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UD poll looks at potential Coons-O’Donnell Senate rematch

The 2014 elections are still over a year away – but there’s already polling on one potential First State showdown.

The University of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication released results of a poll examining a possible U.S. Senate rematch between incumbent Democrat Chris Coons and Republican Christine O’Donnell.

The UD poll found Coons leading O’Donnell by 23 percentage points.

The Center for Political Communications acting director Paul Brewer says often times early polling simply reflects candidate name recognition, but he does not believe that’s the case here after the well-publicized race between Coons and O’Donnell in 2010.

“I know from other poll results that Coons and O’Donnell were equally familiar to the public,” said Brewer. “Coons does not have a substantial name recognition lead over O’Donnell. It’s more reflecting that views of him are more favorable than they are of O’Donnell.”

Brewer adds the 50-27 spread in this poll is similar to the result in the 2010 race, which Coons won by 57-40 margin.

He also notes that although the poll was done last month before the government shutdown began, he does not believe that would significantly affect the result in this poll.

“The polling I’ve seen of who’s getting the bigger share of the blame for the government shutdown, it’s more the Republican party, said Brewer. “Also, members of the public tend to evaluate their own Representatives and Senators differently from how they represent the institution.”

O’Donnell has yet to indicate she’s interested in running again.

The UD poll sampled just over 900 First State adults with a margin of error of about 4 points.

The poll was taken last month – before the government shutdown began – sampling just over 900 First State adults.

UD will release more results from its “Delaware and the Nation” poll later this month.