Politico will have live results. Races to keep an eye on: Rangel’s primary in NY, the New Hampshire Senate battle, and of course the Super Bowl in Delaware. There might have been a more vicious intraparty battle since we started this site, but offhand I can’t recall one. If you think this week was bad, though, try imagining a Palin/Romney primary death struggle next year. Dear lord.
For what it’s worth, although my grudging preference between two bad candidates is clear, I hope that Castle rises to the occasion and endorses her if, as expected, he loses tonight. And as quickly as possible too: Hard feelings among voters will calcify if a signal isn’t sent early to get over it. Obviously, I hope O’Donnell endorses him too if he pulls the upset, but as Geraghty notes, she’s done well as a write-in candidate before and her supporters have convinced themselves that Castle is somehow uniquely a RINO cancer on the party who must be excised. Those backing him have argued all along that defeating the Democrat is paramount, so it’s only logical that they should support O’Donnell whatever their issues with her. Question for O’Donnell supporters: Is the same true on your end? Are we in “beat Coons” mode if Castle squeaks through here, or are we following the Jim DeMint playbook that it’s better to have a pure Senate minority than a squishy majority? And a serious follow-up: If O’Donnell does lose and, in a gesture of unity and magnaminity, endorses Castle, will that hold any weight? He is, after all, the RINO antichrist.
Castle, interestingly, is now framing this race as test case for the viability of moderates in the GOP, which I assume is aimed at motivating moderate Delaware Republicans to turn out and send a message. I would have laughed at that idea a few days ago, but after the insane vitriol of the last few days, it doesn’t seem so silly. Comments are open; updates to follow. Play nice.
Update: You get live Delaware results by refreshing this page too.
Update: With 14 percent reporting, Politico has O’D up 54/45. I think she’ll come down a point or two from that, but I’m not surprised at those numbers. A Delaware paper claims Team Castle is watching in disbelief.
Update: O’Donnell leads by 10 with 37 percent reporting. I suppose in theory the early results could all be from O’Donnell districts, but it’s hard to imagine he’ll erase a lead that big with more than a third in. I wonder when they’ll call it.
Update: Word on Twitter is that, with 47 percent in, O’Donnell leads by 11. That should finish things off; just waiting for someone to call it now.
Update: O’Donnell up nine with 65 percent reporting now. Call should come soon…
Update: 78 percent in and we’re nearing this afternoon’s six-point prediction, but she’s still overperforming. Right now, O’Donnell 54, Castle 46.
Update: O’Donnell still by eight with 85 percent in. Not sure what desks are waiting for.
Update: And at last, here’s the call: The AP says O’Donnell wins. Says pollster Mark Blumenthal, “And just like that, #DESen goes from Strong Rep to Strong Dem.” I sincerely hope I’m wrong about her and that she pulls it off in November; election night will be great in any event, but it’d be fun to roll Humpbot out to celebrate victory in Delaware. For Castle fans/grudging supporters, the silver lining here is that GOP turnout in Delaware was way, way higher than Democratic turnout — which isn’t surprising given that Coons had no competition, but might spook the Dems at least into spending a bunch of money in the state. Every dollar burned there is a dollar denied to a Democrat elsewhere, so if she pulls a second upset, it’s a double win. If not, well, you were warned.
Important question now: Will Castle endorse O’Donnell in his concession?
Update: Or maybe I’m totally, completely wrong on my point about money.
Update: Not to rub salt in the wounds of Castle supporters, but … oof.
Update: Larry Sabato has already downgraded his projections for GOP gains in the Senate.
Update: PPP wastes no time in rubbing Republicans’ faces in gruesome polling numbers.