Republican David Jolly won a hotly contested special congressional election in Florida on Tuesday night, earning the right to succeed the late Rep. Bill Young in Congress. Jolly capitalized on opposition to the president’s health care law to defeat the Democratic nominee, Alex Sink.
Jolly captured over 48 percent of the vote and defeated Sink, who narrowly lost the Florida governor’s race in 2010, by almost 2 percentage points in Florida’s 13th District. Young represented the Pinellas County district for over 40 years before his death in October. Libertarian Lucas Overby ran a distant third, with just under 5 percent of the vote.
“Tonight, one of Nancy Pelosi’s 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,” NRCC chairman Greg Walden said in a statement.
Jolly prevailed despite major demographic changes over Young’s four-decade tenure that opened a door for a Democratic victory. This is the second special election in 2014 where Democrats have been unable to assert a demographic advantage among actual voters in a nonpresidential election year. President Obama carried the 13th District in 2008 and 2012, and Sink also won the district during her run for governor in 2010. But translating demography into votes is tricky business, as California Democrats noticed during San Diego’s mayoral race earlier this year, which the Republican candidate won.
Jolly, who was a lobbyist and before that an aide to Young, overcame a significant financial disadvantage to defeat Sink, who was well-known from her previous statewide runs. Sink outspent Jolly about 4-to-1 on the airwaves, according to NBC News, but Republican outside groups including the National Republican Congressional Committee, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Action Network, and American Crossroads helped close the financial gap.
In a post-election statement, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Steve Israel attributed Sink’s loss to outside Republican money.
“Despite those millions from Republican outside groups, they underperformed because the only message they offered voters — repealing the [Affordable Care Act] — is out of touch and failed to bring them even close to their historically wide margins,” Israel said.
What We're Following See More »
Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”
Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."
In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”