Delaware Democrat Chris Coons leads in that state's Senate race and he could have Republican voters to thank for it, according to a CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Wednesday.
The survey found that Coons leads Republican Christine O'Donnell, 55 percent to 39 percent among likely voters. The margin was higher among registered voters, where Coons' led O'Donnell by 25 points.
And the poll found a small but significant chunk of Republican voters may be putting Coons over the top.
"CNN has conducted polls in nine other Senate races this fall, and the Democratic candidate has never gotten double-digit support among Republicans in any of them. But 15 percent of Delaware Republicans are choosing Coons. That may not sound like much, but in today's polarized political environment, it's a big advantage that any Democrat would like to have," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland told the network.
Last week O'Donnell upset party-backed candidate Mike Castle in the Republican primary. But the CNN/Time poll finds that if Castle had won the primary, he would be leading Coon's 55 percent to 37 percent in the general election matchup.
The poll was conducted September 17-21, with 1,366 registered voters in Delaware, including 703 likely voters. The sampling error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for registered voters and 3.5 percentage points for likely voters.
These numbers are on track with those in a Tuesday Fox News poll, which found O'Donnell trailed Coons by 15 points, with Coons at 54 percent to O’Donnell’s 39 percent.