Christine O'Donnell loses Delaware Senate race to Democrat Chris Coons, exit polls say
BY MEENA HARTENSTEIN
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Tuesday, November 2nd 2010, 8:25 PM
Christine O'Donnell got the most press coverage of any candidate this election season, but the media spotlight didn't help the Tea Party darling pull through to victory.
O'Donnell has lost the race for the Delaware Senate to her opponent, Democrat Chris Coons, according to early exit polls reported by The Associated Press.
Going into Election Day, the much mocked Tea Party-backed candidate was lagging in the polls by 14 points, but remained confident.
"This race is so winnable!" she tweeted Monday night.
But her upstart campaign couldn't beat Coons, an attorney and Yale graduate who serves as County Executive in Delaware's New Castle County.
O'Donnell and Coons were both vying for the Senate seat formerly held by Vice President Joe Biden, which has been occupied since 2008 by Biden's former Chieff of Staff Ted Kaufman.
During the primary season, O'Donnell came out of nowhere to win the Republican nomination, defeating longtime politician Mike Castle by 53-47 percent.
Embraced by the Tea Party, she was one of many surprising candidates buoyed to victory in primary races by the rising tide of the anti-establishment movement.
She was also boosted by a gamechanging endorsement from Sarah Palin, as well as backing from South. Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint.
Over the course of the campaign season, O'Donnell provided much fodder for criticism.
She has been roundly mocked for comments she made in the 1990s about dabbling in witchcraft, her seemingly limited understanding of the Constitution, and her infamous comparison of masturbation to adultery.
Tuesday marked her third unsuccessful run for the Senate.