No, it’s not just you. Almost immediately after Christine O’Donnell upset Mike Castle for Delaware US Senate nomination, the Republican Party set out remake O’Donnell into the spitting image of Sarah Palin, for the most part they have been successful in every area but one. Christine O’Donnell’s Extreme Makeover Sarah Palin Edition has been a resounding failure with voters.
The GOP has done everything they could to turn O’Donnell into Palin’s mini-me. They have polished her look and chocked her full of party talking points on every issue, but polling shows her losing ground to her Democratic opponent Chris Coons. An FDU Public Mind poll conducted this week revealed that Coons has now opened a 17 point lead on O’Donnell, 53%-36%. The biggest problem that O’Donnell has is not with Independents, or Democrats, who weren’t going to support her anyway. The biggest skeptics of O’Donnell’s Palin transformation are her fellow Republicans. Only 68% of the state’s Republicans are supporting O’Donnell, compared to 85% of Democrats who are supporting Coons.
The University of Delaware poll held even worse results for O’Donnell as it showed her trailing Coons by 19 points, 49%-30%, and if that wasn’t bad enough for O’Donnell when probable support was taken into account, Coons’ lead expanded to 24 points. While pondering this keep in mind that if the Republican Party would have nominated Mike Castle, these poll numbers would be reversed and Castle would be leading Coons.
Despite the fact that she has raised millions of dollars from outside the state, Christine O’Donnell’s Sarah Palin impression is not fooling anyone in Delaware. The logic behind cloning the least popular politician in America can be questioned as well the sanity of the person or people who thought up this idea, my guess is that it started with O’Donnell herself, but the fact can’t be avoided that when O’Donnell became Palin lite, many of the state’s Republicans decided to side with Coons.
The problem with O’Donnell disguising herself as Sarah Palin is that unlike Palin, the media seems to have miles of video tape of her on television behaving like a crazy person. When Palin debuted she had a clean slate, and although the cleanliness only lasted as long as it took Palin to sit down for an interview, she got a bounce from being an unknown. Christine O’Donnell may have become a national darling of the Right, but to the people who know her best, the voters of Delaware, her transformation has been met with a resounding thud.
The best summary of many of the state’s Republicans feelings about O’Donnell came from an AP story that featured a quote from 67 year old Tea Party supporter Ken Melvin, who said, “What I’ve seen is she seems to be very naïve. I think she’s learning fast … but it’s like Sarah Palin: I just get the impression that she’s a wannabe that just can’t quite make it.”
The voters of Delaware aren’t interested in having their own Sarah Palin, but my guess is that Christine O’Donnell is hoping that the Palin 2.0 gimmick will allow her to continue to follow in Palin footsteps, and cash in on her new found fame. In the Teapublican Party, it isn’t whether you win, or lose, or quit, it is about how much money they will pay you for a speech. Open you wallets, Tea Partiers because it looks like Christine O’Donnell is going to become the latest loser out to get paid.