Christine O’Donnell beats expectations. . .and her opponent

I watched most of tonight’s Delaware Senate debate between Chris Coons and Christine O’Donnell. Coons was articulate and polished, but O’Donnell was also articulate, and she was much sharper on the issues. In my view, she won the debate handily.
The only bad moment I saw for O’Donnell was when she could not name or otherwise identify a recent Supreme Court decision she disagreed with. But this came late in the debate, long after she had demonstrated solid knowledge about a broad range of substantive issues.
It’s no secret that I would be happier with Mike Castle as the Republican candidate because he would be an odds-on favorite to win a seat that O’Donnell is likely to lose. But tonight we saw one of the upsides to nominating O’Donnell – the forceful and articulate presentation to Delaware voters of the conservative case on foreign, domestic, and economic issues.
Even if she had only held her own against Coons, the debate likely would have helped O’Donnell. If I am correct that she outdebated her opponent, the event may help O’Donnell significantly.
It had better. Five recent polls show her trailing Coons by 16 to 21 points.

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