Skip to comments.Republican Jolly wins crucial Florida bellwether special election
Posted on 03/12/2014 1:07:16 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
Republican David Jolly defeated Democrat Alex Sink in the special election to fill Floridas 13th district on Tuesday night, delivering a stinging blow to Democrats that underscores their vulnerability to ObamaCare attacks.
With all precincts reporting, Jolly topped Sink 48.4 percent to 46.5 percent, winning by 3,417 votes. Libertarian Lucas Overby took nearly 5 percent of the vote.
Sinks loss in the race to succeed the late Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.) was seen by Republicans as evidence the political winds are blowing hard against Democrats in their uphill pursuit of the 17 seats theyll need to take back the House.
Tonight, one of Nancy Pelosis most prized candidates was ultimately brought down because of her unwavering support for ObamaCare, and that should be a loud warning for other Democrats running coast to coast," National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden (Ore.) said in a statement.
A swing district held by a Republican but won by President Obama in 2012, Floridas 13th district is exactly the playing field Democrats need to win in this cycle to be successful. Democrats pointed out that the special election turnout would always trend GOP, and they downplayed their loss on Tuesday evening.
Democrats will fight for FL-13 in the midterm, when the electorate is far less heavily tilted toward Republicans. Despite those millions from Republican outside groups, they underperformed because the only message they offered voters repealing the ACA is out of touch and failed to bring them even close to their historically wide margins," said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.).
Sink said in a statement that she had congratulated Jolly and wished him the best success in representing the district in Congress.
She said that while the outcome wasnt what she had hoped, shes proud of the race we have run, and grateful to her supporters and left the door open to future political activity, though she gave no indication of what that might be.
My life has always been shaped by a deep commitment to service and problem solving, and I look forward to finding new ways and new avenues to continue practicing these values in pursuit of doing good for our community, our state and our country, she said.
While Democrats are not expected to contend for the House majority, the loss will add to the partys worries about losing the Senate.
And it provided proof for Republicans that their current strategy to hammer vulnerable Democrats and Democratic candidates on the healthcare law remains sound. Jolly had been seen as a flawed candidate, so his victory will only increase the GOPs confidence in November.
Groups backing Jolly spent $4.9 million on television, mail and web attacks hammering that message home.
Canceled health plans, higher premiums, Medicare cuts, people losing their doctors, a disaster for families and seniors, says the narrator in one ad hitting Sink, launched by the Chamber of Commerce.
Democratic groups fought back, however, spending $3.7 million on the race to make their own argument on the health care law and hammer Jolly for his lobbying background and issues important to senior voters, like Social Security.
Sinks rebuttal on the health care law is one Democrats believe will translate in races nationwide: Theyre the party that wants to fix the law, rather than repeal it and go back to the lawlessness of the health care system before reform.
They point to polling that shows a majority of Americans would prefer lawmakers fix the law rather than throw it out entirely as evidence theyre on the right side of the issue.
But Jollys win may indicate that message may not be enough to answer Republican attacks.
Still, even as Republicans paint the race as a bellwether for their chances in other competitive districts this cycle, unique circumstances in Floridas 13th make it an imperfect testing ground for the parties respective narratives.
The special election electorate was long expected to heavily favor Republicans, which Democrats were pointing to before Election Day as evidence of the difficult task they faced. Though the district went for Obama in 2008 and 2012, it did so narrowly, and was held for three decades by the late Rep. Bill Young (R ).
And Sink, though considered a top-tier candidate, was also known for her difficulty with retail campaigning and an occasional awkwardness in answering unscripted questions that more than once drew her campaign off-message.
Its hard to see Jollys win as less than evidence that Democrats still face a turnout problem and difficulties with ObamaCare this cycle, however, as he was a deeply flawed candidate with a nightmare background as a lobbyist that made easy fodder for Democratic attack ads.
The race also appears to have been a testing ground for new rules and tactics from Republican groups, as much as it was one for the respective parties messages.
The Republican National Committee issued a release touting its coordination with the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Florida GOP, outlining a number of new tech and data tools it implemented in the race, including a new voter scoring tool to find the right voters, a new canvassing app to gather data and a new interface that allowed volunteers to share data in real time.
RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said those tools are all things we will be replicating across the country in Senate races this cycle.
Republicans had notorious trouble keeping up with President Obamas groundbreaking tech and data operation in the 2012 elections, and theyve pledged to catch up to Democrats advantage on that front in time for 2016.
Its unclear how instrumental those new data tools were in delivering a win to Jolly.
"President Obama hosted a high-priced fundraiser Tuesday night as his party suffered a stinging loss in Florida's special election.
In his remarks, Obama did not address Republican David Jolly's narrow victory over Democrat Alex Sink for the late Rep. Bill Young's (R-Fla.) House seat. Instead, he touted that his administration provided health care for millions of Americans and that the growth of health care costs had slowed."...
There was a primary special election before this general special election.
Jolly won a three way race for the GOP nomination over two candidates including a retired military officer backed by Colonel Allen West.
Jolly campaigned as a “repeal and replace” Obamacare candidate in the vein of GOP House leaders John Boehner and Eric Cantor.
Jolly also campaigned invoking the name of his former boss who he is replacing, the late Congressman Bill Young.
Jolly called himself a “Bill Young Conservative” in his ads.
In reporting on Jolly’s win tonight the “Washington Post” noted that Young was a “moderate known for steering federal dollars to the district”.
I know some libertarians and I simply cannot comprehend how they think they are lending assistance to their ideological interests by diluting the voter base of the most conservative candidate?
If I was a democrat candidate, I would donate to the libertarians!
With all the sugar Daddies in the jackass party, does anyone really think this contest was lost due to a lack of $1.2 million in extra spending?
I just hope that Jolly has the intestinal fortitude to fight all the way every single attempt by the Dems to re-re-re-re-”count” ballots and not cave at the first 5-vote Dem lead.
Yes, once again the "libertarians" working hard to elect Democrats.
I wonder how many of these “libertarians” are in fact “free thinkers” hoping to cleanse the conservative wing of “religious fanatics.”
Highly doubt she will pull an Owl Gore....
——I wonder how many of these libertarians are in fact free thinkers hoping to cleanse the conservative wing of religious fanatics.-——
A lot...and lots of Paulbots....
“That’s how Sink was outspent $4.9 million to $3.7 million.”
Sink, a true communist to the bone (her husband ran for president on the communist ticket) got 46.7 percent of the vote. That’s WAY to close. November will not be an easy sweep. The district is probably bluer than Miami and still it took an extra million or so to pull of a win. Shameful. (Didn’t realize Allan West was in the running.)
Figures don't lie but liars figure. There is absolutely no way that Sink didn't outspend Jolly by 3 maybe 4 to 1. I don't live in that district but I do live in that media market. The DNC and DNCC and aligned groups poured bucket loads of money into that race.
Glad to see Bill Clinton is still the kiss of death to candidates he shills for.
The RAT strategy to run a third-party candidate that siphons votes away from the Republican didn’t work this time.
Wonder what that portends.
“There is absolutely no way that Sink didn’t outspend Jolly by 3 maybe 4 to 1.”
I thought there were laws forcing candidates to declare spending. Also, I’d guess independent groups could spend in her favor, but they have to declare who spent the money at the end of the piece. “Paid for by the XXX to elect Alex Sink.” I hope you’re right, but it would take breaking some laws to spend on this without filing the required tracking.
I can tell you this from direct knowledge. Bill Young’s opponent in the last election was a young uber-liberal woman named Urlich. She got 40% of the vote, which is the approximate zero baseline count for either party. A corpse will get 40% of the partisan vote. All elections are for the 11% in the middle. The Democratic party was backing Urlich, then Urlich got a call from the party “instructing” her to withdraw and throw their support behind Sink. The party had decided (correctly) that they wanted an experienced “name” on the ballot. They promised to back Urlich in another race at another time.
I had mutual friends and got the inside scoop.
The Libertarian pulled 5% and Sink still lost. The GOP-e better wake up, because this should have been more lopsided, and they probably know it.
In WA state, you HAVE to win by 3 percent or more because of the outright vote fraud and ballot box stuffing and disappearances here. There’s also the military vote suppression.
In WA, the libs ‘hit till they’re happy’ - recount until they win.
I would expect the same unbridled disregard for the rule of law this time around that we’ve come to expect from his Imperial Majesty Obama I.
Last week, Larry Sabato said that sink was up by 7% in the polls, that the district was trending demonRAT, and he predicted sink would win.
Politico said that the RNC was abandoning it's jolly demeanor and regretted his being in the race.
Good old Lefty Larry is dead wrong again.
Larry is a Dem party con and nothing more.
I recall this DNC push poll expert predicted W would lose in 2004 and stated bet on it.
Why this guy is not laughed out of the media tell us how much control the Dems party has over all the media push poll propaganda.
How about that phony PPP fraud poll showing Slunk by 3 pts!
Another Dem push poll / con artist.
That trial lawyer crook who strip mined a local bank during a merger did not even live in the district!Her mansion overlooks the Palma Ceia country club in South Tampa!
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