Christine O'Donnell may have captured part of the Republican vote Sept. 14, but she still needs to find a way to woo Democrats and Independents to her side.


Based on the national attention Christine O’Donnell’s win over Mike Castle has received, one would be led to believe that all Delawareans voted for the ultra-rightwinger Sept. 14.

Although O’Donnell pulled off an impressive upset of the longtime Delaware politician, who easily is one of the most well known in the state, it appears many are forgetting a very simple fact. O’Donnell is not yet in the Senate; she has to get through Chris Coons first.

“The people have spoken,” everyone says. Well, yes and no. The Republican people have spoken and they want Castle to pack his congressional bags. Fair enough.

The Democrats and Independents, however, have yet to cast their votes. They’re saving that for November.

O’Donnell is no stranger to preaching her Evangelical Christian rhetoric (including the famous anti-masturbation campaign) on talk shows and TV specials since the ’90s. But does that in turn make her a good candidate for the tea party to back? Not really. Many tea partiers’ concerns lie with the size of our government, uncontrolled spending and the recent passage of health care reform. In essence, they believe those who are in power have messed up our country financially beyond recognition and it’s time for them to go. Fair enough again.

Where, exactly, does O’Donnell fit into a largely Libertarian mentality?

A vote against what you don’t want isn’t necessarily a vote for what you do want, and that’s what Republicans did Sept. 14. They’re finished with Castle and the moderate views that kept him in office for so long.

O’Donnell lacks the ability to find common ground with the everyman. Her social views are so extreme she’ll find it quite difficult trying to convince the more socially liberal Democrats and Independents to give her more than a second look. It’s certainly not her fiscal convictions that moderate Delawareans will have a tough time looking past.

And just like she garnered votes in the primary as a knee-jerk reaction to the current political landscape, she likely will be the victim of such an automatic reaction.

Many in Delaware will cast a vote for Coons, just to avoid a vote for O’Donnell.

Coons, however, should not underestimate the power of momentum. In sports, momentum can win championships, and politics is no different.

This is going to be an interesting fall.

Email Maureen Raitz at maureen.raitz@doverpost.com.