CNN poll: Coons 55, O’Donnell 39

That’s among likely voters. Among registered voters, it’s … Coons 59, O’Donnell 34.

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.

Full crosstabs are here. Men split almost evenly between the two but women are breaking for Coons 61/32. (They break 56/37 for Castle in a hypothetical match-up with Coons.) The real killer:

Liberals and Democrats lean heavily towards Coons but 15 percent of Republicans and fully 26 percent of conservatives(!) back him too. Normally I’d attribute that to Castle supporters being sore losers, but if even the right is defecting in large numbers, it’s probably more a function of questions about her qualifications. They’re going to debate on October 13, so obviously that’ll be make or break for her in winning back some of the wayward base supporters and indies. The bad news here, apart from the obvious: I’m surprised she didn’t get a bounce after upsetting Castle. She was the story of the week, and virtually every bit of coverage came with some sort of praise (grudging or not) for tea-party power. Being a grassroots heroine would, I thought, count for something and excite Delawareans. The good news: Geraghty’s right that some voters (especially those wayward conservatives) might be reluctant to tell pollsters that they’re supporting her after all the witchcraft nonsense from last week. If so, then the race is closer than the polls indicate. And look, barring any major gaffes and assuming a decent debate performance, the margin’s bound to close somewhat. She’s sitting on a pile of money and, as the big red wave crashes in, can count on some sort lift from national Republican fee-vah. Look for the race be within single digits in a couple of weeks. I think?

Incidentally, now that she’s got a cool two million bucks and counting in the campaign treasury, is it okay to recommend to grassroots righties that they henceforth direct their contributions instead to Joe Miller and Sharron Angle and Marco Rubio, all of whom are better positioned to win? I’m going to bring that up with Rove and Krauthammer and Frum and Ace and the rest of the vast RINO conspiracy at our next Beltway cocktail party.