It’s almost Halloween, and even though Christine O’Donnell says she isn’t a witch, is she haunting Pat Toomey? O’Donnell is the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Delaware and is considered to be a likely loser with polls released over the last three weeks showing her trailing Democrat Chris Coons by anywhere from 11 to 21 points. O’Donnell defeated Congressman Mike Castle in the Delaware Republican Primary in September causing pundits to immediately switch the race prognostication from likely Republican to likely Democrat.
Pat Toomey is the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania and is in a tight battle with Congressman Joe Sestak. Recent polls in Pennsylvania have shown the race tightening and one theory goes that O’Donnell, who shares the Philadelphia media market with Toomey, is hurting Toomey in his race. O’Donnell, who is perceived and often presented as a crazy right-wing Republican, is running television ads (including this one that begins with her assuring viewers that she is not a witch) and having television ads run against her (like this one) in the Philadelphia media market, which includes southeast Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and northern Delaware. Sestak has started to try to tie Toomey to O’Donnell and Sarah Palin in his public appearances.
Noted political analyst Charlie Cook of Cook Political Report fame recently told the Washington Post that “Christine O’Donnell gave Democratic voters a bit of a jolt” adding that “Pennsylvania has gotten closer” even though Toomey “hasn’t done anything stupid.” Cook concludes that at least part of the tightening is “spillover from attention to Delaware.” As the results come in on Election Night keep an eye on the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race and if Pat Toomey happens to lose, you can bet folks will cast blame on Christine O’Donnell and say she cost Republicans two Senate seats.