Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Republican Jolly Pulls Off Upset Win in Florida Special Election

David Jolly
The news out of Florida is that Republican David Jolly has defeated former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink in the special election to fill the seat of Republican Bill Young in Florida's 13th Congressional district which covers most of Pinellas County between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, including parts of St. Petersburg.

The district, which has some of the highest concentration of older voters in the country, has become increasingly Democratic and was won by President Obama in 2008 and 2012.  Sink, who ran a close race in 2010 against Republican Governor Rick Scott, was considered to be a superior candidate to Jolly, a former lobbyist and legal counsel to Rep. Young.

Sink held small but consistent leads in the polling leading up to the election.  Yesterday Slate Magazine reported on the final one:
The League of Conservation Voters has teamed with Public Policy Polling for, likely, the final poll on the race for Florida's 13th District. If accurate, it confirms what Republicans have feared—a superior Democratic organization has turned out enough votes for Democrat Alex Sink that Republican David Jolly is likely to lose tomorrow. PPP suggests that 60 percent of voters have turned out already (122,000 ballots have been cast before Election Day) and that Sink's won them by 7 points. Jolly's winning the rest of the electorate by 4 points
That keeps Sink in the lead, bailed out by the very moderate-sounding 27-year-old Libertarian candidate Lucas Overby....
The Slate Magazine article has a picture of Sink with the clever caption:  "Sink looks to sink an easy putt tomorrow."   Apparently not.


Hoosier in the Heartland said...

How can it be an "upset victory" when Jolly, a Republican, replaced a Republican in a district that has had a Republican in the US House of Representatives for eons, and when he won with less than 50% of the vote?

Yes, he won -- but it doesn't tell us much (except maybe which candidate had the most campaign cash to spend -- but that's another story).

Charles M. Navarra said...

To HitH- This is why it is being called an upset over Sink who outraised and outspent winner Jolly: Tony Lee at Breitbart News writes [3/11/2014] that "The race was widely considered a referendum on Obamacare, with top political prognosticators calling it a “must win” for Democrats in the weeks leading up to the election.

A Sink loss would "would almost certainly be regarded by dispassionate observers as a sign that President Barack Obama could constitute an albatross around the neck of his party’s nominees in November,” Stuart Rothenberg, one of the most highly respected political handicappers in the country, wrote in Roll Call...

"...Obama won the district by four points in 2008 over John McCain and by a point over Mitt Romney in 2012, and Rothenberg analyzed that, "all things being equal, Sink has enough advantages to produce a narrow but clear victory."

"And Sink outraised Jolly by $1.5 million dollars, although outside spending from both sides dwarfed the amount spent by either candidate.

Jolly was trailing Sink by 3 points in a Public Policy Polling poll a week before the race."

Maple Syrup Maven said...

So, it was an "upset" because the pundits forecast it wrong? (Anybody remember "Dewey Beats Truman"?)

Don't buy it. We're talking fewer than 2,500 voters making a difference in the outcome here in a district where a large number of voters are on Medicare -- another government-run health insurance plan.

A referendum on Obamacare? Probably not.

A win for Jolly, but not an "indicator of a trend" or an "upset victory".