Coons Leads O'Donnell by 16 Points

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 15 2010 10:07 AM

Coons Leads O'Donnell by 16 Points

I'm discussing Delaware's race on WHYY 90.9 shortly.

Public Policy Polling, the group that saw the O'Donnell upset coming, gives New Castle County Executive Chris Coons a 50-34 lead over Christine O'Donnell in Delaware's U.S. Senate race. There's no good news for her, with a positive/negative favorable rating of 29/50 and a substantial chunk of the electorate, well-versed on News Journal stories about her, saying she isn't fit for public office. The only good news, sort of, is that the poll was taken before the votes came in.

Steve Kornacki, who does for political history what Bill Simmons does for basketball, asks if Beau Biden blew his best chance at career advancement. He gets this 90 percent and 10 percent wrong.

Advertisement

The Senate contest, which is technically a special election to fillthe final four years of the term [Joe] Biden was elected to in 2008, wastriggered by Biden's elevation to the vice presidency. Biden, who hadheld the seat since 1972, badly wanted his son, state Attorney GeneralBeau Biden, to inherit it. But he couldn't hand it off right away (viaa gubernatorial appointment): that might have looked unseemly. Soinstead, Delaware's then-Democratic governor, Ruth Ann Minner, appointed an old Biden aide with no political ambitions of his own, Ted Kaufman, to the seat.Kaufman would be a caretaker, someone to sit in the Senate and vote theright way in 2009 and 2010 without standing in Beau Biden's way in the'10 special election... Now, it will be a shocker if Chris Coons doesn't win in November. Hejust turned 47 a few weeks ago, meaning that he could be in the Senatefor decades to come, sitting in the Senate seat that Joe Biden held for38 years -- and that his son was too apprehensive to seek on his own.

The one hole in this: Beau Biden had a stroke in May . As good as the opportunity looked for him, we don't know how he would have dealt with a serious health problem in the middle of the campaign. And hey, I like the Bidens, but as far as Problems Facing the Republic go, the fate of political dynasties is a minor one.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race

How Facebook’s New Feature Could Come in Handy During a Disaster

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

View From Chicago

You Should Be Able to Sell Your Kidney

Or at least trade it for something.

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Terrorism, Immigration, and Ebola Are Combining Into a Supercluster of Anxiety

The Legal Loophole That Allows Microsoft to Seize Assets and Shut Down Companies

  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Oct. 19 2014 1:05 PM Dawn Patrol Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s critically important 5 a.m. wake-up call on voting rights.
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 19 2014 11:40 AM Pot-Infused Halloween Candy Is a Worry in Colorado
  Life
Outward
Oct. 17 2014 5:26 PM Judge Begrudgingly Strikes Down Wyoming’s Gay Marriage Ban
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 17 2014 4:23 PM A Former FBI Agent On Why It’s So Hard to Prosecute Gamergate Trolls
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Oct. 17 2014 1:33 PM What Happened at Slate This Week?  Senior editor David Haglund shares what intrigued him at the magazine. 
  Arts
Behold
Oct. 19 2014 4:33 PM Building Family Relationships in and out of Juvenile Detention Centers
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 17 2014 6:05 PM There Is No Better Use For Drones Than Star Wars Reenactments
  Health & Science
Space: The Next Generation
Oct. 19 2014 11:45 PM An All-Female Mission to Mars As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 16 2014 2:03 PM Oh What a Relief It Is How the rise of the bullpen has changed baseball.