In the past two weeks, Republican Christine O’Donnell has narrowed Democrat Chris Coons’ lead in Delaware’s U.S. Senate race from 19 points to 10 points. While the Senate election has experienced some movement, there has been little change in the race for Delaware’s House seat.


In the past two weeks, Republican Christine O’Donnell has narrowed Democrat Chris Coons’ lead in Delaware’s U.S. Senate race from 19 points to 10 points. The latest Monmouth University Poll finds Coons has the support of 51% of likely voters to 41% for O’Donnell. Two weeks ago, this race stood at 57% to 38%.

O’Donnell has actually pulled into a 49% to 43% lead in the southern part of the state (i.e. Kent and Sussex counties). Two weeks ago, this region of the state was divided at 47% for O’Donnell and 46% for Coons. The Democrat continues to hold a sizable advantage in New Castle County, but the current 56% to 36% margin is down from the 63% to 33% edge he held earlier this month.

O’Donnell has also made gains among independent voters, now leading Coons 47% to 42% among this voting bloc. Two weeks ago, she trailed in the independent vote by 51% to 41%.

“While Coons still has the advantage, it has to be uncomfortable knowing that O’Donnell was able to shave nine points off his lead in just two weeks. The interesting thing is that while her vote total has risen, the majority of Delaware voters still say she is unqualified for the post,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

The poll found that just 35% of likely voters in Delaware feel that Christine O’Donnell is qualified to be a U.S. Senator, while 56% say she is unqualified. That contrasts with their opinion of Chris Coons, who 65% say is qualified for the U.S. Senate to 25% unqualified. These qualification results for O’Donnell and Coons are basically identical to the Monmouth University Poll results from two weeks ago.

However, O’Donnell has seen some improvement in voters’ opinion of her personally, while Coons’ rating has dropped. O’Donnell is now viewed favorably by 34% of the electorate and unfavorably by 51%. Two weeks ago, this stood at 31% favorable to 58% unfavorable. Coons has a 45% favorable to 39% unfavorable rating, compared to a 50% favorable to 33% unfavorable rating two weeks ago.

While the Senate election has experienced some movement, there has been little change in the race for Delaware’s House seat. The poll finds Democrat John Carney holding a 51% to 44% lead over Republican Glen Urquhart in the race to fill the vacant House seat. That marks a slight narrowing of the gap from Carney’s 53% to 44% margin two weeks ago.

Delaware voters’ personal ratings for the two major party House candidates have remained fairly stable. Carney has a 46% favorable to 28% unfavorable rating, with 26% offering no opinion.  Urquhart has a 38% favorable to 27% unfavorable rating, with 35% offering no opinion.

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone with 1,171 likely voters from Oct. 25 to 27. This sample has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percent.