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20 October 2010

Delaware – Senate

Christine O’Donnell (R) v Chris Coons (D)

By Rob Higson

Christine O’Donnell, a Republican candidate with Tea Party backing, surprised many when, in the primaries, she trumped Congressman Mike Castle, the more likely candidate to win the Republican nomination.

She currently trails her opponent Chris Coons, a Delawarean lawyer and chief executive of one of the state’s three counties, by a double-digit gap and is unlikely to win in this historically pro-Democrat state.

Nevertheless, O’Donnell has gained prominence for being outspoken, calling Coons a closet Marxist during one debate. “I am not now nor have I ever been anything but a clean-shaven capitalist!” Coon said to laughter.

O’Donnell has also been haunted by a comment, made in 1999, that she had once “dabbled” in witchcraft, remarks which have dragged at her heels throughout her campaign.

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Prodigiously gaffe-prone, she talked about the “withdrawal from Iraq” when she meant Afghanistan, and also claimed that the US was fighting the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s and 1990s.

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Next race: California – Senate

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