During a debate Tuesday morning with Democrat Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsBiden to go one-on-one with Manchin US, Iran signal possible breakthroughs in nuke talks How the United States can pass Civics 101 MORE, Delaware's Republican Senate nominee questioned whether the Constitution truly mandates the separation of church and state.

According to The Associated Press, Christine O'Donnell asked specifically where the Constitution prevents the establishment of religion. 

After Coons brought up the First Amendment, which reads in part, "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion," O'Donnell shot back: "You're telling me that's in the First Amendment?"


O'Donnell's campaign pushed back after the debate claiming the candidate "was not questioning the separation of church and state as subsequently established by the courts."

"She simply made the point that the phrase appears nowhere in the Constitution," O'Donnell campaign manager Matt Moran said in a statement. "It was in fact Chris Coons who demonstrated his ignorance of our country’s founding documents when he could not name the five freedoms contained in the First Amendment." 

Polls continue to show Coons with a healthy lead over O'Donnell in the race to fill Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenKinzinger, Gaetz get in back-and-forth on Twitter over Cheney vote Cheney in defiant floor speech: Trump on 'crusade to undermine our democracy' US officials testify on domestic terrorism in wake of Capitol attack MORE's former Senate seat. The latest Rasmussen poll in the race did suggest a narrowing of the contest — Coons was up just 11 points. But no other poll taken in the month of October gave Coons a lead of under 18 percentage points. 

O'Donnell went after the national party on ABC's "This Week" Sunday, hitting the National Republican Senatorial Committee for not aiding her Senate campaign. The committee pointed out that it has already given the maximum direct contribution of $42,000 to O'Donnell's Senate campaign. The NRSC has not spent independent-expenditure money in the state.

-Updated at 12:38 p.m.