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Christine O'Donnell: A New Voice for Conservatives?

Candidate for Republican nomination for Senate in Delaware Christine O'Donnell, on "The Early Show," Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2010. CBS

Most political analysts yesterday said Democrats have a much better chance of winning the open Senate seat in blue-leaning Delaware after Republicans chose Tea Party-backed Christine O'Donnell as their candidate -- even the Republican establishment was slow to put its support behind O'Donnell.

Yet in the hours since she won the Republican primary, some conservatives have embraced O'Donnell.

The Family Research Council announced this morning that O'Donnell will join a long list of prominent conservatives speaking at the Values Voter Summit this weekend. Other scheduled speakers include Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.).

FRC Chairman Tony Perkins praised O'Donnell in a statement "for valiantly defending faith, family and freedom throughout this campaign."

"Christine O'Donnell has spoken out on behalf of the average person in her state who has been burdened by excessive tax and regulatory policies," he said. "She has tapped into the deep-seated mistrust that voters have toward big government. As in so many other states, the citizens are angered at the slow and steady loss of individual freedoms due to the massive overreach of government."

And while conservatives like Karl Rove have expressed their reservations about O'Donnell's electability, former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said on Fox News Wednesday night, "Those who say that the GOP nominee is not electable, or that they're not even going to try, well I say, 'buck up!'" Palin was one of O'Donnell's supporters in the primary.

Along with the $42,000 she is receiving from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, O'Donnell is also receiving $5,000 from Mitt Romney's Free and Strong America political action committee.

Last week, when the Republican party was slamming O'Donnell, the conservative candidate had just over $20,000 in the bank, according to the Wall Street Journal. Yet according to O'Donnell's campaign website, she has raised close to $1 million in donations since Tuesday night. Special Report: Campaign 2010

Stephanie Condon is a political reporter for You can read more of her posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.
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