Prospects for a rematch between Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Republican Christine O'Donnell are looking increasingly dim for 2014, with the erstwhile tea party darling now saying it's "highly unlikely" she will run.
On Thursday, O'Donnell told The News-Journal that she would "rather slam my hand in a car door" than run again this year.
O'Donnell ran for Senate in 2010, pulling off a shocking victory in the GOP primary against moderate Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.), who was widely expected to win not only the nomination, but the open Senate seat as well. But her tea party support wasn't enough to propel her to victory in the blue state, and she lost to Coons -- effectively handing Democrats an extra Senate seat.
O'Donnell's candidacy became a cautionary tale for the tea party, with questions about whether the movement should focus on supporting more electable candidates. She also became famous for running an ad informing the electorate that she is not a witch.
Despite the fact that tea party-backed candidates have lost their primary bids in recent weeks, O'Donnell believes the movement is doing just fine.
"Moderate Republicans and RINOs are extinct," said O'Donnell. "Because of the tea party upswing, candidates are more thoughtful about what the Republican Party stands for. I think the movement has been very successful."
An October 2013 poll showed Coons with a 23-point lead over O'Donnell. Coons was at 50.5 percent support, and O'Donnell was at 27.5 percent. Despite the gap, O'Donnell said at the time that it showed "vulnerability" on the part of the incumbent senator.
The News-Journal notes that O'Donnell's political action committee is out of money. She said she is now focused on launching a nonprofit called the "Legal Offense Fund" to go after the Internal Revenue Service.