April 14th, 2010
04:34 PM ET
8 years ago

Are Florida-19's results a good political indicator?

Democrat Ted Deutch easily defeated his Republican opponent Tuesday night in a Florida special election.

Democrat Ted Deutch easily defeated his Republican opponent Tuesday night in a Florida special election.

(CNN) - Call it the race that Washington ignored, until now.

National Democrats are celebrating the results of Tuesday's special election in Florida's 19th Congressional District, which Democratic State Sen. Ted Deutch won handily. According to unofficial results from the Florida Secretary of State's office, Deutch won 62 percent of the vote, with Republican candidate Ed Lynch grabbing 35 percent and the remaining three percent going to third-party candidates.

The special election was held to fill the seat of former nine-term Democratic Rep. Robert Wexler, who stepped down at the beginning of the year to lead a think tank focusing on issues facing the Middle East. The contest was the first federal election to be held since congressional passage of the Democrats health care plans. Lynch said he wanted to repeal the new law and made health care a big issue in his campaign, in a district with a high proportion of senior voters. Deutch supported the new legislation. There was some talk that Republicans were hoping to pull off an upset similar to Scott Brown's January victory in the Massachusetts special election to fill the seat of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.

Both the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent out emails Wednesday touting the political implications of their special election victory and what it means for the larger battle over health care.

But are Tuesday's results a good indicator of the popularity of the new health care law or of the current political climate?

Neither the DCCC nor the National Republican Congressional Committee spent much time or money on the contest. The district, which stretches from northern Broward County into Palm Beach County just miles inland from Florida's Atlantic coastline, is heavily Democratic, and Deutch dramatically outraised Lynch.

"I don't think we can draw broad conclusions from Florida 19 because neither national party got involved. Lynch tried to make health care the focus of the race, but he didn't have the resources, the party backing, and was essentially out on an island by himself," says Nathan Gonzales, political editor for the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report.

"In Florida 19, it's no surprise that a Democrat won a heavily-Democratic district. We finally got a yawner in an otherwise exciting election cycle. This just proves that Republicans aren't going to win 435 House seats in November," adds Gonzales.

The next special election for a vacant House seat is April 27, when voters in Georgia's ninth district will cast ballots to replace former Republican Rep. Nathan Deal, who is running for governor. But the GOP is expected to keep the seat in a district they dominate.

But no fears, two better tests lay ahead. The Democrats will be defending two congressional seats in special elections next month in Pennsylvania-12, to fill the seat of the late Rep. Jack Murtha, and Hawaii-1, to replace former Rep. Neil Abercrombie, who stepped down to run for governor.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: 2010 • Florida
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Jfs

    Hey Sue............. in response to your blog ...this Moderate Republican, who is part of the NEW SILENT MAJORITY ,will be voting a straight DEM ticket in Nov. I would love to see you after the Nov. Election. You folks' phony TEA BAG movement( which is really nothing more than a GOP Rally) is not Working. If you folks want us Mo derates/Independents back I suggest your Party's ...National Congressional Politicians... STOP SAYING NO AND START TO LEGISLATE ...Something ???.............Anything ??????????

    April 14, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    "I don't think we can draw broad conclusions from Florida 19 because neither national party got involved.

    I'm sure DeMint has another take on loosing 62-35 . . . less than 24 hours later GOPers ARE showing concern - why else suggest Christ step down . . .

    April 14, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  3. Debby

    No the senior snowbirds weren't there to vote for one thing, and Broward County is mostly African American. If this vote was held in November Lynch would have won.

    April 14, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  4. Common sense

    The American people are not a minority.

    April 14, 2010 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  5. Most Republicans - Wrong about everything, Wrong for America (and GW Bush was the worst President ever)

    How can we take a group the is called "tea baggers" seriously?

    April 14, 2010 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  6. Moderate Sean

    At 4:44 p.m. on 14 April, Sue Stated:

    "Nothing to see here..............

    It was a Democrat stronghold district–that MANY (Including the Republicans)–knew that the Democrats were going to win.

    The Democrats outnumber the Republicans/Independents in this district by about 4 to 1."
    Sue, this District is indeed heavily Democratic, but might I remind you that when Massachusetts voted for Senator Brown (A Republican) all we heard from the Teanutters and Conservatives was how Blue Mass is/was, yet these voters voted red to send a message to the Dems. Well, if that logic carries forward, wouldn't south Florida of done the same??? Maybe...politics are local, or just maybe, voters are beginning to see the "light" with regard to just how crazy the Party of No and their Wingnut supporters are getting....Hey, Sue, take those blinders off...as you might just run into a few road blocks along your delussional roadway...

    April 14, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  7. commonlogic

    It's entertaining reading some of the liberal/democrat postings here. As good as this result was for the democrat, it was no where near as good as past elections for democrats and about a 10 pt. swing in favor of the republican who was outspent about 20 to 1. Few expected the republican to break even 30% in this extremely heavily democrat district. The republican got 35%. So, as good as it was for the democrat, it does not bode well for other democrats around the country. Sorry.

    April 14, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  8. Howard

    hmmm, no mention that the winning candidate is an out and proud gay! I am impressed that CNN is no longer concerned about a candidate being homosexual. But since he faced a blistering "ant-'homo" campaign, does his victory make some comment on gay politics or republican vs democrat politics or health care reform or what??

    April 14, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  9. Miken3

    And he can take his tanning bed with him lol!

    April 14, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  10. Jim In Miami

    The democrat won – almost 2 to 1 – and Florida 19 has lots and lots and lots of 'seniors'. Suck on that GOP – suck on that teabaggers....

    April 14, 2010 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  11. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Very much enjoying the right wing spin on this election. Yesterday it was supposed to be the beginning of the end for all of us "Democratical Socialist Fascists". Now, it's no big deal at all. You are only fooling yourselves, teabaggers.

    April 14, 2010 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  12. Jeremy

    Really, someone won an election in a district that has been ran by democrats forever and now this is somehow a democratic victory. Had they taken a highly consevative district then run your trap but they just simply held on to something that was never a race. In NJ and VIRG obama won both and the craps still lost. That my friend, is change you can believe in.

    April 14, 2010 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  13. U.S. Common Sense

    A Democrat winning a Democrat-held seat is not big news.

    April 14, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  14. Lori in St Pete

    But Sue, you were crowing that all dems were going to be run out of town. I look forward to talking again AFTER the November elections.

    April 14, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  15. Pragmatic

    the GOP did a "happy dance" for VA, NJ & MA ... when it was more a case of a poor democratic candidate losing than a real win for the GOP: MA already has good health care provided by their state and thought the national plan would add to their costs.

    If it was about the health care reform bill – the GOP just had their first defeat! Ya still gonna run on "repeal" – Ask Alf Landon how that worked!

    April 14, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  16. Save 'em in the womb, so a "christian" holy war can send 'em to the tomb

    The district is a 2 to 1 Dem district much like MA, but of those "libtards" 40% are senior citizens, you know, the same folks that "Obamacare" was going to send to the gas chamber via those "death panels".

    If cons cannot win in a special election district with a voting bloc of 40% soon to be "victims" and just weeks after the "sentence" was passed, then what seats will you win in November, republikkkan?

    So, you cons and racist tea baggers keep believing your own press releases and those Fake News sound bites.

    You will be in for a big surprise come November, this is just the precursor. If you cannot win in a Dem district that in which 40% of the voters are headed to "death panels", just where is the "revolution"?

    And CNN, I want 2 days of coverage of how this is "referendum" against the Party of NO agenda and analyze endlessly via the bobble heads and drama queens how this means failure for the cons "failure" agenda come November.

    A 61% to 36% win is a pretty hard spanking!

    Sorry, I forgot republikkkans like that whole bondage scene, my bad.

    April 14, 2010 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  17. Truthhurts

    Wow, a seat held by a Democrat for 9 terms was won by a Democrat.

    Woot, Woot. Send out the national press, we have a trend.

    Of course Brown winning a seat in an overwhelming liberal state, held by a democrat for 50 years, no big deal, not a trend despite wins in New Jersey (also a liberal democrat stonghold).

    Coakley of course in Mass was a "weak" candidate, while who ever this bozo is in Florida (realize NO ONE even knew there was an election) who lost, was of course some strong candidate I suppose?

    CNN will never quit carrying water for Democrats.

    April 14, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  18. Victor

    The hard-right movement has been gaining strength for years and there is no sign that this will change in the near term. I think those on the left should think twice before laughing at the 'stupidity' of those on the right. The power of humiliation in national and global politics is grossly underestimated.

    April 14, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  19. commonlogic

    Has anyone heard of "better than expected" when it comes to a corporation's performance and its stock price. It may be a poor result, but as long as it is "better than expected" the stock price goes up. This result was much "better than expected" for the Lynch candidate where he was expected to get only 25-30% of the vote. He got 35% and the democrat Deutch got less than expected. Hence the republican "stock price" increases, while the democrat's drop. Deutch outspent Lynch by 12 to 1. This is a democrat stronghold by 4 to 1. Deutch should have won by 75% to 25%. Again, as good as this win looks for dems when taken at face value, it really does not bode well for democrats in November.

    April 14, 2010 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  20. CF

    Hey Republicans... how's that "lie-y, fearmongery" thing workin' out for ya?

    "Just wait til 2010, wait til 2010," they all said. Well, it's 2010. And see what's happening?

    April 14, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  21. henriettap

    This win goes to show that the polls are not always right,they are a way of twisting the the votes to go in a certain way,or for whatever or whoever one or the other pollster might support.So I guess the Republicans should think twice about being giddy over Sarah and Rush along with Fox TV you need to have some sense of reality which right now they lack.They are being fear mongers spreading their lies and trying to be divisive.

    April 14, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  22. Michael

    Not surprising at all!
    This is a sign that the portion of Americans who were buying into the lies and fearmongering are becoming jaded, or seeing the truth unfold before their eyes as the economy takes an upturn, foreign policy garners respect and cooperation from the international community, the sky continues to stay in its place, and our President still has not grown horns.

    April 14, 2010 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  23. Sarah the baby seal basher

    Yes we did.Dick Armey can go pound sand.hahahaha

    April 14, 2010 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  24. Jacq

    I think the repubs have read the people wrong and they will go down for the count in November,and Crist will win in Florida the win will force the repubs to the center,and the Tea baggers will run their candidates causing a big blow to the party of no

    April 14, 2010 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  25. Robert Warner

    It's always nice to see the crazies lose. Tea Party people like to claim that the majority share their views, conveniently ignoring that a large portion of people opposed the new health-care law oppose it because it is not left enough. And that large sub-set of voters will be voting against them. The more tea-partyish the GOP becomes, the more they will lose.

    April 14, 2010 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
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