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The Disappearing Christine O'Donnell Website

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, September 16 2010

ThinkProgress's Alex Seitz-Wald picked up on something yesterday that I noticed this morning when I went to check in on what Christine O'Donnell, Delaware's newly-minted Republican nominee for Senate, is doing online. O'Donnell's site today, two days after her surprising win, is, well, nothing really. consists of a splash page acknowledging her victory, a donate button, and an email signup form that pops-up confirmation and keeps you on that same, empty page.

Seitz-Wald suggests that the missing website is evidence of O'Donnell, coming out of the tea party milieu, is "tacking towards the middle" for her general election bid against Chris Coons. That wouldn't be at all surprising, of course. But I talked with a veteran online Republican strategist who suggests that, despite the appeal of the "scrubbing" narrative for O'Donnell opponents, something more fundamental might also be at work: a simple lack of resources.

The strategist points out that in her final pre-primary FEC filing O'Donnell had only about $10,000 once her debts were subtracted. That's not much, and about two million less than her primary challenger Rep. Mike Castle had in his coffers. "Given that the previous version of her website was dominated by anti-[Republican primary opponent] Castle and compare-and-contrast Castle versus O'Donnell content," the strategist went on, "that small amount of cash may just not have been sufficient to get work started on a redesign at a time that would have enabled a fuller site to have been pushed live by now."

That said, there are ways for campaigns to mark the shift online from primary to general cheaply and quickly -- pulling down some content, sure but keeping the basics going. Can her bio not live on?

Either way, as the strategist went on to say, her official website is an unfortunate place for the O'Donnell campaign to scrimp on time or attention. People searching Google this week to figure out just who this Christine O'Donnell person is are treated to a number of news stories of which a good deal are along the lines of Slate's piece titled, "Christine O'Donnell, masturbation socialist."

I'd ask the O'Donnell campaign about it, but there's no way to find contact info on the website.