Christine O'Donnell left political pundits and analysts scratching their heads in the early morning hours after Tuesday night's primaries. From out of nowhere she soundly defeated her "party backed" opponent and longtime Republican Rep. Mike Castle.
The Tea Party-backed candidate is now going to need all the help she can get, withand the Delaware Republican Party essentially throwing in the towel. O'Donnell now faces an uphill battle against Chris Coons, her Democratic opponent in the general election. The Senate seat held for 36 years by Vice President Joe Biden was supposed to be an easy pick-up for the GOP, as long as Castle was on the ballot, but is now seen as a lock for Democrats.
Coons spoke with CBS News Capitol Hill Correspondent Nancy Cordes on Wednesday's "Washington Unplugged" and when asked if he's breathing a sigh of relief now that O'Donnell is the Republican candidate he said, "The race that I'm running, the issues that I want to address, the things that I want to bring to fight to make America strong again are exactly the same regardless of who my Republican opponent is."
This is good news for the Coons campaign, who can now expect a larger presence and interest from Democrats who considered this race, up until last night, a resounding Republican victory.
Coons' told Cordes, "I have gotten a lot of calls from people who are excited about my campaign and folks who have supported me from the beginning and are reenergized. There is a strong chance that I will be Delaware's next Senator, but I don't take anything for granted."
Watch Wednesday's Washington Unplugged also featuring CBS News Christina Ruffini with a report from Wilmington, Delaware, on Christine O'Donnell's victory and CBS News Director of Elections Anthony Salvanto with a wrap-up of this year's mid-term primaries.
Lauren Seifert is an associate producer for CBSNews.com. You can read more of her posts here. For more Washington Unplugged, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.