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October 13, 2010

Make Or Break: O'Donnell Vs. Coons In Debate Tonight; O'Donnel Begins Night 21 Points Down

At Hot Air again.

54-33, according to SurveyUSA, with O'Donnell being decimated by women, especially, 58-25.

There is only some small amount of good news here: O'Donnell is, as I feared, simply not being considered as a credible candidate. So Coons wins by default, despite his history as a taxing, bankrupting Marxist.

See, this is what I try to tell people: The first hurdle, and the most important one, is the personal one, about credibility and basic appeal. Ideology comes in second (and is far weaker a factor, anyway).

I really wish people would stop insisting that people they know for a fact are nothing at all like them are in fact exactly like them when it comes to voting. Independents and moderates are not ideological. If they were, they'd be partisans.

But that said, O'Donnell is currently not being considered by most as a possible alternative. She's too weird, too unqualified, etc.

Well, tonight, she will stand on the same stage as Coons. If she seems just as credible and just as qualified as he does -- and I think she has a rather good chance at that -- many of those not even considering her at the moment will start considering her, and then will move on to phase 2 of candidate selection, ideology and issues.

O'Donnell benefits here as so many Republicans derided as stupid and crazy have before: The Democrats and media have made such claims about her basic incompetence that the bar for impressing people -- or at least saying, hey, she's not bad at all -- is set quite low.

They always do this. They can't help themselves.

But she will have to perform, not quite flawlessly, but she'll have to avoid any gaffes that will be endlessly re-run by the media determined to bake in the narrative of her non-seriousness.

And if she does that, she's got a shot at moving votes.

She will be benefited by something else: The public is interested in this race. It's nationalized. Her name has been dragged through the mud. So people will tune in, even if just to see a car wreck.

If there is no car wreck, then all of a sudden Coons has a credible opponent, and a competitive race, on his hands. And the public will not simply overlook his faults and give him the race by default, but will begin asking: Why is it again you want to raise everyone's taxes 50%? And how did you nearly bankrupt New Castle County even with taxes so raised?

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posted by Ace at 04:22 PM

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