Republicans keep House seat in Florida special election
March 11th, 2014
07:53 PM ET
5 months ago

Republicans keep House seat in Florida special election

(CNN) – Republican David Jolly won Tuesday's special election in Florida's 13th Congressional District.

He will fill out the term of his former boss, longtime Republican Rep. Bill Young, who died in October.

Jolly defeated Democrat Alex Sink, who conceded the race more than an hour after the polls closed.

The outcome does not change anything for Democrats in their calculus for retaking the House in next November's midterms. They still need to pick up 17 seats.

Political handicappers consider that a tall order, considering the shrinking number of competitive congressional districts nationwide.

Jolly served as a former general counsel for Young and also worked as a lobbyist.

"Tonight brings an end to this election," a victorious Jolly told supporters. "Tomorrow provides the opportunity for us to embark together on a new journey of representation here in Pinellas County."

Sink, the former Florida Chief Financial Officer, narrowly lost the 2010 gubernatorial election to Rick Scott.

She conceded the contest more than an hour after the polls closed, expressing pride in her campaign and thanking volunteers and supporters.

"I have congratulated David Jolly and wish him the best success in representing the voices of Pinellas in Congress," she said.

Florida-13 is a swing district in a swing state. It covers most of Pinellas County between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, including parts of St. Petersburg.

While Young captured 58% of the vote in his 2012 re-election, President Barack Obama narrowly carried the district in his 2008 and 2012 victories.

The district has one of highest concentration of senior voters in the nation.

While the candidates and local matters weighed heavily in the race, Obamacare was also a key issue in the election.

While a contest this far out from the midterms rarely offers a preview of what will actually happen in November, the election was seen by some pundits as a potential bellwether.

There was a massive infusion of outside ad money into the race to try to influence the outcome.

Dueling congressional campaign committees fired off reaction after the results came in with their versions of what Jolly's win means for the midterms.

The National Republican Congressional Committee said the results are referendum on the effects of the Democratic agenda and Obama's health care law, the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans are campaigning fiercely against.

"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," said NRCC chairman Greg Walden.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee congratulated Sink's campaign, highlighting her efforts in a historically Republican district and pushed back on the results as a bellwether for the midterm elections.

"Democrats will fight for FL-13 in the midterm when the electorate is far less heavily tilted toward Republicans. Despite those millions from Republican outside groups, they underperformed because the only message they offered voters – repealing the ACA – is out of touch and failed to bring them even close to their historically wide margins," said the group's chairman, Rep. Steve Israel.

CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.


Filed under: Alex Sink • Florida
soundoff (381 Responses)
  1. rob

    @ tom I
    Your right about how the parties react with a win or a loss in these special elections. The big difference is how the liberal media treats it. They will not linger on the bad prospects the Dems face for the midterms. Instead they will gloss over the bad news and continue to run story after story on Chris Christie (BAD) and Hillary Clinton (GOOD)

    As President Obama's approval numbers continue to stay low and the ACA remains unpopular ( it's never been popular) and the economy continues to stumble and our foreign policy continues to be in shambles the Dem prospects get worse. It will be fun to watch the liberal Media twist itself into knots spinning for the Dems for the rest of the year.

    Nov,4th can't come fast enough.

    March 12, 2014 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  2. tom l

    Kurt,
    I have answered your question about seeing the difference. If you are too simpleminded to think that's all that matters then that's fine. But nothing in life, and certainly not in politics, is as simple as your post tries to make it out to be.

    March 12, 2014 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Fair is Fair
    You know, Dominican mama, I'm curious why YOU don't debate me 1-on-1. You always seem to reply to me via a third party. Why is that? Come on... let's get it on.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Hello Fair, sorry it took me so long to respond but as I stated earlier duty has been calling me here at the job.
    Furthermore I had to make DOUBLE sure that I was responding to big "F" not to little"f".
    We are here to join in conversations, correct each other with TRUTHS, and exchange ideas, regardless of who expresses them.
    The fact that you feel like I'm "coming at you" via someone else sounds paranoid.
    If you cannot have your statements commented on, scrutinized, and occassionally corrected I suggest you find somewhere else to post.
    Until then you know where to find me.

    March 12, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Rudy NYC
    Thanks big guy!
    Interestingly enough I have indeed tried to engage Fair on several occassions on subjects where I have something truthful to contribute and base MY arguments on; however one of two things happens: CNN won't post, or when they do Fair will not engage.
    Like my friend Lynda would say " What is a girl to do?"!
    Sigh...lol!

    March 12, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  5. Fair is Fair

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Fair is Fair
    You know, Dominican mama, I'm curious why YOU don't debate me 1-on-1. You always seem to reply to me via a third party. Why is that? Come on... let's get it on.
    -----------------
    Hello Fair, sorry it took me so long to respond but as I stated earlier duty has been calling me here at the job.
    Furthermore I had to make DOUBLE sure that I was responding to big "F" not to little"f".
    We are here to join in conversations, correct each other with TRUTHS, and exchange ideas, regardless of who expresses them.
    The fact that you feel like I'm "coming at you" via someone else sounds paranoid.
    If you cannot have your statements commented on, scrutinized, and occassionally corrected I suggest you find somewhere else to post.
    Until then you know where to find me.
    -----
    As I expected. Tell you what. Pick a topic. Any topic. Debate me. No? Coward.

    March 12, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    "Lower participation rate, under a free market model, means fewer providers (supply) versus increased demand (customers), which inevitably leads to increased cost. Learn Economics 101, counselor."

    Haha. Except, as we were just discussing, the "cost," i.e., reimbursement rate, is FIXED. Those in "possession" of the lower "supply" (i.e., the doctors still providing Medicare services) CANNOT jack up their prices in order to milk the demand because of the "rarity" of the service. Moreover, the expense of providing said services (e.g., having and maintaining an EKG machine) is not changed by the reimbursement rate being fixed. You start off by complaining about the reimbursement rate being fixed and then totally ignore that it's fixed in trying to one-up me with rudimentary econ? Pretty lame.

    Furthermore, you can spout all the doom and gloom you want, but the fact is, most studies and surveys have shown that there is not expected to be some massive exodus of doctors from the Medicare bizz. It is anticipated that some may be in a position to leave it, sure, but it is not in any way expected to be system-breaking, so to speak. And if you know anything about economics, dear, you'd know that these kinds of industry pressures force innovation and create opportunities for those with new ideas. Situations of high demand and low supply generally results in people rushing to fill the demand and finding new ways to do so in a profitable manner. As a result, most of those circumstances are expected to be short-lived.

    March 12, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  7. Tommy G

    OK, let's sum this up:

    1. Sink and Democrats outspent Republicans 4 to 1.
    2. Bill Clinton camapgined for Sink.
    3. Joe Biden campaigned for Sink.
    4. Obama stayed away from Sink (but the smell of Obamacare lingered heavily)
    5. Obama won the district in 2008 & 2012.
    6. Sink won the district when she ran for Governor.

    and after ALL THIS, she still LOST!! Why is that??? Ooops, forgot one....

    7. Sink supported and ran on Obamacare.

    DING, DING, DING!!!! There is the explanation.

    So Democrats, remember what Nancy Pelosi advised...."Embrace the suck". the American people have simply had enough of Obama and Democrat lies, deceit and failure. So by all means, run on Obamacare and double down on those lies. It is working out well for America.

    March 12, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  8. Fair is Fair

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Rudy NYC
    Thanks big guy!
    Interestingly enough I have indeed tried to engage Fair on several occassions on subjects where I have something truthful to contribute and base MY arguments on; however one of two things happens: CNN won't post, or when they do Fair will not engage.
    Like my friend Lynda would say " What is a girl to do?"!
    Sigh...lol!
    -----–
    Ah, yes... the old "CNN wont post". And FYI, Fair doesn't work in a government bailed out industry such as you claim to be. Fair works non-conventional hours in a hospital, so she can't "engage" you at your beckon call. But hey... whatever floats your boat.

    March 12, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    "If you like your plan, you can keep it. Period. If you like your doctor, you can keep him (her). Period."
    ----------------------------
    If you like your party, you can keep it. Period. If you like your nominee, you can keep your Romney. Period.

    FIFY. That was fun. Can we do it again?

    March 12, 2014 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    "Lower participation rate, under a free market model, means fewer providers (supply) versus increased demand (customers), which inevitably leads to increased cost. Learn Economics 101, counselor."

    Haha. Except, as we were just discussing, the "cost," i.e., reimbursement rate, is FIXED. Those in "possession" of the lower "supply" (i.e., the doctors still providing Medicare services) CANNOT jack up their prices in order to milk the demand because of the "rarity" of the service. Moreover, the expense of providing said services (e.g., having and maintaining an EKG machine) is not changed by the reimbursement rate being fixed. You start off by complaining about the reimbursement rate being fixed and then totally ignore that it's fixed in trying to one-up me with rudimentary econ? Pretty lame.

    March 12, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    "If you like your plan, you can keep it. Period. If you like your doctor, you can keep him (her). Period."
    ----------
    If you like your party, you can keep it. Period. If you like your nominee, you can keep your Romney. Period.

    FIFY. That was fun. Can we do it again?
    -------–
    Let's go back to the original post:

    So the wait times may go up. And those with medicare advantage may switch to "regular" medicare or a different medicare advantage provider that is accepted by more (often insurers FORCE their providers into an all or nothing choice... either take all Blue Cross plans including their medicare advantage plan, or none... so they get higher acceptance on their less desirable plans)

    But the price is set by statute. The amount they pay will only go up if lawmakers let it."
    ---–
    If you like your plan, you can keep it. Period. If you like your doctor, you can keep him (her). Period.

    You cherry picker, you.

    March 12, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  12. Malory Archer

    kurt

    "Again, not saying the dems are "doomed" in November. But to deny the result in a purple district which has voted Dem in the past 2 generals, voted Dem in the gubenetorial, and clearly trended Dem over the last several elections has to open the eyes of even the most partisan commentor."

    2008 – GOP won the seat by 20%
    2010 – GOP won the seat by 30%
    2012 – GOP won the seat by 15%
    2014 – GOP wins the seat by 2%

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    It's surprising that Sink did as well as she did when you factor in that the 2014 district isn't the same as it was during the the '08, 10' & '12 elections. The district used to comprise the entire Pinellas County peninsula. However, in 2013 the district was gerrymandered to cut downtown St. Petersburg and southward completely, and toss that area in with District 14, comprised of part of Hillsborough County which includes downtown Tampa. South of downtown St. Pete is comprised of a great many of mittens' "47%", and went for President Obama in '08 & 12 so those guys are no longer in the mix as far as District 13 is concerned.

    Another factor to consider: of the 24 municipalities in Pinellas County, only 12 of them had other issues or candidates on the ballot, and the majority of those municipalities are beach communities that wouldn't vote "D" if their lives depended on it. St. Pete and eleven other municipalities had nothing else on the ballot and turnout was low for those parts of District 13.

    The professional lobbyist turned congressman should have by all accounts done better than a 2% margin, and it'll be interesting to see what happens between now and the November election when he'll again face a Dem candidate. Get ready kids – it's gonna be a long, hot summer! :D

    March 12, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    "As I expected. Tell you what. Pick a topic. Any topic. Debate me. No? Coward."

    When you do things like complaining about Medicare reimbursement rates being reduced under a FIXED PRICE system and then turn around and pretend you're one-upping me with "Economics 101, counselor" by positing that high demand and low supply can result in price increases....you know, despite said PRICE FIXING...then yeah, it's no surprise people don't want to debate you. There is no debating GOPers/Teatrolls. You guys are willing to say anything whatsoever within the narrow context of the immediate argument that you think is convenient to your argument. Obama's a tyrant. Obama's a weakling. Waaaah Medicare reimbursement prices are fixed. Waaaaah, Medicare reimbursement prices are somehow going to magically increase because of low supply and high demand. Facts, evidence, scientific studies, data, historical record...none of it matters to you because you're just out to say whatever it takes to try to support your position and scare or anger people into being mad and frightened of the other position. It's absurd. It's why there is no longer any ability to compromise in Congress. People point at facts and data and historical record and the GOP/Teatrolls answer with nonsense about "nuh uh, Lincoln started the Civil War" or "we need to end school lunch programs or make the kids work for them." It's insane and nobody can or wants to even bother trying to have conversations or debates with you people anymore because you've gone off the frickin deep end, becoming so radicalized and rigid in your insistence that what you believe to be true is true that you just dig in deeper and become more insular and marginalized the more we try.

    March 12, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    Those "Anonymous" were mine, obviously...I had just reset my browser lol

    March 12, 2014 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  15. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Fair: "As I expected. Tell you what. Pick a topic. Any topic. Debate me. No? Coward."

    Is this type of talk really necessary, Fair.

    @ Dominincan mama: "Like my friend Lynda would say " What is a girl to do?"!

    Looks as if we need to start spending our time on GOTV which seems to be lacking ... again. Yes?

    March 12, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  16. Fair is Fair

    Anonymous

    "Lower participation rate, under a free market model, means fewer providers (supply) versus increased demand (customers), which inevitably leads to increased cost. Learn Economics 101, counselor."

    Haha. Except, as we were just discussing, the "cost," i.e., reimbursement rate, is FIXED. Those in "possession" of the lower "supply" (i.e., the doctors still providing Medicare services) CANNOT jack up their prices in order to milk the demand because of the "rarity" of the service. Moreover, the expense of providing said services (e.g., having and maintaining an EKG machine) is not changed by the reimbursement rate being fixed. You start off by complaining about the reimbursement rate being fixed and then totally ignore that it's fixed in trying to one-up me with rudimentary econ? Pretty lame.
    -----–
    Absurd. Medical providers receive sub-market rates for reimbursement under both Meicare and Medicaid, made up by cost shifting to those under private insurers. Get a clue.

    March 12, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "As I recall, they acted the same way during the Clinton years as well,..."

    Hehe, pretty much, altho I would point out the difference in degree. It was pretty bad and ridiculous under Clinton, but they're certifiable this time. They apparently spent a lot of the Dubya years trying to figure out a way to seem more justified and have more political cover for dong things like shutting down the gov't. It didn't work, but the whole Astroturf Frankenstein Teatroll thing was clearly part of that strategery.

    March 12, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  18. tom l

    So the wait times may go up. And those with medicare advantage may switch to "regular" medicare or a different medicare advantage provider that is accepted by more (often insurers FORCE their providers into an all or nothing choice... either take all Blue Cross plans including their medicare advantage plan, or none... so they get higher acceptance on their less desirable plans)

    But the price is set by statute. The amount they pay will only go up if lawmakers let it."
    ===

    Soooooo, longer waits, less choice and beholden to the govt if they want to raise the rates. All this and only one million uninsured have signed up. Oh, and only 25% of the signups are at the age they need them to be to make this work. Oh, and only 5 million signed up instead of 7 million. Oh, and many people were kicked off of their plan. Oh, and many many people have to pay more today. Oh, and lots will pay less but now for the first time in their lives will be getting money from the govt. Only a partisan would look at those and excuse them away. Very similar to the partisans on the right who think Iraq was a success and we're there as liberators. Partisans on both sides can't see things in an unbiased way. Period. (and when I use the word "period" after I have said something, that means I'm done unlike our president who decides to add an "if" years after never using the word "if".)

    March 12, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  19. Fair is Fair

    Sniffit

    Those "Anonymous" were mine, obviously...I had just reset my browser lol
    -------
    Yea, obviously. Your style is unmistaken. So Counselor- are you denying that Medicare & Medicaid reimbursement rates are below that which private insurers are expected to pay? If so, why... and if not, do you deny cost shifting is prevalent?

    March 12, 2014 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  20. Fair is Fair

    Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Fair: "As I expected. Tell you what. Pick a topic. Any topic. Debate me. No? Coward."

    Is this type of talk really necessary, Fair.
    -------
    Only when I'm being channenged indirectly, Lynda.

    March 12, 2014 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Fair wrote:

    Let's go back to the original post:

    If you like your plan, you can keep it. Period. If you like your doctor, you can keep him (her). Period.

    You cherry picker, you.
    ----------------------
    Cherry picker? Didn't I post 100% of your original text? I've lost track of it for the moment. I'm pretty sure I did.

    March 12, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  22. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    Fair wrote:

    Let's go back to the original post:

    If you like your plan, you can keep it. Period. If you like your doctor, you can keep him (her). Period.

    You cherry picker, you.
    --------
    Cherry picker? Didn't I post 100% of your original text? I've lost track of it for the moment. I'm pretty sure I did.
    ------–
    You did... but didn't include the original poster's text to which I responded, thus losing all context. Typical for you.

    March 12, 2014 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  23. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Fair: "Only when I'm being channenged indirectly, Lynda."

    By attacking someone's place of business and what they do for a living, Fair? Shouldn't that be considered heading into spiteful territory?

    March 12, 2014 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  24. Fair is Fair

    Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Fair: "Only when I'm being channenged indirectly, Lynda."

    By attacking someone's place of business and what they do for a living, Fair? Shouldn't that be considered heading into spiteful territory?
    ------
    Nope – not when said person accuses me of unfair debate due to unavailability to do so.

    March 12, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  25. tom l

    "There is no debating GOPers/Teatrolls. You guys are willing to say anything whatsoever within the narrow context of the immediate argument that you think is convenient to your argument.Obama's a tyrant. Obama's a weakling. Waaaah Medicare reimbursement prices are fixed. Waaaaah"
    ====

    Of ALL people to make that statement! The guy who refers to people he doesn't agree with as GOP/Teatrolls. Wowzer. Here are a few of your beauties that are summed up just like this: Repubs are evil. Repubs are racists. Repubs have a war on women. Repubs only care about the rich. See how that works? Both sides do it, big guy.

    As if debating with hardcore liberals such as yourself is any easier. Heck, you still don't think Obama lied with IYLYPYCKI. Pot, meet kettle.

    March 12, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
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