The proposed hostile takeover of Delta ( DALRQ) has won big on Wall Street, but it never gathered much backing on Main Street. The effort by US Airways ( LCC) to take over its biggest competitor has won little support aside from the bankers working on the deal. Delta's management, which opposed the buyout from the start, won the battle for public opinion. A key was 16 "Keep Delta My Delta" rallies it backed around the country, not only in big cities like Atlanta and Washington, but perhaps more importantly in places like Baton Rouge, La., Butte, Mont., Columbia, S.C., and Jackson, Miss. A Senate Commerce Committee last week hearing on airline consolidation in general and the potential merger of Delta and US Airways in particular was a culmination of Delta's efforts. The hearing was packed with uniformed Delta pilots. No one in attendance, outside of US Airways CEO Doug Parker and Andrew Steinberg, assistant secretary for the Transportation Department, voiced support for industry consolidation. Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., told Parker: "I must say you are an aggressive suitor. But the lady from the South -- Atlanta -- doesn't seem to want to be forced into this shotgun wedding." Another senator asked whether the money being spent on the merger could instead be spent on employee pensions. A telling moment came when Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., related how many middle-aged flight attendants, most of them her constituents, lost their livelihoods because of the merger between TWA and American Airlines ( AMR). "I have a great deal of angst over what has happened to the former TWA employees," McCaskill said.