Delaware Poll Has Pro-Life O’Donnell Leading Pro-Abortion Castle, Strategy Issues

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 13, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Delaware Poll Has Pro-Life O’Donnell Leading Pro-Abortion Castle, Strategy Issues

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 13
, 2010

Dover, DE ( — A new poll from Delaware shows pro-life Republican Senate primary candidate Christine O’Donnell has pulled into a virtual tie with pro-abortion GOP candidate Mike Castle. However, pro-life advocates continue to be concerned about strategy in the race because O’ Donnell appeals unlikely to win in November.

A new poll from the Public Policy Polling firm shows O’Donnell leading longtime Congressman and Governor Mike Castle 47-44.

The new lead comes as pro-life potential Republican presidential candidate Sarah Palin gave O’Donnell an endorsement in the race against Castle, who backs abortion and embryonic stem cell research but has supported some pro-life limits and voted no on the pro-abortion health care bill.

The polling firm found Castle’s favorability with Delaware Republicans at a 60/25 spread back in August, but they have dropped to 43/47 percent now. GOP voters see O’Donnell positively on a 45-41 percent split.

The concern for pro-life advocates is that, if O’Donnell wins the primary, she could lose the Senate race and ultimately cost pro-life Republicans their chance to take the Senate away from the abortion advocates who currently control it. That could leave Harry Reid, who strongly pushed the pro-abortion health care bill, in charge and make it impossible to roll back that program or stop President Barack Obama’s pro-abortion judges.

That puts some pro-life advocates in the ironic position of saying it is better for the overall Senate prospects for the pro-life movement if Castle wins the primary.

Ed Morrissey of the conservative HotAir blog spells out the concerns.

"Mike Castle would almost certainly win a general election against Chris Coons, while O’Donnell would be very likely to lose. Polling last week from Rasmussen showed Coons behind Castle by eleven and leading by the same amount against O’Donnell, and with seven weeks left to go, changing those numbers will be almost impossible," he explained.

Despite the fact that O’Donnell is the better candidate for pro-life advocates, Morrissey says "It still comes down to the question of electability."

"If control of the Senate comes down to this race, and it very well might, would it be better to have a Republican squish holding the seat and give the GOP control of the Senate floor and all the committees, or to hand it to either Harry Reid or Chuck Schumer for the next two-year period in which we’ll see at least one Supreme Court retirement and Obama still attempting to push through his radical agenda?" he asks.

Ultimately, Morrissey says it is a "tough decision" to formulate the best strategy both inside and outside Delaware.

The primary election is on Tuesday.


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