I did some canvassing and phone banking for O’Donnell (I am definitely a partisan), but I also listened and observed, from lunch counters in Georgetown, to coffee shops and restaurants in Milton, to libraries in Lewes, to restaurants and bars in Rehoboth. And one thing is clear: Chris Coons is a complete non-entity with few fans. In the bluest of blue Democratic precincts, Rehoboth Beach’s bar the “Blue Moon,” people think he will win and worry that O’Donnell (whose gay sister supports her campaign) is too “rightwing” and too unpredictable. But no one has anything good to say about Chris Coons himself.
In one debate O’Donnell (who has beaten Coons in every debate, despite being outnumbered 3 to 1 or more, as the “journalists” moderating have clearly been simply on the attack against her) did something that a few other tea party supported candidates (particularly Sharon Angle) have done this year: she made it explicit that her opponent is a profiteer off statism, that Chris Coon’s family enterprise makes money off expanded government spending and regulation, in particular off the “Cap ‘n’ Tax” schemes to destroy jobs and industries that require fossil fuels.
Compare the average incomes of the towns where Coons and O’Donnell yard signs are more common. (This was hard to do because up until about 10 days ago there was an extensive campaign by Coons supporters, if not the Coons campaign itself, to steal O’Donnell yard signs, including from the side yard on Chestnut Street at the house I was staying at in Milton. Some of the perps were identified and apprehended, and claimed they were stealing signs so they could put them in their own yards.) Greenwood has a median household income of $43,000 and Ellendale $44,000. The state average for Delaware is $57,000, while Rehoboth Beach (even though full of retirees, singles, and imported eastern European lifeguard and retail labor) has a median household income of $62,000. Upper middle class people for Coons! (All data from: http://www.city-data.com.)
If we look at who actually has yard signs in front of their houses, we see that Coons signs begin to outnumber O’Donnell signs by a factor of 4 to 1 or more as you get 2 blocks from the beach, where a new McMansion can easily be $3 million. On one block of Rodney street alone, two blocks of the beach, four expensive looking, renovated houses have Coons signs. The one O’Donnell sign is before a modest home that belongs to widow. And who else lives there and has a Coons sign in their yard?
Well, the political class for one. At 125 Stockley, 2 blocks from the Delaware Bay, Rehoboth Beach commissioner Paul Kuhns has a Coons sign. At 41 Sussex, 3 blocks from the beach, Rehoboth Beach commissioner Patricia Coluzzi also has Coons signs. Ms. Coluzzi is well known for her letters to the editor this electoral cycle supporting candidates who will ensure that no energy exploration ever takes place in Delaware or its bay. Which is no doubt helpful in protecting the value of a $1, 2, or 3 million Rehoboth manse. But doesn’t do much to employ someone in Greenwood or Ellendale whose median household income is 2/3 that of the Rehoboth average.
And the political class of Delaware, is in line for some dough if the Obama regime gets to keep raising taxes and spending for its slush funds. Last year Rehoboth Beach got $140 million of Obama stimulus to spend to “redo” its boardwalk, 10 times the annual city budget of $14 million. Even in towns where city commissioners and mayors are only paid small stipends, having a say in funneling that kind of money is something we know the political class will fight tooth and nail for.