Obamacare may have been decisive in a closely watch special election for Congress that the GOP found very jolly.
Republican David Jolly defeated Democrat Alex Sink in Tuesday’s special election for a vacant US House of Representatives seat in a possible precursor to the November midterm elections. “… David Jolly’s victory over Democrat Alex Sink has many Democrats privately worried and publicly split about how to talk about Obamacare… Many plan to stick to the simple message that Obamacare is flawed and needs to be fixed– a tactic that plainly didn’t work for Sink.”
Barack Obama won the district in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections.
On Tuesday, however, Jolly won with 48.5 percent of the vote to Sink’s 46.7 percent. Libertarian Lucas Overby finished with 4.8 percent.
The major parties spent somewhere in the range of $11-$12 million (or more) on this special election.
Most pundits gave the more-well known and better-funded Sink, who unsuccessfully ran for governor against Rick Scott in 2010 and previously served as the state’s chief financial officer, the edge in swing district, Florida 13, in the Tampa/St. Pete area.
The seat became vacant when Bill Young, then 82, who was the longest-serving Republican in the US House of Representatives, died on October 18. Prior to the three-way Republican primary in January, former Price is Right host Bob Barker endorsed Jolly in a campaign commercial.
Jolly, a former aide to Young who became a lobbyist, was considered a flawed candidate by the political experts. Although he was also outspent by the Democrats in the campaign, Jolly’s opposition to Obamacare may have sunk Sink: “During the campaign, Republicans routinely ran ads tethering Sink to the health-care law, which she said should be preserved but fixed. Democrats hoped Jolly’s repeal/replace posture would alienate voters and doom his chances. His victory speaks volumes about how potent a weapon the law can be for Republicans this year.”
If Congressman-elect David Jolly’s victory in Florida is any indication, the upcoming November general election may turn out to be referendum on Obamacare.