By Tom Tillison
Orlando Political Press
In the biggest electoral upset of the night, conservative activist Christine O’Donnell defeated longtime GOP Rep. Mike Castle in Delaware’s Republican Senate primary. Castle, a moderate who once served as the state’s governor, had been so favored to win in November that his decision to run had reportedly influenced Democrat Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden, to abandon plans to seek his father’s old seat.
Her win in the Delaware Republican Senate primary was fueled by the involvement of the Tea Party Express, which spent close to $300,000 on TV and radio ads slamming Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.), who had the party’s backing.
But with O’Donnell’s come-from-nowhere win Tuesday night, top Republicans in Washington now see virtually no chance the GOP will be able to pick up the Delaware seat this fall. As a result, they admit their already slim chance of winning back Republican control of the Senate is likely dead.
“It’s hard to see a path for us,” one senior Republican official, who declined to be named while discussing party strategy. “Never say never, but it has become much harder for us after tonight.”
Republican Senator Jim Demint (SC) disagrees, “They believe that because she is conservative, she cannot win the general election. This is not true. Americans living in Delaware love their country and they’re not stupid. They know our nation is teetering on bankruptcy and economic disaster. Now they have a clear choice between a Democrat who will continue the the failed Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda and Christine O’Donnell who will help us save our country.”
On Tuesday night, the National Republican Senatorial Committee issued a tepid statement of congratulations to O’Donnell, but a GOP official told Fox News the party has no plans of putting money into the race.
O’Donnell told CNN that she would like the party support but didn’t need it to win in November.
“They don’t have a winning track record,” O’Donnell said of the NRSC. “They’re the same so-called experts who said I couldn’t win the primary. … I’d love their support but we’re going to win without them.”
A Castle campaign source confirmed to The Hill late Tuesday that the longtime congressman will not be endorsing O’Donnell. As to whether the national party would back O’Donnell, the Castle source said the campaign has no knowledge of their thinking but said “they should save their money.”
Make no mistake about it, the Republican establishment has thrown the guantlet down.
After placating the tea party movement over the past months as an inconvenient necessity, upon realizing that the grassroots movement was not going away, believing all along that when push came to shove the power and money behind the GOP ‘machine’ would prevail, the Republican establishment in D.C. has now openly declared that the party comes before the will of the people.
If the tea party movement is to be successful in bringing about a fiscally responsible government that respects the will of the people and advances free market principles, it will do so in spite of the Republican Party.
As for Castle, who voted for Cap and Trade, most true conservatives say good ridance! He was present all along as America began it’s slow decline. And even if the Democrat opponent prevails in November, at least the people know what they’re getting.
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