(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