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

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.