NYT: Sink loss “devastating” for Democrats, was driven by ObamaCare

posted at 10:11 pm on March 13, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham

Surely this settles the spin war. It’s nice to occasionally see these guys on the opposite side of from Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in such a battle:

CLEARWATER, Fla. — For Democrats hoping to claim a prized House seat in a swing district, Alex Sink seemed a shining candidate: a moderate, business-minded banker and former candidate for governor with ample experience in running a big race and raising money for it.

But in the end, Tuesday’s special election showed that her campaign could not outrun the tsunami of advertisements tying her to President Obama’s health care law. And, just as important, Ms. Sink was unable to step out of Mr. Obama’s shadow. Although he won twice in Pinellas County, where Tuesday’s vote took place, his approval ratings in Florida were a liability this year.

Ms. Sink, 65, lost by 1.9 percentage points to the Republican, David Jolly, 41, a lobbyist whose former boss Representative C. W. Bill Young held the seat for four decades until he died in October.

The defeat was devastating at a time when Democrats are desperate to change the prevailing story line that 2014 could cost them the Senate, with the House already out of reach.

Tuesday’s special election underscored three persistent themes likely to play out around the country: Republicans are more motivated than Democrats, attacks on the unpopular health care law will dominate many races, and the limitless flood of outside money can easily transform local races into national ones.

Maybe it was the White House freaking out on Monday that tipped them off:

As early as Monday, the White House political director, David Simas, expressed anxiety about the race, phoning reporters to pre-emptively play down the health law as a factor, something that Democratic leaders continued to do on Wednesday.


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4 or 5,000 votes difference is still too close.

Lanceman on March 13, 2014 at 10:14 PM

I don’t know if I’d call it a tsunami but she clearly lost because of Obamacare. It was enough to tip the election the other way.

crankyoldlady on March 13, 2014 at 10:16 PM

I still cannot figure out how people can vote for ugly. Unless the constituency is ugly. But even ugly people don’t wanna be around more ugly. Even drunks don’t like being around other drunks.

Lanceman on March 13, 2014 at 10:17 PM

4 or 5,000 votes difference is still too close.

see franken, al

newrouter on March 13, 2014 at 10:18 PM

4 or 5,000 votes difference is still too close.

Lanceman on March 13, 2014 at 10:14 PM

Run it without the “Libertarian” and see what happens. I’d bet we’re going to see a lot of three party races this tie around – libertarians with suddenly deep pockets.

oldroy on March 13, 2014 at 10:18 PM

It’s going to be a bad cycle for Democrats no matter what they do. Kind of like 2006 was for the GOP. Libs can fight and thrash and spin, but it’s like swimming against a rip tide. No matter what you do, you’re getting pulled out to sea regardless. The only difference is that you’re exhausted when the shark eats you.

Democrats should sit back, relax, let whatever happens in November happen, then plan for 2016.

will77jeff on March 13, 2014 at 10:20 PM

see franken, al

newrouter on March 13, 2014 at 10:18 PM

That election was stolen. See Gregoire, Christine.

oldroy on March 13, 2014 at 10:18 PM

OK, basically what I’m trying to say, that in a turnout of about 170,000, 80,000 is still too much fvckin’ stupid running around loose.

Lanceman on March 13, 2014 at 10:21 PM

OK, basically what I’m trying to say, that in a turnout of about 170,000, 80,000 is still too much fvckin’ stupid running around loose.

Lanceman on March 13, 2014 at 10:21 PM

Yeah. We don’t need a poll tax. We need a poll test.

oldroy on March 13, 2014 at 10:22 PM

oldroy on March 13, 2014 at 10:18 PM

And some of them will be dumb enough to think they are doing a good thing.

cozmo on March 13, 2014 at 10:23 PM

Poll test Q1: Is the New York Times a leftist organization?

oldroy on March 13, 2014 at 10:23 PM

How, exactly, is Sink a “moderate”?

Serious question. I looked briefly at her campaign website, which has an “issues” page that says approximately nothing about her positions on actual issues that people care about. From the rest of the site, I gleaned that she is pro-abortion and she hates conservatism (thinks it is “extreme”). That’s about it.

yaedon on March 13, 2014 at 10:24 PM

How, exactly, is Sink a “moderate”?

….

yaedon on March 13, 2014 at 10:24 PM

Well. Compared to the New York Times….

oldroy on March 13, 2014 at 10:25 PM

Run it without the “Libertarian” and see what happens. I’d bet we’re going to see a lot of three party races this tie around – libertarians with suddenly deep pockets.

oldroy on March 13, 2014 at 10:18 PM

Yep. I’ve been thinking this, too.

yaedon on March 13, 2014 at 10:25 PM

Oh my, did al NYT miss today’s JournoList conference call? The message was to ignore FL-13.

slickwillie2001 on March 13, 2014 at 10:26 PM

Yeah. We don’t need a poll tax. We need a poll test.

oldroy on March 13, 2014 at 10:22 PM

No, we need state legislatures to curtail these non-existant voting ‘rights’, which is within their purview. No more parasites.

Lanceman on March 13, 2014 at 10:26 PM

Lean forward, and grab onto something stable, Democrats.
This won’t be over quickly.
And you won’t enjoy it.

Pull your own pants up and drive yourself home afterwards, won’t you? Thanks.

orangemtl on March 13, 2014 at 10:27 PM

“that her campaign could not outrun the tsunami of advertisements…”

It’s the ads, not the unpopularity of the bill! Koch Brothers! The evil monied interests!

Nevermind that Sink hugely outspent Jolly.

The fuc*ing NY Times never changes.

rrpjr on March 13, 2014 at 10:28 PM

No, we need state legislatures to curtail these non-existant voting ‘rights’, which is within their purview. No more parasites.

Lanceman on March 13, 2014 at 10:26 PM

You mean voter ID? And no sign up then sign in and vote?

oldroy on March 13, 2014 at 10:28 PM

Agree with what is posted above, many Libertarian candidates will emerge to siphon off votes for Republicans…that said, maybe this will backfire and siphon off Millennial votes from D’s…one can hope…

Entrephil on March 13, 2014 at 10:29 PM

You mean voter ID? And no sign up then sign in and vote?

oldroy on March 13, 2014 at 10:28 PM

No, I mean restrict voting to net tax payers.

Goes without saying they already have a picture ID.

Lanceman on March 13, 2014 at 10:30 PM

Republicans are more motivated than Democrats, attacks on the unpopular health care law will dominate many races, and the limitless flood of outside money can easily transform local races into national ones.

HellOOOOOOOO Captain Obvious!

dominigan on March 13, 2014 at 10:30 PM

Poll test Q1: Is the New York Times a leftist organization?

oldroy on March 13, 2014 at 10:23 PM

Actual Q1: Please list the state in which you reside, the Congressional District in which you reside, the name of your district’s current Congresspersoncritter, and the names of both of the current Senators from this state.

This would probably eliminate a huge swath of LIVs.

yaedon on March 13, 2014 at 10:32 PM

So when you pass an unmanageable law against the will of the majority of the citizenry then rub their noses in it you may perhaps face a bit of backlash.

Grunt on March 13, 2014 at 10:32 PM

Where is QOTD?

OmahaConservative on March 13, 2014 at 10:34 PM

You wanted ObamaCare, Democrats. YOU OWN IT! Now ENJOY IT!

GarandFan on March 13, 2014 at 10:35 PM

OmahaConservative on March 13, 2014 at 10:34 PM

We’re busy, leave us alone.

cozmo on March 13, 2014 at 10:35 PM

4 or 5,000 votes difference is still too close.

Lanceman on March 13, 2014 at 10:14 PM

Not in a purplish district in a special election with low turnout, and with a third-party libertarian syphoning a lot of conservative votes from the R candidate, not to mention that it’s a district that went for Obama in the last two presidential elections. This is why the Ds have their panties in a wad over this election, as well they should, and why there was no mention at all on Jolly’s win by ABC, CBS, and NBC.

Then again, if I were running the show, there would be at least 4-5K votes that could be “found” at the last minute in every single race this fall, maybe 40-50K in the Senate races. Fight fire with fire.

TXUS on March 13, 2014 at 10:35 PM

If it is true that Obamacare is what will propel the GOP this election cycle (and I think it is the only thing that can since the R’s can’t find their own a$$ with both hands), it would seem that the D’s are making a big mistake by continually kicking this can down the road. It just seems unlikely to get any more popular; if not, they will be bludgeoned with it again and again…Maybe they think the longer it is around, the more people will get used to it, but I imagine the worst is yet to come for a larger swath of the country (think group plan participants), which suggests the opposite…

Entrephil on March 13, 2014 at 10:36 PM

Isn’t bluegill going to drop in and bash MKH for something about this post?

oldroy on March 13, 2014 at 10:36 PM

Tuesday’s special election underscored three persistent themes likely to play out around the country:

1) Republicans are more motivated than Democrats,

2) attacks on the unpopular health care law will dominate many races, and

3)
the limitless flood of outside money can easily transform local races into national ones.

.
Interesting this thread isn’t drawing more comments. IAC, unspinning the NYT spin by the numbers:

1) Pissed off people are more motivated than L.I.V’s – kind of a fatal flaw in the “L.I.V. majority” concept is the long established fact that once low expectations voters are satisfied it’s nearly impossible to keep them turning out at the polls – they KNOW Zero’s got their back for almost three years still, time to chill.

2) If you are running against an incumbent Democrat, this election cycle SHOULD be the equivalent of “clubbing baby seals” – Obamacare is the overall apocalypse but after Sink there will be damn few D’s trying to defend it … so you punch them with economic stagnation and loss of the American Dream; when the try to counter that blow hit them with supporting a hypocritical President who has more than TRIPLED the levels of surveillance under Bush. The list should be endless and the answers, questions and ZINGERS prepped long in advance.

3) The “limitless money” is on the Democrats’ side – and it is time to beat them to death with the “kickbacks from the TBTF” and the public employee unions. Ask the Democratic incumbent WHY government service pays so MUCH better than private industry? Why are bonuses being paid to HHS executives involved in the largest public debacle of ALL time?

The “red meat” is ALL on the side of the folks who chose to run AGAINST the Democrats … presuming they have the stones to use it and DON’T have K Street consultants telling them to be “moderate in all things”.

PolAgnostic on March 13, 2014 at 10:36 PM

“Embrace the suck”.

SouthernGent on March 13, 2014 at 10:38 PM

Where is QOTD?

OmahaConservative on March 13, 2014 at 10:34 PM


… lurking …

PolAgnostic on March 13, 2014 at 10:38 PM

oldroy on March 13, 2014 at 10:36 PM

I saw her and lourdes both earlier.

Maybe they are off strategering

cozmo on March 13, 2014 at 10:38 PM

Then again, if I were running the show, there would be at least 4-5K votes that could be “found” at the last minute in every single race this fall, maybe 40-50K in the Senate races. Fight fire with fire.

TXUS on March 13, 2014 at 10:35 PM

How many parasites cast votes? Out of 80,000 probably about 55,000.

Lanceman on March 13, 2014 at 10:38 PM

We sweep the midterms expect progs to go batshit crazy. Occupy writ large.

Personally, I want that. Perfect set up for 2016 is 2 years of them unhinged.

Cruz’s campaign strategy?

Point and laugh.

wolly4321 on March 13, 2014 at 10:39 PM

PolAgnostic on March 13, 2014 at 10:36 PM

Why do you hate baby seals so much? Racist!

yaedon on March 13, 2014 at 10:39 PM

I see a Republican majority in the Senate.

tommy71 on March 13, 2014 at 10:39 PM

We’re busy, leave us alone.

cozmo on March 13, 2014 at 10:35 PM

Taking Ratso out for a smoke. He is stinking up the joint with farts…

OmahaConservative on March 13, 2014 at 10:41 PM

Taking Ratso out for a smoke. He is stinking up the joint with farts…

OmahaConservative on March 13, 2014 at 10:41 PM

You paint a lovely picture. Hope it’s windy.

oldroy on March 13, 2014 at 10:42 PM

I see a Republican majority in the Senate.

tommy71 on March 13, 2014 at 10:39 PM

Me, too. But, there’s still plenty of time for the Stupid Party to kneecap themselves.

**cough**amnesty**cough**

yaedon on March 13, 2014 at 10:42 PM

Then again, if I were running the show, there would be at least 4-5K votes that could be “found” at the last minute in every single race this fall, maybe 40-50K in the Senate races. Fight fire with fire.

TXUS on March 13, 2014 at 10:35 PM

How many parasites cast votes? Out of 80,000 probably about 55,000.

Lanceman on March 13, 2014 at 10:38 PM

Florida TV station documents ineligible voters as DoJ sues to prevent state from purging rolls

slickwillie2001 on March 13, 2014 at 10:42 PM

Cruz’s campaign strategy?

Point and laugh.

wolly4321 on March 13, 2014 at 10:39 PM

I thought those were the two things you should never do while having sex.

itsspideyman on March 13, 2014 at 10:45 PM

taking Ratso out for a smoke. He is stinking up the joint with farts… OmahaConservative on March 13, 2014 at 10:41 Pm

You chop that body part off too, he’s done for.

wolly4321 on March 13, 2014 at 10:45 PM

A broken clock blah blah somethin’-or-other.

yaedon on March 13, 2014 at 10:46 PM

Florida TV station documents ineligible voters as DoJ sues to prevent state from purging rolls

slickwillie2001 on March 13, 2014 at 10:42 PM

I don’t understand how there can even be a lawsuit. The way any state allows votes is up to the individual state.

Look. If there was a ‘right’ to vote, how come that crook John Conyers would always introduce a bill to make it a right? If it already exists, what’s the point of that?

Lanceman on March 13, 2014 at 10:47 PM

Isn’t bluegill going to drop in and bash MKH for something about this post?

oldroy on March 13, 2014 at 10:36 PM

…the word “amnesty” didn’t appear……..although I’m sure the NYT supports it…so she could go after them!

KOOLAID2 on March 13, 2014 at 10:53 PM

I H8 hagfish!

Lanceman on March 13, 2014 at 10:54 PM

don’t understand how there can even be a lawsuit. The way any state allows votes is up the individual State

Not after the “civil rights” movement.

And not with a hack racist doj atty gen.

wolly4321 on March 13, 2014 at 10:56 PM

All the dims can do is change the subject and go extreme negative against their opponent. I expect to see a really dirty campaign season. Worse than usual.

Kaffa on March 13, 2014 at 10:57 PM

Tuesday’s special election underscored three persistent themes likely to play out around the country: Republicans are more motivated than Democrats, attacks on the unpopular health care law will dominate many races, and the limitless flood of outside money can easily transform local races into national ones.

Only thing is that Sink spent more money than Jolly?

whbates on March 13, 2014 at 11:07 PM

In related news Sleazy Eric Holder’s JustUs Department is (or still is) suing FL to keep the voter rolls from being purged.

Ain’t no Just-Us if da semmatarys and Disney characters cain’t cast no ballots? Right Eric?

viking01 on March 13, 2014 at 11:26 PM

Florida TV station documents ineligible voters as DoJ sues to prevent state from purging rolls

slickwillie2001 on March 13, 2014 at 10:42 PM

Glad to see the link already has been posted.

viking01 on March 13, 2014 at 11:27 PM

Al Franken would have found the votes in a trunk somewhere.

Whitey Ford on March 13, 2014 at 11:36 PM

The problem for the Dems in losing the Senate is that Harry Reid can no longer block bills for even being voted on. Right now the Dems can run against the “Do nothing Congress” and the “obstructionist” Republicans, but with a Republican controlled Senate passing House bills, even though they are vetoed, the message changes from opposition to the party of “No” to a battle between a united Congress and an unpopular president. Think of the capture of the Senate as preparing the battlespace for 2016.

Fred 2 on March 13, 2014 at 11:42 PM

Even the NYT doesn’t want to attempt to spin this.

anuts on March 13, 2014 at 11:54 PM

You wanted ObamaCare, Democrats. YOU OWN IT! Now ENJOY IT!

GarandFan on March 13, 2014 at 10:35 PM

Amen, brother. Those who cast gummint as the grand savior should go hide in the wilderness for forty years. That, and Debbie Wash-it-down-with Schlitz proclaiming Dems will run on Obammycare in 2014? Nope,I think Obammycare will run on the Dems in 2014.
Pure schadenreude, brother.

Ever try a Mosin Nagant?

DublOh7 on March 14, 2014 at 12:19 AM

Iranian’s pic with Towers a few days ago?

faraway on March 13, 2014 at 10:21 PM

Wow. Just wow. That sure seems to be a Muslim guy who is among the missing on that plane based on the Facebook comments. I don’t belong to Facebook so I don’t know how that site works, but it seemed like he only had two other pictures along with the Twin Towers of Asia. One was him looking pretty serious, the other looked like some Islamic quote, maybe from the Koran or something. Would love to know what it said.

It this is one of the guys with the stolen passports, sure looks suspicious to me.

KMav on March 14, 2014 at 12:25 AM

The Democrats will have to start paying for libertarian votes as well as their own. It will be more expensive, but worth it in the short term. In the long run though they’ll be propagating an ideology that is largely opposed to everything they stand for, like legalized theft and statism.

claudius on March 14, 2014 at 12:48 AM

Don’t forget, amnesty was also an issue in this race.

Jolly was firmly against it. Alex Sink cried that we need “them” to clean our hotels (St. pete Beach and Clearwater Beach, FL) and do our landscaping.

I live in the district and there was not a word (that I heard, anyway) on the local stations about her demeaning comment.

Beware you Libertarians, you will be suckered by Dems fronting Libertarian campaigns to take away GOP votes.

stenwin77 on March 14, 2014 at 6:21 AM

By the way, we have to show a driver’s license to vote in FL. (Or some photo ID) Oh, THE HUMANITY !

stenwin77 on March 14, 2014 at 6:25 AM

Run it without the “Libertarian” and see what happens. I’d bet we’re going to see a lot of three party races this tie around – libertarians with suddenly deep pockets.
oldroy on March 13, 2014 at 10:18 PM

Tired of a Republican strategy against Democrat shenanigans to be shaking our fist at the sky….how about some well funded Green Party and Socialist candidates …. We could turn Madison WI red

Caseoftheblues on March 14, 2014 at 7:13 AM

Don’t underestimate things like the Keystone Pipeline, people know that Obama is dragging his feet on the economy at the expense of his supporters…

ObamaCare, certainly front and center, but many other things will topple the dems.

right2bright on March 14, 2014 at 9:07 AM

However the Dems leadership are trying to play it now, in the fundraising emails leading up to this election they kept saying it was a key election.

One of the things that I rarely see mentioned is that Ms. Sink carried the district when she ran for governor.

Both of these show that for once the Gray Lady got it right.

talking_mouse on March 14, 2014 at 9:21 AM

What, the Times doesn’t believe Jay Carney? Or perhaps they misplaced the DNC press release.

oldennis on March 14, 2014 at 9:33 AM

Tuesday’s special election showed that her campaign could not outrun the tsunami of advertisements tying her to President Obama’s health care law.

Yeah, that was the problem: The ads. Not the program itself. They just keep telling themselves that it is only the way they talk about it that matters, not the substance.

Hucklebuck on March 14, 2014 at 10:08 AM

The NYT (and the Progressive Liberal Democrat party) would like to encourage the other side to focus only on the failures and the ills of Obamacare. That would be a mistake that they would embrace.

What Conservatives need to do is to combine the criticism with their own plan for making the health insurance system…and health care generally…more efficient and as affordable as possible while also reminding the voting public of how significantly the Progressive Liberals in office lied to the public the last time around about the facts of Obamacare.

Conserviatives must point out the fraud perpetrated on the public by the Progressive Liberals which renders them unfit for continuing in office, while offering plans for a better, more opportunistic (for the public) health care system.

If they do that, they will win big.

TKPedersen42 on March 14, 2014 at 11:47 AM

The problem for the Dems in losing the Senate is that Harry Reid can no longer block bills for even being voted on. Right now the Dems can run against the “Do nothing Congress” and the “obstructionist” Republicans, but with a Republican controlled Senate passing House bills, even though they are vetoed, the message changes from opposition to the party of “No” to a battle between a united Congress and an unpopular president. Think of the capture of the Senate as preparing the battlespace for 2016.

Fred 2 on March 13, 2014 at 11:42 PM

You nailed it, “Fred 2″! This is what I’ve been trying to tell folks. Sure, I realize that Obama would STILL veto any and every bill presented to him by a Republican-controlled Congress; however, IF the GOP retakes the Senate AND maintains control of the House, it would then greatly change the narrative of the political process.

For example, no longer would good legislation passed by the House become DOA in the Senate (as is the current situation as it exists with Harry Reid not even allowing House bills to be presented for a vote). House bills would then be voted on and passed by a Republican-controlled Senate.

And, as “Fred 2″ so astutely pointed out, the narrative would then shift from the current “do nothing Congress” to a Congress that passes good legislation but is thwarted by an obstructionist President who is currently at an all-time-low approval rating of 41%.

You’re right, “Fred 2″; our retaking of the Senate would greatly prepare the “battlespace” for the 2016 elections. People would then (hopefully) realize that if we only had a Republican President, we could actually see good legislation PASSED (a repeal of Obamacare, for starters).

Bob Davis on March 14, 2014 at 12:07 PM