Crumbling Castle

This is a happy day for Sharron Angle, who will no longer be portrayed as the shakiest of the Sarah Palin endorsed candidates who've shocked the power structure. Today, that status goes to Delaware senate nominee Christine O'Donnell - a longshot candidate who the GOP was determined to crush.

Marketing consultant Christine O'Donnell upset Rep. Mike Castle in the Delaware Republican Senate primary tonight, handing the tea party movement a major victory and giving Democrats an unexpected chance to hold the First State seat.

O'Donnell, who is making her third run for the Senate in as many elections, relied heavily on national surrogates -- from the Tea Party Express to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin -- to fuel a shoestring campaign against the iconic Castle who had held elected office in the state for more than four decades.

"The people of Delaware have spoken," said O'Donnell in her victory speech. "No more politics as usual."

GOP insiders have been open in their wish for moderate Congressman Mike Castle to get the nomination, but voters rejected the man who has held office for all but four years since 1966.

The O'Donnell victory, which was considered a political impossibility as recently as a month ago, is a major boost for Democratic hopes of holding the seat once held by Vice President Joe Biden. New Castle County Executive Chris Coons was unchallenged for the Democratic Senate nomination.

"I'm sad to say the Delaware primary results tonight are straight out of Harry Reid's dream journal," said prominent Republican strategist Mike Murphy of the O'Donnell win.

Is O'Donnell really that fringy?

State and national Republicans have made no secret of the fact that O'Donnell's questionable personal finances and public misstatements -- she once said she carried two out of the state's three counties in her 2008 race against Biden but she didn't -- made her close to unelectable.

Sharron Angle can breathe a little easier.