judge or that judge, reflect religious scruple more than utilitarian principle, is ridiculous. Our legal system has combined courts of law and courts of equity for over 200 years. It is regular and usual for American courts to transfer property or void contracts, not because a legislature passed statutes ordering that remedy, but because it would be morally improper for one party to gain the benefit of the situation given the circumstances.

    Rabiner: No, the modern right wing is not the old Dixiecrats. That is why they like Col. Allen West and Marc Rubio.
    Part of the Supreme Court’s job is to offer sensible explanations of their rulings, so they can be applied in similar but distinct circumstances. If you read their decisions, they have been confused about separation of church and state, and what it means, and when it is achieved, for nearly 50 years. When Sandra Day O’Connor rebukes concurring colleagues for agreeing with her for the wrong reasons, we are being given “a work in progress”. I do not think it is their job to sense where the country is moving, and run out in front, and order us to create the future in spite of ourselves.

    “The public school teacher leading the prayer is a public endorsement of that prayer and the religion it belongs to. Also it would of ostracized me from the other students who participated versus myself who would not of. I find it intellectually dishonest to compare a public employee led religious prayer with music played on a private radio station for this discussion.”

    Your objection is well-taken. I am pointing out that the modern interpretation of the First Amendment is not self-evident; in the 1950s, school prayer was protected by the Constitution and slutty lyrics were banned.

  • Rabiner

    Chris Balsz:

    “Rabiner: No, the modern right wing is not the old Dixiecrats. That is why they like Col. Allen West and Marc Rubio.”

    Saying it isn’t doesn’t show me it isn’t. Please explain to me how old Dixiecrats aren’t equivalent to today’s Republicans? Heard of the ‘Southern Salary’?

    “Your objection is well-taken. I am pointing out that the modern interpretation of the First Amendment is not self-evident; in the 1950s, school prayer was protected by the Constitution and slutty lyrics were banned.”

    And in the 1950s if you were black you couldn’t marry a white person in more states than you could. Times change.

    “The notion that legislatures have no right to “impose morality” by enacting laws which, to this judge or that judge, reflect religious scruple more than utilitarian principle, is ridiculous. Our legal system has combined courts of law and courts of equity for over 200 years. It is regular and usual for American courts to transfer property or void contracts, not because a legislature passed statutes ordering that remedy, but because it would be morally improper for one party to gain the benefit of the situation given the circumstances.”

    You don’t seem to understand that some religious laws have practical purposes to them. Religious doctrine offers no good reasons as to why SSM should be illegal as mentioned in Perry v Schwarzenegger. A belief is not a fact. You as a Catholic thinking homosexuality is an abomination is not a fact but rather a belief. Provide actual evidence that SSM would create harm and the court would accept it. Just saying it’s against my beliefs doesn’t pass legal muster void of evidence of harm. The reason legislatures have no right to legislate morality is because it will infringe on the minority for no good reason. No one is saying they can’t pass laws that have legal basis, (legislating against murder, manslaughter, and other crimes) just not when its a law that restricts civil rights for no reason other than some people think its wrong.

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