Scarborough: FL-13 upset shows 2014 will be “historic” Dem loss

posted at 8:41 am on March 12, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Just how much of a bellwether was the special election in FL-13? If there’s one solid prediction to make in a special election, it’s that the winning side will call it a bellwether and the losing side will insist it’s not. In this case, though, denial will be difficult to support from Democrats, who poured $5.4 million into Alex Sink’s campaign, only to see her lose to David Jolly, a candidate the broad consensus called “flawed.” Jolly ran against ObamaCare more than Sink, though, while Sink got forced into defending it — and that’s why Joe Scarborough declared the race a harbinger of a “historic” midterm defeat for Democrats:

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“History shows Obamacare sunk Democrats in 2010,” Scarborough said. “I think we may have something historic here happening, where you have one act actually causing grave damage to a political party two midterms in a row.”

“I personally believe Alex Sink’s consultants, that had her stand in front of the camera that said ‘fix the Affordable Care Act,’ I think that’s a horrible mistake,” Scarborough continued. “You don’t fight on enemy terrain. She tried to fight on enemy terrain, defending this act that no Democrat has tried to defend over the last four years. They just don’t do it because you can’t do it on the campaign trail, unless you like losing.”

The problem for Democrats will be that ObamaCare literally impacts everyone, and overwhelmingly in bad ways — by making insurance and health care more expensive, and doctors less willing to take new patients. That’s not true of the issues that Democrats would rather discuss than ObamaCare; even income inequality, the big theme of Democrats since the State of the Union speech, is aimed at benefiting a small percentage of the population. Plus, ObamaCare was literally the Democratic effort on supposed health-care inequality, so it’s not really changing the subject at all. They have little choice but to fight on “enemy terrain,” and even a big money advantage won’t help.

Politico’s Alex Isenstadt called FL-13 a “big blow” to the midterm hopes of Democrats:

Florida’s 13th District is, in many ways, the archetype of the kind of seat Democrats need to win if they’re serious about erasing their 17-seat House deficit anytime soon. Its electorate is older, overwhelmingly white, and politically moderate — in other words, the kind of people who dominate many of the swing congressional districts across the country.

In fact, the district should have been one of the Democratic Party’s most winnable targets. Of the 37 GOP-held seats that the Cook Political Report ranks as the most vulnerable to Democratic takeover, only 11 are more Democratic-friendly than Florida’s 13th. The district has just a narrow GOP registration edge.

“If the Democrats can’t win with their former gubernatorial candidate with 100 percent name ID, where are they going to win?” asked Guy Harrison, a former National Republican Congressional Committee executive director. “When the Democrats look at their playing field, they don’t have too many better seats to target. They don’t have too much of a prayer for winning the majority.”

Some Democrats viewed the race as a template for how the party could win in purple-hued districts. Over the past two months, Sink rolled out an elaborate plan to win over the GOP and independent voters she’d need to take the district, airing ads in which she promised to “work across the aisle. … Bringing Republicans and Democrats together — that’s what I’ve always done, and that’s what I’ll do in Congress.”

But Jolly’s win shows just how politically treacherous the path is for Democrats running in such moderate-to-conservative areas. Rather than moving to the center, Jolly pushed to the right, painting himself as a foe of President Barack Obama and his Affordable Care Act — and presenting Sink as a staunch ally.

“She supports Obamacare. I don’t. I’m David Jolly, and I approve this message because [we] need someone to look out for our interests, not President Obama’s,” he said in one TV ad.

In the face of those kinds of attacks, Sink’s can’t-we-all-just-get-along message just didn’t cut it.

Republicans should take care not to read too much into this, either. Sink only underperformed Barack Obama’s 2012 margin by five points in the district, and turnout models in special elections are much different than those in regular elections. Still, Democrats had the matchup they wanted with Sink against a former lobbyist and Beltway insider, won the cash fight by almost a million dollars — and still lost by almost two points in a three-way race. That may not mean everything or be a perfect predictor of what will come in November, but it’s not meaningless, either.


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Sorry for the horrific pun, but I can’t help myself.

The Democrats poured $5.4 million into that sinkhole of a campaign.

PJ Emeritus on March 12, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Cindy Munford on March 12, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Very kind of you.

ElectricPhase on March 12, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Rather than moving to the center, Jolly pushed to the right,

And he won?! Impossible. I was told that you always have to run as a moderate to win.

topdawg on March 12, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Forget Scarbo. Let’s ask the DWSinator – she’s usually spot-on.

Marcola on March 12, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Over the past two months, Sink rolled out an elaborate plan to win over the GOP and independent voters she’d need to take the district, airing ads in which she promised to “work across the aisle. … Bringing Republicans and Democrats together — that’s what I’ve always done, and that’s what I’ll do in Congress.”

But she couldn’t explain how a newly elected freshman congressmen can do anything but sit down and shut up and do her parties bidding. She campaigned like she was running for a 10th term and a lot of voters found that laughable.

meci on March 12, 2014 at 12:27 PM

This particular election reminds me of two things:

1) all politics is local. Money may buy a national election, but not a local one, where people feel things directly and have a focus on, and listen to, their representative…and,

2) for Progressive Liberals, the “trust me, we can all get along” plea has been poisoned and made useless, courtesy of President “You can keep your health plan, period” Obama and, to a lesser extent, Harry “all of the horror stories about health care are lies” Reid.

Most of us never trusted Politicians anyway, but Mr. Obama’s blatent lies have poisoned the Democrat well for many voters. Only the Kool-aid drinkers remain on the reservation.

TKPedersen42 on March 12, 2014 at 12:30 PM

The Democrats poured $5.4 million into that sinkhole of a campaign.

PJ Emeritus on March 12, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Rush said that $9 mil was spent by outside sources on negative ads against David Jolly!! Wow & he still won!!

bluefox on March 12, 2014 at 12:34 PM

And so, per usual, Politico shows us the Dem strategy…because they’re a part of it.

“She supports Obamacare. I don’t. I’m David Jolly, and I approve this message because [we] need someone to look out for our interests, not President Obama’s,” he said in one TV ad.

In the face of those kinds of attacks, Sink’s can’t-we-all-just-get-along message just didn’t cut it.

“Those kinds of ATTACKS“?

And there you have it. The GOP candidate will state an obvious fact and the media, because Lord Obama’s name is used, will call it an attack. And probably racist, too.

Same as it ever was…

Kenz on March 12, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Obama carried the district in 2008 and 2012 and I believe Sink carried it over Scott as well.

gophergirl

And republicans still won the seat both times, and in 2010 as well.

I’m happy for the win, but it doesn’t really say anything. Republicans have held the seat for 40 years, no matter who has carried the district in the presidential/governor elections. Trying to make it into some indictment of Obama is a stretch. If anything, the district is bi-polar, lol.

xblade on March 12, 2014 at 12:53 PM

And there you have it. The GOP candidate will state an obvious fact and the media, because Lord Obama’s name is used, will call it an attack. And probably racist, too.

Same as it ever was…

Kenz

And according to a couple of folks on a different thread, we shouldn’t state facts because the media will turn them into a negative.

xblade on March 12, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Jolly also said he was against amnesty and Sink was all for it. Jolly ran on getting rid of Obamacare, Sink wanted to simply fix it. Will the GOP leadership pay attention to this? Nope.

Jack_Burton on March 12, 2014 at 12:56 PM

No, I’m just wondering where all the old hands have gone off to, like RushBaby and Spirit of 1776.

Bishop on March 12, 2014 at 9:29 AM

I was just thinking that the other day…Tony737, Estier, Entelechy, and many more. CCipher recently made some appearances.

And btw…if you leave HA I will still find you :P

JetBoy on March 12, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Dumb blondes are boycotting The Morning Joe. They find Mika demeaning.

bw222 on March 12, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Heh! I thought Charlie Crist’s whole-hearted endorsement of Obamacare last week was tin-eared. Now he needs to pull off a logic-mangling flip-flop so that he can be for it before he is against it.

obladioblada on March 12, 2014 at 1:05 PM

The real story is that Sink, with better name recognition, the experience edge, and more money, managed to under-perform her own 2010 gubernatorial race in the same precincts (the district is somewhat changed) by nearly 6%.

The Democrats don’t have a stable of better candidates and the states where they are defending Senate seats are for the most part less favorable ground for them than Florida-13.

The big problem for Democrats running now is there is literally nothing to which they can point as an Obama achievement. There is no area in which he has improved American life or prospects at home or abroad.

Worst President EVER.

Adjoran on March 12, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Underperforming the last election’s results by 5% is a big deal in modern politics, sorry.

deepelemblues on March 12, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Jolly won because War on Wimmins and Tea Party disinformation.
And global warming.

orangemtl on March 12, 2014 at 1:52 PM

The big problem for Democrats running now is there is literally nothing to which they can point as an Obama achievement. There is no area in which he has improved American life or prospects at home or abroad.

Worst President EVER.

Adjoran on March 12, 2014 at 1:22 PM

And yet Obama won re-election during the worst double-dip recession since the depression with the highest unemployment numbers in the last 50 years, both of which HE caused. Amerika truly is the land of stupid.

earlgrey on March 12, 2014 at 2:04 PM

I am proud to say that I have not watched Morning Joe since October 2012.

djl130 on March 12, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Republicans should take care not to read too much into this, either.

No, but they do need to learn what they can out of this special election.

The main takeaway is that Jolly didn’t get much love from the establishment GOP – because he didn’t run an establishment GOP campaign. He appealed to the GOP conservative base. He ran a campaign that was far more based on Ted Cruz than of Mitch McConnell or John Boehner. He ran against amnesty being part of ‘immigration reform’ as well as against Obamacare.

So as bad as this portends for the Democrats in November, it also does not reflect well on the ‘go along to get along’ Vichy Republicans.

Athos on March 12, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Compare this Scarborough with Scarborough from a year ago:

http://hotair.com/archives/2013/04/24/scarborough-republicans-are-going-to-lose-in-a-big-big-way-because-of-their-gun-votes/

Hahahaha, in your face Joey you commie @#$%!

Alberta_Patriot on March 12, 2014 at 2:34 PM

The big problem for Democrats running now is there is literally nothing to which they can point as an Obama achievement.

Adjoran on March 12, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Besides the booming russian real estate sector.

Alberta_Patriot on March 12, 2014 at 2:36 PM

The problem for Democrats will be that ObamaCare literally impacts everyone, and overwhelmingly in bad ways — by making insurance and health care more expensive, and doctors less willing to take new patients.

I personally believe the problem started with the effects of the Obamacare implementation. Don’t forget, there were still a lot of people singing its praises right up until it was implemented.

But what is most damaging and will stick with people over the long term is this: almost all of the so-called “benefits” that Democrats touted are being proved demonstrably false.

To make matters even worse, comments that Republicans made regarding the destructive impact are being proven demonstrably true. A point Republicans, as usual, don’t make enough.

Lastly, Democrats rammed this through in a manner which was not only undemocratic and against popular will of the electorate, but many clearly they did not understand the impact.

Appropriately there is no political cover and this is rightly exposing the autocratic, extreme partisan impulses of Democrats. They can’t be trusted to vote with their constituents. When push comes to shove voters are dispensable and Democrats voting records show it.

Add to this some of the Democrats dumb comments on how what they’ve done is “improving the economy”, which voters see first hand is demonstrably false, and you have the perfect storm of mistrust, mendacity, incompetence and despotism. It is neatly wrapped in one package that even the most politically uninterested person can see.

Marcus Traianus on March 12, 2014 at 2:40 PM

History shows Obamacare sunk Democrats in 2010

Then why the f***! didn’t it sink Obama in 2012 ???!!!

Tomolena1 on March 12, 2014 at 2:46 PM

“She supports Obamacare. I don’t. I’m David Jolly, and I approve this message because [we] need someone to look out for our interests, not President Obama’s,” he said in one TV ad.

This sort of thing is the generic R ad in this cycle. Stick Obamacare to every D running for office: make them explicitly say they will not support Obamacare and will vote to repeal it, and keep on pushing to repeal it. That is the party splitter on the D side. Choose Obama and Obamacare or fight against them.

Any R that is NOT running this sort of ad has had their brains slosh out of their ears.

ajacksonian on March 12, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Compare this Scarborough with Scarborough from a year ago:

http://hotair.com/archives/2013/04/24/scarborough-republicans-are-going-to-lose-in-a-big-big-way-because-of-their-gun-votes/

Hahahaha, in your face Joey you commie @#$%!

Alberta_Patriot on March 12, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Joe has been singing a different tune lately. I think he is auditioning for Scott Walker’s VP.

monalisa on March 12, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Joe has been singing a different tune lately. I think he is auditioning for Scott Walker’s VP.

monalisa on March 12, 2014 at 3:08 PM

5 letters on his resume utterly disqualify him…. MSNBC

But if that’s the case (hoping for a VP slot), it’s clear that he’s as delusional as the rest of the reprobates on that network.

Athos on March 12, 2014 at 3:16 PM

Obama carried the district in 2008 and 2012 and I believe Sink carried it over Scott as well.

gophergirl

And republicans still won the seat both times, and in 2010 as well.

I’m happy for the win, but it doesn’t really say anything. Republicans have held the seat for 40 years, no matter who has carried the district in the presidential/governor elections. Trying to make it into some indictment of Obama is a stretch. If anything, the district is bi-polar, lol.

xblade on March 12, 2014 at 12:53 PM

From last night’s FL-13 thread:

Just a sampling of headlines from the past week:

Slate: Welcome to Obamacare’s Ground Zero
MSNBC: FL special election tests midterm strategies for both parties
TIME: Florida Special Previews Democrats’ 2014 Play for Women
NYT: Florida Election a Crash Course for Midterm Races
HuffPo: Dems, GOP test fall strategy in Florida House race
CNN: National parties test their pitches in Florida’s 13th District special
PBS: Parties look to Florida special election for clues to November
Kaiser Healtchare: Florida Could Be Bellwether State For Obamacare Election Strategies

Of course, they’ll all be changing their tunes now that the icky Republican has won.

steebo77 on March 11, 2014 at 9:23 PM

slickwillie2001 on March 12, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Other than the inevitable Politico anonymous sources, this is pretty interesting. Considering the outcome.

Cindy Munford on March 12, 2014 at 3:41 PM

This is not a comment on the article per se, but an observation about the Google ads running on the page– whenever you run an article on the debacle known as Obamacare, Google encourages us to sign up! The ad for this article tells us that we can Get a good low-cost health plan today.” from the NY Health Exchange. LOL.

You might want to tweak the advertising algorithm a bit. Show us an ad related to bullets, beans, and band-aids or something. You know, something that your audience might actually want to buy.

conservablogger on March 12, 2014 at 3:53 PM

The thing about it is, the devastating effects of Obamacare weren’t felt until AFTER the 2012 elections (by design, of course). NOW, the bloom is off the rose and people are starting to wake up to the reality of the utter chaos and devastating destruction of this bill in their personal lives.

I pray that yesterday’s Florida-13 election is a harbinger of the upcoming mid-term elections nationwide. I hope the Democrats get beaten so badly that the Republican landsline in 2010 will pale in comparison to what will happen this November.

Bob Davis on March 12, 2014 at 4:49 PM

Onward to the mid-term elections! Let’s prove Joe right with a historic level of Democrat losses in 2014!

Here is a handy list of the dates for upcoming Primary elections:

2014 CONGRESSIONAL PRIMARY ELECTION DATES
AND CANDIDATE FILING DEADLINES FOR BALLOT ACCESS
(Data as of 2/21/2014)

http://www.fec.gov/pubrec/fe2014/2014pdates.pdf

The next Primaries are:

March

wren on March 12, 2014 at 5:01 PM

And why should I care what Scarborough has to say?

KBird on March 12, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Oops, I must have hit submit by mistake.

The next Primary Elections are:

March 18 – Illinois

April 1 – Washington D.C.

May 6 – Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio

May 13 – Nebraska, West Virginia

May 20 – Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Oregon, Pennsylvania

http://www.fec.gov/pubrec/fe2014/2014pdates.pdf

Pick your favorite candidates, roll up your sleeves, get to work on the campaigns of your choice!

Clean the House and the Senate in 2014!

wren on March 12, 2014 at 5:06 PM

I’m happy for the win, but it doesn’t really say anything. Republicans have held the seat for 40 years, no matter who has carried the district in the presidential/governor elections. Trying to make it into some indictment of Obama is a stretch. If anything, the district is bi-polar, lol.

xblade on March 12, 2014 at 12:53 PM

But that’s just it – it isn’t the same district. It has the same number, but it was redrawn in 2012 to include more purple areas. So while “GOP has held it for 40 years” is technically true, this was the first open election (after the many-term incumbent died) to take place in the newly-more-purple redistricted version of FL-13.

That’s why Dems thought they could take it.

Missy on March 12, 2014 at 5:43 PM

I suspect the election result explains all the phone calls I’ve had this evening from RNSC, RNCC, etc. There’s blood in the water.

COgirl on March 12, 2014 at 8:47 PM

So now the Dems are going to focus on Climate Change. That’s a real winner that everyone seems to care about, especially after this bitterly cold winter and the climate models being invalidated year after year by the actual climate.

Democrats, please ignore this post, and keep on doing those all-night talk sessions that nobody listens to. Conservatives genuinely do appreciate your efforts, and we are confident they will yield great results!

Those results of course, are Republican control of both houses of Congress starting in 2015.

s1im on March 12, 2014 at 9:10 PM

My friend winters in Pinelles Cty. Bottom line, Jolly won b/c he was polite but played hard ball – no wussing around. He made sure everyone knew how many people in his district had lost their health insurance. And then the mantra, Obamacare, Obamacare, Obamacare – No, No, NO – Repeal, Repeal, Repeal.

Kind of simple when you think about it.

MN J on March 12, 2014 at 9:55 PM

He almost got Ross Perot-ed…….
A little more LOFO turnout and the ex- BANKER carpetbagger may have finally won her government Pension she has been chasing after…..and of course the St. Petersburg Pravda Times completely ignored her racist comment about needing immigration “reform” so we can have all the Juan’s and Juanita’s we need for gardeners and maids.
Another limousine Liberal……
Pathetic.

FlaMurph on March 12, 2014 at 11:31 PM

History shows Obamacare sunk Democrats in 2010

Then why the f***! didn’t it sink Obama in 2012 ???!!!

Tomolena1 on March 12, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Maybe because we ran the guy who brought Mass. Romneycare.

jpmn on March 13, 2014 at 4:30 AM

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