Wednesday, September 22, 2010

O'Donnell Trails By 15 Points In Delaware Senate Race

Conservative critics such as Karl Rove hit her use of campaign funds

Tea Party favorite and Sarah Palin protege Christine O'Donnell is trailing Chris Coons by 15 points and the election clock is ticking.

Only 41 days remain before the general election. Campaign experts say her chances of election are slim because contributors usually look at the polls before making donations for last gasp, final lap media buys.

An estimated 11 percent of Delaware voters consider themselves "persuadable," according to the latest Fox News poll. Realists doubt Ms. O'Donnell can close the gap.

The conservative, Tea Party-backed candidate is facing an uphill battle largely due to her record on campaign finance.

Such right wing luminaries as Karl Rove have called for an investigation into how she spent campaign funds in her present effort and in previous races.

He called on former Alaska Governor and vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin to prove her sincerity by going to Delaware, putting up her own funds and spending time helping Ms. O'Donnell get elected.

Mr. Coons, a Wilmington lawyer, is the elected New Castle County Executive and a colleague of Vice President Joe Biden, a former member of the County Council.

He began his career as in-house counsel for the Newark, Delaware, firm that produces the chemical used to treat Gore-Tex waterproof fabrics.

During a stint as staff counsel for a Washington, D.C., investors advocacy organization, he wrote extensively of economic conditions in South Africa and of a groundswell movement among certain investors favoring divestiture of holdings in corporations based in or active in that nation.

A body of college writings produced by Mr. Coons has labeled him in certain conservative circles as a Marxist. He has come under fire for an article he wrote for his college newspaper, entitled "Chris Coons: the making of a bearded Marxist".

In the article, he described his transformation from a Republican to a "Democrat suspicious of America's power and ideals. College anthropology courses had "undermined the accepted value of progress and the cultural superiority of the West", while coursework on the Vietnam War had led him to suspect that "the ideal of America as a ‘beacon of freedom and justice, providing hope for the world" was not correct.

He went on to state that his belief in the "miracles of free enterprise and the boundless opportunities of America" may be untrue.

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