March 11th, 2014
03:08 PM ET
4 months ago

Jolly: 'This is going to be a 50-50 race'

(CNN) – As political observers keep a close eye on the U.S. House special election in Florida, the Republican nominee hoping to keep the district in GOP hands said people shouldn't draw too much from Tuesday night's results.

"This is a local race. There are local issues in this race, it comes down to local representation," David Jolly told CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash.


Outside spending groups, including the Democratic and Republican campaign arms for the House, have spent nearly $9 million on this race, making it the most expensive contest yet of the cycle. The massive spending sum indicates huge interest in the race.

The winner will fill a vacancy left by the late Rep. Bill Young, who was in his 22nd term when he passed away in October. But this race is only to fill the remainder of Young's term. Whoever wins will be up for re-election again in November.

The contest, which falls in a swing district in a swing state, marks the first big race ahead of this year's midterm elections. Both sides are watching carefully to see which messages do well among voters.

Jolly and his allies have been pushing a strong anti-Obamacare campaign, while his opponent, Democrat Alex Sink, is defending the health care law. For her part, she's trying to frame the Republican platform as threatening for Social Security-a message that resonates in a district with large swaths of seniors.

Sink called entitlement programs "an American promise" and said "those programs were put in place for a good reason, and I'm going to fight to protect the integrity of the Social Security and Medicare programs for all of us."

As for any national implications, Jolly told Bash that if anything, "the view of government is being tested, the President's view versus ours."

"But at the end of the day, we know that this is going to be a 50-50 race," he also said. "I think we should all be careful to draw too much from this race."

CNN's Deirdre Walsh and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2014 • Alex Sink • Florida
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House

    Jolly Was a D.C. lobbyist all for trying to privatize Social Security. That alone should cause him the election. Not only did this district vote for the President, Sink won this district when she ran for governor. 50/50 is a hit of a stretch.

    March 11, 2014 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  2. Silence DoGood

    "I think we should all be careful to draw too much from this race."
    Nice try GOP message parrot. They are worried or they won't say that!

    March 11, 2014 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  3. ChrisM

    Jolly is a republican lobbyist., Come on Floridians, the last thing you need in Congress is a lobbyist

    March 11, 2014 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  4. bobo

    How about we worry about JOBS first? Maybe the IRS? I mean why is Lois Learner taking the 5th? Is she guilty of targeting Conservative groups? Who is she covering for??? How can Obama say there isn't a "smidgen" of corruption when there are still investigations going on???

    March 11, 2014 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    --even in Florida Republicans lose like a hell this time. Florida knows GOP cuts.

    March 11, 2014 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  6. Malory Archer

    If jolly said that, it must mean Sink is leading.

    March 11, 2014 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  7. Ol' Yeller

    Well we can only hope it isn't 50-50. We all know what happens to ties or close elections in Florida. The republicants all of the sudden abandons their 'state's rights' support which is their mantra in every other issue on every other day... and they turn to.... you got it, Trial Lawyers, who on every other issue on every other day they paint as the devil incarnate. I'm sure republicant operatives are already in place to try to squirrel this process as Jolly sounds a little scared with his, "I think we should all be careful to draw too much from this race." statement.

    March 11, 2014 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    All that you have to do is show those seniors in her district what the Ryan Budget wants to do to Social Security and Medicare, and tthen it's a wrap. I don't think seniors want to get involved with vouchers and what nots.

    March 11, 2014 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  9. rs

    Jolly is right in the big picture. This is an election good only to November and the money spent on it is insane. Saying that however, this election may indicate how well the GOP's anti-Health care campaign will resonate with voters.

    March 11, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  10. smith

    Money and fear to get the votes. Got a couple of real winners in this race.

    March 11, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    -tom l

    Rudy and Company keeps saying that all repubs do is lie. My question is this: do all of you that agree with that sentent believe that dems don't lie? Do you feel that they are honest?

    ***************
    That would be a resounding " NO" since we are all human. However it begs the question, have you asked that same question to the GOP side? Do you think they are all dead honest, as pure as the driven snow? Many of your fellow travelers have made statement like " All Dems lie" , " All libs lie": have you asked them if they think their side is perfect, and walks on water?

    March 11, 2014 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. Al-NY,NY

    bobo

    How about we worry about JOBS first? Maybe the IRS? I mean why is Lois Learner taking the 5th? Is she guilty of targeting Conservative groups? Who is she covering for??? How can Obama say there isn't a "smidgen" of corruption when there are still investigations going on???
    --------–

    Bridget Kelly is doing the same thing in the GWB investigation for fatty the gov. She and the other guy are invoking their 5th amendment rights. Are they covering a "smidgeon"? for the BBQ Gov?

    March 11, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  13. Tommy G

    It is in these close elections that the Democrats use their fraudulent voters to steal the election from legitimate American citizens that vote only once. Why do you think they fight so hard to undermine the integrity of elections?

    March 11, 2014 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  14. Rusty Krus

    @Chris-E...al
    No one wants war! BUT iran thinks that if they make the war world 3. that a maddi devil comes out of the well and gives them life .They want the bomb an are moments away d0 you want them have it ! Talks want work ! We could have done away with that worry with conventional warfair ! n0w you get a nuke show and it want be free. I hate war but you cant lay down an die can we? can we? Iran seldom has terror in their land eve wonder why? they make it ! everbod hates war allm0st . thx

    Why do you post here? Nobody has a clue about what you are trying to say. Have you had a lobotomy?

    March 11, 2014 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  15. Thomas

    Why dose the conservative republican party think the way they do , Drugs ?

    Prescribed medication is the way of the future , support big Pharmaceutical and elect Rick Scott as Drug Czar !

    March 11, 2014 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    smith - Money and fear to get the votes.
    -–

    It is all the Democrats have... And don't forget lies, lots and lots of lies, just like Obamacare.

    March 11, 2014 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  17. Fair is Fair

    It's all about the turnout...

    March 11, 2014 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    -Tommy G

    It is in these close elections that the Democrats use their fraudulent voters to steal the election from legitimate American citizens that vote only once. Why do you think they fight so hard to undermine the integrity of elections?
    ****************
    My god, he's found our secret weapon-call off the illegals!

    March 11, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  19. Malory Archer

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House

    Jolly Was a D.C. lobbyist all for trying to privatize Social Security. That alone should cause him the election. Not only did this district vote for the President, Sink won this district when she ran for governor. 50/50 is a hit of a stretch.

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

    However, the district has been gerrymandered since then with the southeastern portion of St. Petersburg being chunked off of Pinellas County and parceled in with District 14, Hillsborough County's I-75 corridor and Tampa! In fact, the ONLY way to get to the rest of District 14 is to drive THROUGH District 13 and cross Tampa Bay!

    March 11, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  20. Fair is Fair

    The Real Tom Paine

    -tom l

    Rudy and Company keeps saying that all repubs do is lie. My question is this: do all of you that agree with that sentent believe that dems don't lie? Do you feel that they are honest?

    ***************
    That would be a resounding " NO" since we are all human. However it begs the question, have you asked that same question to the GOP side? Do you think they are all dead honest, as pure as the driven snow? Many of your fellow travelers have made statement like " All Dems lie" , " All libs lie": have you asked them if they think their side is perfect, and walks on water?
    -------
    How about we say this, Tom(s)... ALL politicians lie, and those that follow them lie by osmosis. Deal?

    March 11, 2014 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  21. Malory Archer

    bobo

    How about we worry about JOBS first? Maybe the IRS? I mean why is Lois Learner taking the 5th? Is she guilty of targeting Conservative groups?

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

    If she IS guilty of "targeting conservative groups", how is it possible that only liberal groups were denied tax exempt status?

    March 11, 2014 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    bobo

    How about we worry about JOBS first?
    -------------------------–
    Psst. It's your guy who wants to make it all about Obamacare.

    "Jolly and his allies have been pushing a strong anti-Obamacare campaign, while his opponent, Democrat Alex Sink, is defending the health care law."

    March 11, 2014 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  23. The Real Tom Paine

    -bobo

    How about we worry about JOBS first? Maybe the IRS? I mean why is Lois Learner taking the 5th? Is she guilty of targeting Conservative groups? Who is she covering for??? How can Obama say there isn't a "smidgen" of corruption when there are still investigations going on???
    **********************
    The GOP House forgot about jobs the second they waltzed into the chamber in Janualry 2011, and the investigations are not about the truth, they are about power. lernere is no fool, she knows Issa will slam her in jail if she does not deliver exactly what he wants.

    March 11, 2014 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  24. Malory Archer

    Anonymous

    smith – Money and fear to get the votes.
    -–

    It is all the Democrats have... And don't forget lies, lots and lots of lies, just like Obamacare.

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

    If you like your crappy plan, you can keep paying conglomo, inc. ridiculous sums of $$$ to keep your crappy plan.

    March 11, 2014 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  25. The Real Tom Paine

    -Fair is Fair

    The Real Tom Paine

    -tom l

    Rudy and Company keeps saying that all repubs do is lie. My question is this: do all of you that agree with that sentent believe that dems don't lie? Do you feel that they are honest?

    ***************
    That would be a resounding " NO" since we are all human. However it begs the question, have you asked that same question to the GOP side? Do you think they are all dead honest, as pure as the driven snow? Many of your fellow travelers have made statement like " All Dems lie" , " All libs lie": have you asked them if they think their side is perfect, and walks on water?
    ---
    How about we say this, Tom(s)... ALL politicians lie, and those that follow them lie by osmosis. Deal?
    ****************************
    I believe that is what I was saying...and yes, deal.

    March 11, 2014 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
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