Green Room

O’Donnellphobia

posted at 8:41 pm on September 15, 2010 by

I still think it’s going to be very, very difficult for Christine O’Donnell, the GOP nominee for U.S. senator from Delaware, to win the general election there. Not impossible, but a lot less likely than, say, Joe Miller’s chances in Alaska (which are excellent).

It’s not just the 10-point deficit — which will probably instantly drop to about a 5-point deficit, now that she’s the nominee. The problem is the problematical nature of the problem-child herself: Christine O’Donnell is simply a lousy candidate; she only won in the primary because Tea Partiers wanted another scalp, and they didn’t care about the long term consequences (where “long term” in this case means “49 days from yesterday”).

She can’t answer simple policy questions, she has a history of financial flakiness, she has no experience in office, and she seems a bit, well, loopy. As we get closer to November 2nd, I believe her manifest unfitness for the job will cause the gap against her to widen, not shrink, as her primary-victory bump recedes; she’ll end up losing to Democrat Chris Coons by about 7 or 8 points.

But honestly, I don’t see what all the hysterics are about. Until recently, I didn’t believe Republicans had a chance in a million of picking up ten Senate seats this year — which is what it takes for the GOP to seize the majority. But now, I think we have an excellent chance — with or without Delaware.

Here are the 19 Democratic seats up for election this year::

Democratic seats up for reelection
State Candidate RCP polling category
Arkansas Blanche Lincoln (incumbent) Safe Republican
California Barbara Boxer (incumbent) Toss-up
Colorado Michael Bennet (incumbent) Toss-up
Connecticut Richard Blumenthal Lean Democrat
Delaware Chris Coons Likely Democrat
Hawaii Daniel Inouye (incumbent) Safe Democrat
Illinois Alexi Giannoulias Toss-up
Indiana Brad Ellsworth Likely Republican
Maryland Barbara Mikulski (incumbent) Safe Democrat
Nevada Harry Reid (incumbent) Toss-up
New York Chuck Schumer (incumbent) Safe Democrat
New York (special) Kirsten Gillibrand (appointed) Likely Democrat
North Dakota Tracy Potter Safe Republican
Oregon Ron Wyden (incumbent) Likely Democrat
Pennsylvania Joe Sestak Lean Republican
Vermont Pat Leahy (incumbent) Safe Democrat
Washington Patty Murray (incumbent) Toss-up
West Virginia Joe Manchin Lean Democrat
Wisconsin Russell Feingold (incumbent) Toss-up

We assume Republicans will pick up all seats labeled Safe Republican, Likely Republican, Lean Republican, and Toss-up. There are no seats currently held by the GOP that fall in the categories of Toss-up, Lean Democrat, Likely Democrat, or Safe Democrat; thus, we assume Republicans will hold all their current Senate seates. Thus, we should have a net pickup of ten from the low-hanging fruit alone… and note that does not include a pickup in Delaware, which RCP now rates as “Likely Democrat.”

But in a strong GOP year like this one, we should pick up at least half of the “Lean Democrat” seats; that gives us an additional seat from either West Virginia or Connecticut, for a net pickup of 11 for Republicans.

Finally, there are three “Likely Democrat” seats; I’d bet that with a Cat-5 Republican hurricane, we can even pick up one of those, choosing from Delaware, Oregon, or the New York special election (to fill the seat currently occupied by Kirsten Gillibrand, appointed to Hillary Clinton’s seat after the latter became Secretary of State). That means a net pickup of 12 seats for the GOP… just based on current polling. (And I expect the polling to get even better for the Republicans by election time, since Democrats seem intent upon alienating as many voters as humanly possible.)

I allocate all the “Safe Democrat” seats to the Democrats.

That means, when the smoke clears, I predict the GOP will hold 53 seats in the U.S. Senate, while Democrats (and third-party groupies) will hold but 47. On a good day, we hold the other “Lean Democrat” and maybe a couple of the “Likely Democrat” seats for a majority of 55 Repubs to 45 Dems. If the day breaks badly for the GOP, we capture only the Republican-leaning and toss-up seats for a scant majority of 51 Repubs to 49 Dems.

But were we to fail even to achieve a majority, that almost certainly means we lose several of the toss-ups, as well as all the Democrat-leaning races. Under those distressing conditions, we’ll probably lose half the toss-ups, thus ending up with a net pickup of only seven, for a total of 48 Repubs to 52 Dems… still enough to sustain a filibuster but not enough to hail Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY, 96%).

The odds that we would pick up exactly nine Democratic Senate seats, such that Christine O’Donnell’s victory yesterday would actually cost us the majority, seem remote to say the least: Either we’ll easily surpass 10, or else we’ll fall significantly short of that mark.

So let’s all buck up, support O’Donnell (as the National Republican Senatorial Committee is now doing, with the maximum contribution allowed by law), and understand that a GOP majority in the Senate is not going to hinge on Delaware, come what may.

Cross-posted on Big Lizards

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Comments

VERY well said!

Dinky Delaware is not going to determine the success or failure of the entire movement, although it’s a good example of how lousy the ‘choices’ are in elections.

Dark-Star on September 15, 2010 at 8:45 PM

Daf, where are you naysayers getting all these crystal balls from? If I had something to let me see the future, I wouldn’t be making political prognostications! I’d be getting filthy-effin’ rich!

gryphon202 on September 15, 2010 at 8:47 PM

Meh.

I was never convinced that Castle would win, in any event. And I’m less convinced that she’s a worse candidate than he is.

It’s hard to believe that a candidate like Castle would pick up much momentum from a true “conservative wave”. O’Donnell certainly will.

Will it be enough? I don’t know. And I’m not sure I totally agree with the details of your analysis either, but I do agree with the summation:

So let’s all buck up, support O’Donnell (as the National Republican Senatorial Committee is now doing, with the maximum contribution allowed by law), and understand that a GOP majority in the Senate is not going to hinge on Delaware, come what may.

Chris of Rights on September 15, 2010 at 8:56 PM

Somebody finally gets it right.

Thank you.

Now let’s get to slaughtering some Donkeys.

Brian1972 on September 15, 2010 at 9:29 PM

Another psychic guru!!!

Great advice. She sucks and can’t win, but we should support her anyway. Aren’t you sweet.

Don’t worry about it Dafydd because it looks like O’Donnell’s money bomb is going fine. She will get the money support from the grassroots and probably doesn’t need your ridicule of her as a candidate or your call for healing from the rarely read pages of ‘The Greenroom’. Unless, of course, you are a resgistered voter in Delaware. Then I apologize and beg for your vote for O’Donnell. ;)

Can you really see the future Dafy? If so, how does my love life look as we move into the fall? I hate to be lonely when it gets cold.

chief on September 15, 2010 at 9:52 PM

You could not be more wrong. She’ll win.

rrpjr on September 15, 2010 at 10:16 PM

I heard her briefly on Levin tonight, and she didn’t sound loopy.

Nuts & sluts = FAIL. Thanks for playing; please try again!

tsj017 on September 15, 2010 at 10:58 PM

Delaware may indeed be a hard place for O’Donnell to win, but I’ve got to say, I didn’t expect her to trounce Castle so thoroughly. Delaware voters weren’t nearly as conventional as I thought they’d be (given their track record in previous elections).

The old rules are all out the window this year. I think highly of Karl Rove’s political acumen, but I think he’s got a blind spot in 2010 precisely because he’s such a politics-as-usual numbers guy.

Anyone remember 1994? It wasn’t like this. We didn’t see the tidal wave building the way we’re seeing it now. If we have a reasonably fair, fraud-free election, the signs suggest the biggest tsunami in our history.

J.E. Dyer on September 15, 2010 at 11:08 PM

I’m sorta interested in how the Republicans in Power are going to run the House and Senate if/when they get the majorities. If they are thinking that they need to bend over for liberal policies to maintain leadership positions, then we’re in for more of the same trouble that we are now used to. But if O’Donnell’s win forces Trent Lott, John McCain and Mitch McConnell to start looking to the RIGHT for ideas and support…

Well then.

A mathematical loss in Delaware is a policy win for America. Add in the potential of a win, and the only crying I can forsee is from the entrenched politicians who gave us a Bigger Republican Government in the 90s.

I have no sympathy.

Mr Michael on September 15, 2010 at 11:51 PM

You know what happens when a downtrodden underdog starts winning?

They keep winning.

Just a warning to the ARISTOCRACY.

Eyas on September 15, 2010 at 11:58 PM

Are you high?

First of all, you say that “She can’t answer simple policy questions”. Really? Then how come you didn’t offer any links or offerings of any proof of this assertion?

I’ve been watching this young woman on TV all day on the liberal MSM shows to Hannity and she seems, well, like me.

A common sense individual that knows that certain tenets are not rocket science or needing of a major in Political Science.

O’Donnell had some struggles financially? So? Who doesn’t?

I know who.

Any number of incumbents or even the President himself who has amassed a fortune and who is “financially secure” in a way most of us will never achieve, that’s who.

She wasn’t clear about other financial matters or has been late in paying obligations? Really? That disqualifies her?

Then out goes Rangel, Geitner and DOZENS of others in the House, Senate and in this current administration.

PLEASE.

So you know what genius?

I’m gonna’ go and contribute to her campaign.

See you in November!

Opposite Day on September 16, 2010 at 12:15 AM

Opposite Day on September 16, 2010 at 12:15 AM

I listened to a 15 minute radio interview with her and she was absolutely atrocious.

She did do her homework and anticipated the “gotcha” questions the host asked her.

And the host endorsed her before, so he wasn’t completely out to get her. He was offering her a chance to get past all of the issues people were asking about.

She failed miserably. She sounded like a sorority girl running for treasurer of Pi Phi.

Yes, she’s better than the Democrat and I hope she wins. But the Republicans really need to find better candidates, this woman is an absolute embarrassment and will be used to taint Republicans during the campaign and if she wins.

NoDonkey on September 16, 2010 at 3:24 AM

because Tea Partiers wanted another scalp,

thats a load of crap and i’m getting sick of all the peter jennings “temper tantrum” garbage that tries to marginalize what really happened.

the delaware voters finally were given a chance to choose a real conservative and they took it. plain and simple. you rockefeller repubs dont want to acknowledge that because it destroys your “not electable” meme you throw out against any solid conservative.

face it, Americans when given the choice will vote for conservative principles.

chasdal on September 16, 2010 at 8:40 AM

she only won in the primary because Tea Partiers wanted another scalp, and they didn’t care about the long term consequences (where “long term” in this case means “49 days from yesterday”).

Tell me, Daffydd, how did it work out the last time we had a “majority” dependent on the goodwill of RINOs? How many horrible policies sailed right by under “bipartisan” cover? The only short-term thinking here is YOURS.

If we are going to have Copperhead policies, they should be exclusively Copperheads’ responsibility.

SDN on September 16, 2010 at 9:27 AM

look, none of the people commenting on O’Donnell (who don’t have something to gain such as her old campaign manager, etc.) don’t know what the real story is on her. can you tell me that all the other Republican candidates are pristine, saints with no baggage? the only reason this is blown up is because the sharks and scumballs in the Republican Party played dirty and smeared her.
should we forget that in July, 2010, Rasmussen had her up by 2 percentage points over Coons, her opponent? 41% to 39%
once the attacks by the Republicans started, those numbers started to slide… no wonder… these are personal attacks by your own party.
all these shows us is that the inside boys, the establishment, just like in South Carolina, is as corrupt and sewer dwelling in the Republican Party as it is in the Democratic Party and when they are protecting “the money trough”, they will do anything, even to those on the right.
Remember how the “inside boys” trashed Sarah Palin and none of the establishment Republicans came to her defense? And who is the strongest voice for Republicans in America today? There is no person out there who can draw the crowds, energize the base or motivate the Conservatives more than Palin.
The question is… will the rats in the Establishment go after her again if she decides to run?

PhilipJames on September 16, 2010 at 9:53 AM

Anyone remember 1994? It wasn’t like this. We didn’t see the tidal wave building the way we’re seeing it now. If we have a reasonably fair, fraud-free election, the signs suggest the biggest tsunami in our history.

J.E. Dyer on September 15, 2010 at 11:08 PM

I don’t want another 1994. We don’t need another 1994. When guys like Karl Rove are complaining, the voters are doing something right.

gryphon202 on September 16, 2010 at 12:42 PM

The next time Republicans have a senatorial primary in Delaware, maybe a stronger Conservative candidate will bother to take the time to run.

Well guess what? NOBODY DID! O’Donnell put her hat in the ring, and managed to take out a more experienced politico.

Is she perfect? No, but then again, the planet will be long gone by the time the perfect candidate shows up. I am sick and tired of the back benchers and the whiners complaining about the qualities of O’Donnell.

Unless you live in Delaware and are willing to run for the frakin’ office, enough already! Live with O’Donnell. Help her become the better candidate. Get involved in her polishing. Stop with the sexist double standards. Do you want her 51st voice in the Senate or not?

The Ruling Class can frankly frak themselves for all that I care. I want REAL people willing to do what must be done to shrink the size and scope of government. It doesn’t get any simpler than that. Moderates and squishy Republicans don’t cut anymore in my book.

You can run and tell that, homeboy! /Antoine Dodson

itzWicks on September 16, 2010 at 1:55 PM

…she only won in the primary because Tea Partiers wanted another scalp…

Or perhaps they didn’t want to vote for Harry Reid’s “pet”. Doesn’t it seem as likely that Tea Party voters honestly preferred to be represented by O’Donnell rather than Coons? Why ascribe the worse motive? Is there some research to back your statement or do you merely wish to besmirch the genuineness of Tea Party voters’ intentions?

DamnCat on September 16, 2010 at 3:01 PM

J.E. Dyer on September 15, 2010 at 11:08 PM

Sorry, J.E. The GOP is not going to replicate the experience of 1894, where the party gained 125 House seats. That is still a record number gain by ANY party.

BradSchwartze on September 16, 2010 at 3:23 PM

D’OH! I should have written above “Castle” not “Coons”.

Though in my defense, the two are easily confused.

DamnCat on September 16, 2010 at 4:01 PM

But the Republicans really need to find better candidates, this woman is an absolute embarrassment and will be used to taint Republicans during the campaign and if she wins.
NoDonkey on September 16, 2010 at 3:24 AM

Ah yes, if only you’d been so discerning when you chose Captain Amnesty as our presidential candidate.

His command of issues was so impressive; all he had to do was say the opposite of what he’d been ‘mavericking’ several months before.

I’ll take someone who makes mistakes over some lying sack of sh*t party hack.

austinnelly on September 16, 2010 at 4:16 PM