The Stump

In Delaware, O'Donnell Beats Castle For GOP Senate Nod

Christine O'Donnell at party

U.S. Senate candidate Christine O' Donnell attends her Senate primary night party, on September 14, 2010 in Dover, Delaware. Mark Wilson/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Update at 9:26 pm ET — Part of the Republican establishment, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has issued a brief news release congratulating Christine O'Donnell. And I do mean brief:

“We congratulate Christine O’Donnell for her nomination this evening after a hard-fought primary campaign in Delaware.” – Rob Jesmer, NRSC Executive Director

Update at 9:18 pm ET — Now that Christine O'Donnell has been declared the winner by major news organizations, the partying can officially begin at her headquarters.

It's another major victory for the Tea Party movement as it was able to take advantage of the anti-Washington mood in the country to keep moderate Republican congressman, Rep. Mike Castle, from getting the nomination.

But it's not only the Tea Party that's feeling good but Democrats, too. Of the two Republicans, O'Donnell was seen as the eminently more beatable one since Castle was well-known across the state and could run a legitimately centrist campaign in a very middle-of-the-road state.

O'Donnell's victory means she will face off against Chris Coons, country executive for New Castle County. In the most recent polling, Coons led O'Donnell though it will be important to see if her success tonight gives her more name recognition and momentum going forward.

Update at 9:10 pm ET — Eighty one percent of the vote is counted in Delaware and the race for the Senate nomination is nowhere as close as many had suspected. She is up by eight percentage points. Now the Associated Press has declared Christine O'Donnell the winner over Rep. Mike Castle.

Update at 8:52 pm ET — With nearly 65 percent of the votes counted in Delaware, Christine O'Donnell, the Tea Party favorite, still has a substantial double-digit lead, according to the count on the Wilmington News Journal site.

Obviously, it's difficult to win with such a deficit when so many votes have been counted. This would be a huge upset, the Tea Party candidate upsetting a very popular former governor.

— original post below —

The Wilmington News Journal in Delaware is reporting that Christine O'Donnell, the Tea Party favorite, has 54.6, and Rep. Mike Castle has 45.4 percent with 41.8 percent.

Could be a bad night for the Republican establishment in Delaware.

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