After a campaign that became a political spectacle, Chris Coons has defeated "tea party" favorite Christine O'Donnell, retaining for Democrats the Delaware Senate seat once held for more than 36 years by Vice President Joe Biden.
Christine O'Donnell's 15 minutes of political fame actually lasted roughly 50 days. It was seven weeks ago that she shocked the political world by defeating nine-term Rep. Michael N. Castle, also the state's former governor, in the Republican primary.
That race was influenced, like several others this year, by outside groups such as the Tea Party Express and a late endorsement from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. O'Donnell argued that Castle was "King RINO," a Republican in name only, particularly after he voted to support President Obama's so-called cap-and-trade plan.
Though her victory electrified the conservative activists who'd backed her long-shot bid, the party establishment rued what it saw as a potentially wasted chance to win one of several "trophy seats" -- among them, the Senate seats once held by President Obama and Biden.