March 11th, 2014
03:08 PM ET
6 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. The Real Tom Paine

    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.
    ****************
    And the GOP has ALWAYS tells the truth. Never lies. Nothing unethical- oops, time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee on my way to hiking the Appalachian trail.

    March 11, 2014 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  2. Malory Archer

    Isn't the media supposed to give equal time to ALL candidates? Yeah, I'm pretty sure you are. So where's the CNN Political Unit's article containing Alex Sink's comments about today's election?

    March 11, 2014 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  3. bcrunner

    I hope Democrats show up to vote. That has been our problem during mid-term elections and the Republicans know it. If this was a national election, Sink would win hands down... We'll see....

    March 11, 2014 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  4. texasnotea

    Republicans think that they can say it's so and it will be so, without accepting the facts. They stand for nothing and are against everything

    March 11, 2014 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  5. rs

    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?
    _____________________
    What "stolen" elections? 63 cases of individual voter fraud in 10 years nationwide. Compare those 63 votes (that affected zero races) to the millions of perfectly legitimate voters the Republicans are culling from voter rolls in their states.
    Who was it asking of Republicans lie?

    March 11, 2014 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  6. Smitty

    The dems response to everything is too blame and divert. They at least should follow one thing thru. Wheres Obumbles job pivot??? This admin is a failure on all fronts.

    March 11, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  7. Jan Nappylotto

    Democrats need to push with offering "free" stuff like food stamps, healthcare, and college tuition. In Florida it is prime territory to offer free stuff to illegal immigrants and offering them amnesty will definitely draw in votes. Thankfully Democrats kill vote ID laws so they can vote too!

    March 11, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. Smitty

    I know it sucks for dems when you picked the worst pres (even worse than carter) and BIGGEST LIAR OF THE YEAR

    March 11, 2014 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    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?
    ---------------
    Once again you're twisting my words, tom. I never said all republicans do is lie. What I said was that the entire "trickle down economic" theory was a lie. The architect of Reaganomics, David Stockton, has called it a trojan horse to hide the fact that what was reall about was cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans. Just because people unkowingly repeat the false narrative doesn't make them a liar, tom. It means that they were unaware of the truth.

    March 11, 2014 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  10. wendel

    democrats need to vote midterm elections. Do you really want the republican circus around ????? Time to take back our country and rebuild our status in the world . The rest of the world thinks we are a bunch of looney tune ted nuggent palin type of idiots who run around like cowboys . Vote these jerks out. They have spent the last 5 years doing nothing anyway. Why are we paying their salaries. ????

    March 11, 2014 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  11. tom l

    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?
    =====
    Tom(s) :) Funny. So I think you should know the answer to your questions, Tom, but I'll put them on the record. Of course the repubs lie and I can freely admit that. But I really don't ever see any liberal on here acknowledging that politicians in their party lie. Heck, Obama clearly lied with regards to the ACA and nobody on here can admit that. I haven't addressed the "all dems lie" because I don't really care about that, to be honest. What galls me is that day after day all I read from liberals on here is how evil repubs are and how much they lie. What can be taken from those statements, since the ones that make those statements are fervent dems, is that they believe that dems are altruistic and don't lie. THEY ALL LIE – BOTH DEM AND REPUB ALIKE. But I have to be honest, the reason I asked that is because what I read from many liberals here is an adoration for their party and a love for dem politicians as if they are as pure as the driven snow. It's just odd to me to see such intense love and trust for their politicians that it just confuses me. I certainly don't find that same sentiment from Fair so I think it's appropriate to add her in to the mix here.

    March 11, 2014 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  12. Malory Archer

    Smitty

    I know it sucks for dems when you picked the worst pres (even worse than carter) and BIGGEST LIAR OF THE YEAR

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

    What are you talking about? The Dems didn't "pick" the previous occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue – the USSC did!

    March 11, 2014 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  13. Norma Vessels

    Even if you don't think the mid-term elections are important, please, go vote. It doesn't take that long .. and it is very important to our prosperity. Congress holds the purse strings, and Congress holds the votes. Consider carefully.

    March 11, 2014 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  14. rs

    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?
    ________________________
    Nope, sorry, I prefer to use "delusional", as in unable to see reality. Now, that may make them de facto liars in much of what they say..... but I'll leave that hair splitting to you. As to your question- it is juvenile.

    March 11, 2014 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  15. rs

    Smitty

    I know it sucks for dems when you picked the worst pres (even worse than carter) and BIGGEST LIAR OF THE YEAR
    ________________________
    Nope, sorry, I never voted for Mr. G.W. Bush, who, btw makes Carter appear among our best and brightest by comparison. Dream much?

    March 11, 2014 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. Ol' Yeller

    Smitty
    "I know it sucks for dems when you picked the worst pres (even worse than carter) and BIGGEST LIAR OF THE YEAR"

    Okay... let's see who hits the campaign trail first to raise money their for their parties future candidates. bush or Obama.... bush has a 7 year head start and haven't seen him campaigning for anyone (not at the conventions, no stump speeches, no 10,000 dollar a plate dinners... .nothing- no one invites him because he is poison.)
    Obama will immediately start raising millions for whoever the front runner is.
    But that's okay, keep spewing your nonsense... you make a new Dem everyday with your vitriol and lies.

    On another point... I cannot believe you all are responding to tom I's questions he comes up with during his bi-daily pity parties.

    March 11, 2014 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  17. Gurgyl

    More than 4.5 million people signed up for Obamacare tells all..... News flash......

    March 11, 2014 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  18. tom l

    rs,
    To be honest, lately you have become so partisan that you have changed from a reasonable person to have an interesting conversation to a long winded Tampa Tim with no real thought in anything you comment about any more. I'd really love to know why my question was juvenile because, to me, there is nothing more juvenile and naïve than to believe that politicians care about the average American.

    March 11, 2014 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. Tampa Tim

    It has to hurt baggers that Obama is ranked in the top 15 best presidents, and W Bush is ranked as one of the worst.

    March 11, 2014 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. rs

    THEY ALL LIE – BOTH DEM AND REPUB ALIKE.
    ________________________
    This is the big discovery? The giant revelation? The philosophical underpinning to your sanctimonious ramblings against all who disagree with you?
    Where have you been? Get a clue, man, they are politicians-of course they lie. Only fools and rubes take them at their word. The differences that matter are who they work for.
    No wonder you marvel at and trumpet something as banal as one of Ms. Palin's occasionally accurate statement.

    March 11, 2014 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  21. Donna

    Norma Vessels
    Even if you don't think the mid-term elections are important, please, go vote. It doesn't take that long .. and it is very important to our prosperity. Congress holds the purse strings, and Congress holds the votes. Consider carefully.
    -–

    But Obama has a phone and a pen and doesn't need Congress for anything so all these Congressional elections are meaningless as we don't have a need for these people anymore as long as Obama declares what is law and how it will change from day to day.

    March 11, 2014 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  22. The Real Tom Paine

    -tom l

    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?
    =====
    Tom(s) Funny. So I think you should know the answer to your questions, Tom, but I'll put them on the record. Of course the repubs lie and I can freely admit that. But I really don't ever see any liberal on here acknowledging that politicians in their party lie. Heck, Obama clearly lied with regards to the ACA and nobody on here can admit that. I haven't addressed the "all dems lie" because I don't really care about that, to be honest. What galls me is that day after day all I read from liberals on here is how evil repubs are and how much they lie. What can be taken from those statements, since the ones that make those statements are fervent dems, is that they believe that dems are altruistic and don't lie. THEY ALL LIE – BOTH DEM AND REPUB ALIKE. But I have to be honest, the reason I asked that is because what I read from many liberals here is an adoration for their party and a love for dem politicians as if they are as pure as the driven snow. It's just odd to me to see such intense love and trust for their politicians that it just confuses me. I certainly don't find that same sentiment from Fair so I think it's appropriate to add her in to the mix here.
    *****************
    tom, if you are asking any partisan on here to have a Perry Mason moment and say that, you will will have to wait a long time. Do I think Obama's lie was one of ommision, rather than deliberate? The answer is yes, the same way I believe Bush lied about WMDs, and many other lies from presidents. If you are looking for some Parson Weems-style model of virtue, even Washington would have disappointed you. Point to anyone who is an ideologue, and you will find someone who will twist the truth and reality to suit their purposes. its a question of whether the lies are ultimately for a greater good or not. Is it right? Probably not, but if you expect perfection from men, you will always be disappointed. Bottom line is that I can live with Obama lying more than a potential domestic politcal opponant because no one else has convinced me he has my interests at heart more than he does. Do I put him on a pedestal? Never, and no one should be on a pedestal, period.

    March 11, 2014 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  23. Al-NY,NY

    rs

    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?
    _____________________
    What "stolen" elections? 63 cases of individual voter fraud in 10 years nationwide. Compare those 63 votes (that affected zero races) to the millions of perfectly legitimate voters the Republicans are culling from voter rolls in their states.
    Who was it asking of Republicans lie?
    --------

    even ONE vote that's irregular to the tightie rightes is "Fraud:" Too bad they dismiss the video that actually shows voter registration workers (in Colorado?) who openly deny democrats a chance to sign up. This issue is a total sham but the mindless sheep will listen to their masters and say "ditto"

    March 11, 2014 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  24. Alex Stink - No More Obamadroids PLEASE

    The LAST thing this country or Florida needs is another far left wing Obamadroid like Sink in the House. Come on Florida, you elected that wife beater Grayson. Haven't you learned your lesson yet when its comes to Democrats? WAKE UP DOWN THERE!

    March 11, 2014 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  25. Warren

    I voted Alex Sink because of this..

    "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 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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