The passion and motivation of the tea party movement has obviously been a godsend for the Republican Party this year. But tea partiers aren’t always the most pragmatic bunch, and nowhere was that more apparent than in Delaware, where Mike Castle, a broadly popular moderate Republican congressman, lost his primary to Christine O’Donnell, a longtime celibacy advocate and TV commentator. Castle was favored to flip Joe Biden’s former seat, but it didn’t matter he was deemed insufficiently pure by primary voters for, among other things, voting for TARP and cap-and-trade climate legislation, and for insisting that President Obama did not have a birth-certificate problem.
Christine O’Donnell, with her thin (nonexistent?) resume, was immediately the underdog in her race against Democrat Chris Coons, the executive of Delaware’s largest county — and that was before people learned of her previous “dabbling into witchcraft,” her dire warnings of a Chinese invasion and mouse people, her denial of evolution, the many misleading or outright lies she’s told about her education history, and so on, dooming O’Donnell to novelty candidate status. Wolf Blitzer’s one-sentence summary of O’Donnell when CNN called her race for Coons minutes ago, right after the polls closed, says it all: “Everyone remember Christine O’Donnell? She’s the candidate who said she’s not a witch.”
As expected, it didn’t even end up being a close, despite Coons’s campaign manager’s concerns about low Democratic turnout earlier in the day. As of 9:20 p.m., with 88 percent of precincts reporting, Coons led O’Donnell by 17 points.
Giving her concession speech, O’Donnell was all smiles and told supporters: “We’ve got a lot of food, we’ve got the room all night, so let’s party.”