Delaware might soon be referred to as "Little Alaska" not only because of its relatively small size in area but, more importantly, because the September 14 Republican senate primary in that state threatens to become a possible repeat of what recently happened in Alaska when little known Tea Party backed candidate, Joe Miller, apparently defeated the establishment incumbent, Senator Lisa Murkowski (absentee ballots still being counted). In the "Little Alaska" state of Delaware, Joe Miller comes in the form of little known Christine O'Donnell who is challenging "moderate" Congressman Mike Castle who has, until now, been considered as the sure victor in that state's primary. However, after what happened in Alaska, the O'Donnell challenge has to be taken more seriously.
Michelle Malkin is now focusing on that election in which anything, after Alaska, now seems possible:
Well, 70-year-old, nine-term House cap-and-taxer GOP Rep. Mike Castle has a challenger. She’s Christine O’Donnell — a young, energetic, fresh-faced conservative activist with a real shot at dislodging the entrenched liberal Republican. She’s been traveling the state of Delaware non-stop and reaching out to conservatives across the country for support. I met her on Saturday at a grass-roots gathering of Moms 4 America in Washington, D.C. Castle refuses to debate her and has resorted to sneaking in and out of local GOP meetings to avoid her. He has bagged out on four scheduled GOP primary debates, most recently one sponsored by the League of Women Voters. The establishment Republican fund-raising organizations are sticking by their big government brother.
Perhaps the greatest validation of the Christine O'Donnell challenge to Castle comes not from conservatives, who can be expected to support her, but from liberal Huffington Post political blogger Sam Stein who, although obviously disagreeing with her politics, has given her credibility with his coverage of that "Little Alaska" election:
The results have not even been finalized in the quirky Alaska Republican Senate primary and already the political world is bracing itself for another instance in which an out-of-nowhere Tea Party candidate derails the highly-favored establishment contender.
On Monday, Democratic and Republican operatives alike expressed interest and consternation (respectively) over the possibility that Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.) could be the next victim of the purity purge inside the GOP tent.
Christine O'Donnell has, by and large, campaigned outside the media and political spotlight so far this election. But on Monday her efforts to take out Castle in the mid-September primary got a major boost when the Tea Party Express, which spent roughly $600,000 on Alaska Republican Joe Miller's challenge to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, pledged to do the same on her behalf.
One question is whether the Republican establishment hasn't learned its lesson and is trying to take out O'Donnell in favor of Castle. Stein offers this intriguing tidbit:
Perhaps the strongest indication that O'Donnell has people wary if not worried was an e-mail late on Monday sent by a Republican operative to the Huffington Post with a quizzical bit of background research on the Tea Party candidate. O'Donnell, it appears, has no discernible steady form of income.
The eyes of the political world are sure to be focused on Delaware aka "Little Alaska" on September 14. Even liberals are taking note of the power of the Tea Party movement in this election season.
Note: Any writers, pundits, or blogosphere writers out there using the term "Little Alaska" when referring to the Delaware primary election, please be sure to send royalty payments to your humble correspondent who originated the term in reference to this election. Failing that, at least a story credit with link would be appreciated.