SPOTLIGHT

Special J

Republican David Jolly heads to the stage to thank his supporters Tuesday, March 11, 2014, at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort, in Clearwater Beach, Fla.
National Journal
Scott Bland
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Scott Bland
March 12, 2014, 7:40 a.m.

“Rep.-elect Dav­id Jolly” (R) will take Dems some time get­ting used to, but that’s the real­ity after he de­feated Alex Sink (D) by al­most 2 points in the FL-13 spe­cial Tues­day night. Health care played an im­port­ant role, as it seems destined to do in many more high-pro­file races this year. But it wasn’t the only factor in play.

— Pres­id­ent Obama won FL-13 twice, but in many ways it’s not a typ­ic­al “Obama dis­trict.” He nar­rowly won it twice, but its demo­graph­ic makeup is a lot dif­fer­ent than oth­er Dem-lean­ing seats. In par­tic­u­lar, it is older and whiter than many Obama dis­tricts: Whites over 45 com­prise 44% of the pop­u­la­tion there, com­pared to 29% na­tion­ally. Com­pared to oth­er Flor­ida dis­tricts, there aren’t many His­pan­ics there.

— Without exit polls, we don’t know how dif­fer­ent groups voted. (Some Dems in­volved said Sink was com­pet­it­ive with older voters.) But it wasn’t enough, and older whites have proven most hos­tile to Obama­care — and Obama­care was the main thrust of the GOP’s anti-Sink cam­paign. Don’t look now, but older whites also play out­sized roles in the im­port­ant red-state Sen­ate races this year, in­clud­ing con­tests in West Vir­gin­ia, Montana, North Car­o­lina and Arkan­sas.

— Sink poll­ster Geoff Gar­in ar­gued that Obama­care ac­tu­ally helped Sink among in­de­pend­ents, but it couldn’t over­come Demo­crats’ ma­jor turnout dis­ad­vant­age com­pared to Re­pub­lic­ans. Obama­care is a big mo­tiv­at­or for the type of voters already more likely to turn out in non-pres­id­en­tial elec­tions, and while DCCC chair Steve Is­rael said Wed­nes­day that Dems were able to bend turnout to­ward them a bit, it clearly wasn’t enough. Spe­cial elec­tion turnout is far worse than midterm turnout, but it’s still a symp­tom of Demo­crat­ic GOTV is­sues in non-pres­id­en­tial scen­ari­os. (This morn­ing, the DSCC said it points to the im­port­ance of their big field pro­ject for this fall.)

One last item to pon­der here: Just in case any­one was un­sure about what out­side money can do these days, con­sider that Sink out­spent Jolly around 4-1 on TV, but the GOP por­tion of $9 mil­lion in out­side spend­ing helped even things up.
Scott Bland

What We're Following See More »
AT ISSUE: COMEY FIRING, SESSIONS’S RECUSAL
Mueller Seeks Documents from DOJ
18 minutes ago
THE LATEST

Special counsel Robert Mueller "is now demanding documents from the department overseeing his investigation." A source tells ABC News that "Mueller's investigators are keen to obtain emails related to the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the earlier decision of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the entire matter."

Source:
MULVANEY SAYS PROVISION ISN’T A DEALBREAKER
Trump May Be OK with Dropping Mandate Repeal
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

"President Donald Trump would not insist on including repeal of an Obama-era health insurance mandate in a bill intended to enact the biggest overhaul of the tax code since the 1980s, a senior White House aide said on Sunday. The version of tax legislation put forward by Senate Republican leaders would remove a requirement in former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law that taxes Americans who decline to buy health insurance."

Source:
FRANKEN JUST THE BEGINNING?
Media Devoting More Resources to Lawmakers’ Sexual Misconduct
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Members of Congress with histories of mistreating women should be extremely nervous. Major outlets, including CNN, are dedicating substantial newsroom resources to investigating sexual harassment allegations against numerous lawmakers. A Republican source told me he's gotten calls from well-known D.C. reporters who are gathering stories about sleazy members."

Source:
STARTS LEGAL FUND FOR WH STAFF
Trump to Begin Covering His Own Legal Bills
2 days ago
THE DETAILS
DISCUSSED THE MATTER FOR A NEW BOOK
Steele Says Follow the Money
2 days ago
STAFF PICKS

"Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who wrote the explosive dossier alleging ties between Donald Trump and Russia," says in a new book by The Guardian's Luke Harding that "Trump's land and hotel deals with Russians needed to be examined. ... Steele did not go into further detail, Harding said, but seemed to be referring to a 2008 home sale to the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev. Richard Dearlove, who headed the UK foreign-intelligence unit MI6 between 1999 and 2004, said in April that Trump borrowed money from Russia for his business during the 2008 financial crisis."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login