At the playground this morning with my kids I ran into a TPM Reader who raised an interesting point: Even if Christine O’Donnell doesn’t win on November 2nd, will she at least score a personal best?
Remember, this is the third consecutive cycle in which O’Donnell has run for Senate. In 2006, she lost in the Republican primary but then ran as a write-in, garnering 4% against Tom Carper. Then she ran again in 2008 getting 35.3% of the vote against Joe Biden, who of course was also running for Vice President.
So 35% is the mark she needs to beat.
Notwithstanding all the trials of her campaign, it’s difficult to imagine that in this election year O’Donnell can’t exceed her personal best against a relative unknown like Chris Coons (who’s actually not that unknown in the state). Going back to July she’s only twice polled below 35% against Coons, though one of those two was just a few days ago. And she’s polled over 40% three times — though each of those was a Rasmussen poll and the highest was 42%. (See all the polls here.) So the polling trend shows it’s possible she could actually underperform her 2008 personal best, though it seems unlikely.