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Headlines Tell the Story: National Media Reacts to O'Donnell's GOP Primary Victory in Delaware

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Even though public polling released earlier this week indicated Christine O'Donnell had eclipsed the support of long-time Delaware political fixture Mike Castle in that state's GOP primary for November's U.S. Senate special election, the national media still seemed stunned when O'Donnell cruised to a six-point victory Tuesday evening.

But as the news broke last night, news organizations were quite varied in the headlines they used to tease the story to their readers.

Many headlines made mention of the fact that a Tea Party candidate was victorious (CBS, Time, ABC, AP, FOX, MSNBC, Washington Times, CNN) while several did not even mention the political candidate by name (Politico, Slate, CBS, NY Times, Time, ABC, FOX, MSNBC, Washington Times, CNN).

Some headlines underscored how O'Donnell's victory was a big blow to the Republican Party, with its endorsed candidate Castle on the losing end:

"GOP Nightmare: O'Donnell Topples Castle" (POLITICO)
"Nightmare in Delaware" (Slate)
"Tea Party Candidate Wins, and the GOP Loses" (CBS)

Other news organizations emphasized the outsider nature of the Tea Party victory in Delaware:

"Tea Party Revolt Topples The Delaware GOP" (Time)
"Tea Party Choice Jolts GOP in Delaware Senate Primary" (ABC)
"'Tea party' favorite storms Castle in Delaware primary" (Washington Times)

Still others ran headlines that emphasized O'Donnell's underdog candidacy, eschewing reference to her Tea Party backing:

"O'Donnell Scores Huge Upset in Delaware" (CQ)
"O'Donnell Pulls Off Stunning Upset Over Castle" (Hotline)
Insurgent Republican Wins in Delaware (NY Times)

But some organizations did play their headlines fairly straight, without injecting any political forecasting into the evening's final results:

"Tea Party favorite wins Delaware GOP Senate primary" (CNN)
"Tea Party Favorite Pulls Off Upset in Delaware Senate Primary" (FOX)
"Tea party candidate prevails in Delaware" (MSNBC)
"Big night for tea party: O'Donnell wins Delaware" (AP)

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Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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