Guy Benson
Another bizarre twist to a race we've been covering all week: The Weekly Standard's John McCormack reports that Christine O'Donnell wouldn't rule out a third party Senate run if she falls to Rep. Mike Castle in Delaware's primary election in September:
She refused to say if she would endorse Castle if he wins the primary and refused to say if she would run as a third-party candidate if she loses the primary, saying such questions are hypothetical. "That’s a moot point, I don’t see how we can’t win," she said.
The prospect of a split Republican vote on November 2nd would obviously give party officials heartburn, but an important question arises: Even if O'Donnell wants to run on a third party ticket, is she too late?  According to Delaware Online, she is out of luck:
While the deadline to register to run for office elapsed over a month ago, political parties are still adding candidates for state and local offices. Candidates from the Independent Party of Delaware, the Blue Enigma Party and the Working Families Party were added to the ballot following the deadline for third parties to nominate candidates...

...Anyone interesting in running for office has until Sept. 30 to announce their write-in candidacy, but their name would not appear on the ballot.
It also appears that a possible O'Donnell ally, the Constitution Party, failed to qualify for the ballot at all:
Most notably missing from the additional third-party candidates was the Constitution Party, which held a nominating convention in early August, but failed to get ballot status to include their candidates in the election.

Under current state law, minor parties needed to have 303 registered members by Tuesday to be allowed to place candidates on the ballot, Election Commissioner Elaine Manlove said.

The Constitution Party ended the registration period with only 287 members, keeping their slate of candidates off the ballot.
So unless I'm misreading this, and Wikipedia is wrong (banish the thought!) about so-called "sore loser" laws, O'Donnell either needs to win the GOP primary on September 14, or her name will not appear on the ballot.  Her only recourse would be a write-in campaign...which she has done before.

In 2006, O'Donnell lost the GOP Senate primary, declared herself a write-in candidate, and garnered over 4 percent of the vote.  Enough to win?  Not even close.  Enough to possibly torpedo a Republican nominee's chances if the race tightens?  Maybe. 

Plus: Isn't it reasonable to presume O'Donnell could out-perform her 2006 showing, considering her burgeoning national profile and prominent endorsements?

Guy Benson

Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography

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