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Republican Jolly Wins Florida Special Election

McClatchy Tribune News Service Politics

Republican Jolly Wins Florida Special Election


By David Lauter, Tribune Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Republicans scored a significant victory in a special congressional election Tuesday, holding on to a seat in a swing district in Florida that Democrats had high hopes of capturing after a campaign that focused heavily on President Barack Obama’s health care law.

With all precincts reporting, Republican David Jolly held a 3,400-vote margin over Democrat Alex Sink in the district, which stretches along the Gulf Coast north of St. Petersburg. The returns remain unofficial until final mail-in and provisional ballots can be counted, but Sink conceded defeat in a statement to supporters shortly after the polls closed.

The Republican and Democratic parties and allied groups spent more than $12 million on the brief campaign, according to disclosure reports compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. That’s about six times the average full-year House campaign in 2012, and an apparent record for a special election.

The money financed a deluge of television ads, robo-calls and mailers, mostly centered on national issues, which largely seemed to drown out local concerns in the contest.

Both parties saw the special election as a good opportunity to try out campaign themes they hope to emphasize this fall.

Special elections “give a test bed of issues and how they play out,” National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) told reporters Tuesday before the votes were reported. “You can test messages, and you can test strategies, and you can test your theories on voter turnout and ID.”

The Republican theory in this case was that a heavy emphasis on Obamacare would motivate conservative voters to head to the polls, making up for Jolly’s drawbacks as a candidate, which included his current profession, Washington lobbyist, and his relative lack of money.

Although both sides cautioned in advance against over-interpreting the results of special elections, that Republican bet paid off. That’s bad news for Democrats and probably will set off a new round of nervousness among party strategists and office holders as they look ahead to the fall.



  1. Sand_Cat March 11, 2014

    You still can’t fix stupid.

    1. Independent1 March 11, 2014

      You sure have that right!! They just keep voting against their own best interests!!

      1. disqus_ivSI3ByGmh March 12, 2014

        That, my friends, has been how the Republican Party has raked in electoral success after electoral success, ever since 1994! Just convince everybody out there that “Those People” will benefit if the Republicans are not elected. Unfortunately, many of their voters would also benefit along with “Those People”. This is called pandering to the base fears of the White, poorly educated, lower economic class voters.

        1. Stacey Weaver March 12, 2014

          You are way off. I’m sure it suits your purposes to imagine Republicans are just a bunch of “white, poorly educated, lower economic class voters”, but that is not reality. The truth is that the Republican party, no different from Democrats, is composed of people from all socioeconomic levels. Republicans are mostly folks who hold conservative views on life issues and that is in no way bound by your annual salary or net worth. Conservative views are not stupid and it is certainly not against ones interests. If you would simply catch your breath for a moment and then try to see things through different eyes you might just catch a glimps of why it makes sense. I’ll give you a hint–it’s not about greed or hating or racism. If you are going to blindly throw those kind of accusations around, you’re just propagating false propaganda and you will never understand the “other side”.

          1. Dominick Vila March 12, 2014

            It is true that more often than not conservatives vote for reasons that have little to do with greed or racism, but it is also true that some do and that the preservation and expansion of laws that favor the interests of our business community and the elite are also a factor considered by many Republicans. Add to that issue such as abortion, gay marriage, and illegal immigration and the outcome of elections in RED states and districts are not too difficult to understand.
            Having said that, I agree with you that for many conservatives fiscal and economic issues are paramount in their decision to vote. For many of them, social programs designed to help the middle class and the poor are unnecessary. Budget reductions must be achieved on the backs of those who can ill afford it, while the privileged class enjoys tax breaks, loopholes, and the ability to stash their money away in overseas tax heavens. Most importantly, for many Republicans the concept of public sector investment is abhorrent. They believe investment in infrastructure should be done by the private sector, even though history proves our business community is not inclined to invest in transportation repair or improvement, modernization of seaports and airports, improving our power grid, and investing in education to ensure we have a workforce with the skills needed to find good jobs and contribute to the betterment of society.

          2. Canistercook March 13, 2014

            Guess it depends on what one feels is a ‘better society’. Seems like things are getting worse since Johnson created his ‘great society’ programs. More unemployed, more on disability, more unwed unsupported mothers etc. Some of us like to help the deserving needy not the idle, irresponsible greedy.

          3. Independent1 March 13, 2014

            Your implication is that it’s the Dems who are making society worse when nothing could be further from the truth. For example, fact is, that with respect to unwed, unsupported mothers, the incidence of unwed motherhood is by far higher in GOP run southern states than anywhere else in America aside from Washington DC; Lousiana ranks no 2 in the percent of unwed mothers. See this:

            Of the babies born in Louisiana, 31,761 of 65,280 in 2011 were the products of nonmarital births. The census bureau found that coastal states in the South had levels of unwed births that were significantly higher than the national average and, along with Florida, Mississippi and Alabama, Louisiana was no exception. And 20.1 percent of nonmarital births were to women ages 15 to 50 without a high school diploma, almost 2 percentage points above the national average. The data also showed that 19.3 percent of these women lived in poverty.

            And it’s not just unwed motherhood it’s also outright poverty and foodstamp use: 20 of 23 states with more than 15% living in poverty are GOP-run states. And more than 75% of people using food stamps are residents of GOP-run states. Whilel 12 of the 15 states that suck the most welfare from Washington are GOP-run states – talk about greed!!! When’s the last time you saw Democrats trying to feed billions in subsidies to companies that make billions in profits and don’t need the subsidies??? NEVER!!!

            And not only that but Tenn, South Carolina, Lousiana, Alabama, Georgia lead the nation as being the most violent states in the country with 8 out of the top 10 most violent sates being GOP-run states.
            So all your comments are total nonsense just like your brain – which I’m guessing you put to bed in a thimble every night.

          4. Canistercook March 14, 2014

            Guess your statistics warp your politics. Poor people traditionally live in rural areas, for example the Central Valley in California and the rich in Silicon Valley. Companies should NEVER be bailed out like Solyndra and GM. Take a look at the farm bills and who votes on them in the Senate!

          5. Dominick Vila March 14, 2014

            I never dreamed of calling an elderly person collecting a $600 a month retirement check greedy. The same goes for the unemployed and others struggling to make ends meet. You are right, however, it all depends on our interpretation of terms and situations, and our ability to remember how things were in the good ole days…

          6. Canistercook March 14, 2014

            And my unemployed relative is happy she will now get ‘extended unemployment’ since she is having a great
            time riding around California on her bike. There are many jobs going in Silicon Valley but ‘she does not like them or feels they don’t pay enough’.

          7. Independent1 March 14, 2014

            I generally don’t reply to nonsense responses but I just want to set the record straight on Solyndra. Solyndra was just one more supposed GOP scandal that wasn’t.

            Solyndra was 1st vetted by the Bush administration and was actually sitting on Bush’s desk to be signed by him when Obama took office. Instead of trusting the Bush administration, the Obama administration revetted the company. And Solyndra proved to be a very worthy investment. What killed Solyndra had nothing to do with problems with the company – it had everything to do with problems created for American companies by people like Mitt Romney and his ilk.

            Corporate pirates like Romney (I’m not sure he was necessarily involved but well could have been) had taken over and destroyed several solar panel makers in the U.S, and shipped these companies and jobs to China. With China getting the American technical knowhow to create solar panels cheaply, these once American companies now in China started flooding the American market with cheap solar panels resulting in Solyndra not being able to compete pricewise with these poorer quality but cheaper panels.

            Solyndar failed not because it wasn’t qualified for the loan guarantees it had received, or because the Bush and Obama administrations failed in vetting the company, but because unAmericans like Romney had killed companies in America and shipped them to China where at the time some products could be manufactured much cheaper there than in America.

            And Solyndar failing is beside the point – Obama’s green stimulus package was the most successful green energy venture in American history. Of the 29 billion that was invested in green energy ventures, more than 90% proved successful and are still viable thriving corporations, several of which have already developed alternatives to fossil fuels which will put the fossile fuel corporations out of business within the next 5-10 years.

            If you don’t believe what I’m saying, here’s the link to an article by Michael Grunwald that may convince you:

            Obama’s stimulus package was a ginormous clean energy bill, says Michael Grunwald


          8. CPAinNewYork March 12, 2014

            Yes, those who vote Republican in Florida are from all socioeconomic levels. But that just points up how stupid and ill informed middle class and poor Florida voters are.

          9. jmprint March 12, 2014

            Stacey, {it’s not about greed or hating or racism.}
            imposing hardships on other human beings because of religious conservative views is hating, the inequality between the filthy rich and middle class and poor is greed. And stating that this president would be a one term president even before he had a chance to prove himself is racism.

          10. Independent1 March 12, 2014

            The problem is that the term “conservative” is only an egotistical mindset – conservatives virtually always make decisions based first on ‘what’s in MY BEST INTEREST”, rather than what’s in the best interest of others.
            And if conservatives are really so concerned about the issues that they claim to believe the strongest in, explain to me why they’re such pliant sheep that they can be lead around with one falsehood after another.
            For example, the GOP claims to be conservate, yet the GOP today is far and away the most spendthrift and corrupt of the two political parties. Ever since Nixon’s 2nd term, they have governed by spending like drunken sailors – Reagan spent more money in his 8 years in office, than all the presidents between him and Teddy Rooseveltl back around 1900 combined. Reagan actually almost quadruplet our national debt. Yet these supposed conservatives hold him up as some kind of saint.
            In addition to that, even Fox News will verify that since 1900, stock market perforfance has been distinctly better during Democratic administrations than Republican. Since 1900, the return on the stock market during Republican administrations has averaged a mediocre 5%; whereas under Democrat administrations it has averaged over 12% – a marked difference because of the very clearly better economic stewardship of Democrats. Why are supposedly fiscal conservatives not even bothering to figure out all of this, if they’re nothing more than sheeple being lead to the slaughter???
            And not even that, conservatives claim to be so much superior to Democrats on foreign issues and to present a much to tougher stance to the world – they continually call Obama weak – if that’s the case, explain to me why over the past 35 years, it’s been the Republicans who have been so weak on keeping control of the world, that during the 20 years they were in office, there were over 35 attacks on our homeland and abroad with over 3,500 people being killed in those attacks – and then now they have audacity to make a mockery of an attack in Benghazi where 4 people were killed when Obama has been much tougher on worldly control than any GOP president has ever been, with a handful of attacks occuring in almost 6 years and only 4 people losing their lives instead of the 13 overseas attacks during Bush’s 8 years with more than 70 losing their lives.
            You are so delusional it is pathetic!! When are you going to wake up to reality???????

          11. Canistercook March 13, 2014

            After you get your facts straight I guess. Sounds like you believe in ‘fairies’.

          12. Sand_Cat March 12, 2014

            Sorry, but he never said the Republicans were all or mostly wealthy. He said the party’s policies favor the wealthy and shaft the poor, especially the poor with the wrong skin color. And if you, like most Republicans, want to keep denying the truth of those “accusations,” then all you do is prove what most of the other people here are saying: many of the GOP voters are stupid and ignorant, at least when it comes to discerning lies and deception, and many of them – especially in places like Florida – are filled with racism.

    2. CPAinNewYork March 12, 2014

      The problem with many Florida voters, especially the retirees, is that they’re stupid. I know a number of them that proudly proclaim that they’re conservative without realizing how inimical to their personal interests the Republican program is.

    3. FT66 March 12, 2014

      I am not quite sure who you really call stupid. Are those who went to vote or who didn’t? I find it very amazing a lot of people came in drove to vote during General Election but don’t bother at all during special elections or mid-term elections. Do these people really know why do they go to vote and elect the President? Do they really know how can the President be successful when elected? Why those who mobilise them to vote during General Elections don’t do the same in all elections? Why should massive money be wasted in ads and not to pay those who can work and bring people to vote in any election? I do think we need to think and act smart on this issue.

      1. Independent1 March 12, 2014

        Sadly there are 100 million Americans who don’t exercise their responsibility to vote even for a presidential election. When Gore lost the election in 2000, he got almost 1.5 million more votes than Bush, even though almost as many people didn’t vote that year as did (There were about 103 million votes cast out of 204 million Americans who could have voted).

        And my guess is, that a greater percentage of those 100 million or so who didn’t vote were Democrats or Independents who may well have voted for Gore than would have voted for Bush (the GOP seems better at getting votters out than Dems). And it’s quite possible if at least another 3-4 million of them had voted, the election may not have come down to where the Supreme Court could give it away to Bush.

        Sadly, as you point out, there are far too many Americans who don’t exercise their responsibility to vote – which is one big reason why the GOP keeps winning elections that they shouldn’t be winning. And all that is despite the fact that the political parties spend millions of dollars each election trying to get people out to vote. It’s very frustrating!!

    4. Allan Richardson March 13, 2014

      We don’t need to fix stupid. All we need is a temporary remission. And the best motivator to change one’s mind is FEAR. Harp on the realistic fear of LOSS OF OBAMACARE benefits to motivate the base Democrats and the “battlefield converts” who were saved from lack of coverage so they could avoid homelessness and poverty, or death. And harp on the realistic fear of WRECKING SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE to the retired GOP voter base; tell the TRUTH about the Ryan budget. And harp on the realistic fear of a theocratic dictatorship as depicted by “A Handmaid’s Tale” (I wonder if anyone could sponsor a few showings of that movie on local stations?) to the reasonable people of non-evangelical (and evangelical as well) religious opinions. And harp on the danger of OVERPOPULATION to the environment, and the danger of SPECIES SUICIDE to ourselves. Remember, all the other environmental issues BECAME big issues because this Earth is ALREADY overpopulated with humans. This is NOT the time to be allowing religious authorities to forbid birth control!

  2. FT66 March 12, 2014

    Oh! ya, it is Florida, They stand their ground in everything even in believing lies told by Fox News.

  3. Budjob March 12, 2014

    This vote is a classic example of individuals with a deficiency in intelligence.I am by no means bereating the voters in Florida,but sooner or later they have to realize they have nothing going for them if they continue to place republicans in positions of trust. Republicans are in office to represent money,and the people that have it! And,by all counts,most of the people inj Florida have neither money or intelligence.

    1. CPAinNewYork March 12, 2014

      You ARE berating Florida voters and justifiably so. Their problem is that they’re stupid. The Democrats have to get down and dirty to shake those red neck and superannuated assholes out of their cherished voting prejudices.

      The Democrats must pound the line that the Republicans are out to screw the middle class and the poor, because it’s true. That line must be repeated constantly, until the voters get incensed at the Republicans and vote them out of office. Florida is a corrupt state. It’s run by big money. The governor is a crook from the health care industry. Duh!!!!

    2. Canistercook March 13, 2014

      PERHAPS those that voted Republican represented those that EARNED their money, not got it from ‘entitlements’.

  4. Dominick Vila March 12, 2014

    How much longer is it going to take before we understand that statements and policy proposals that are abhorrent to us are welcome messages among those who want to roll the clock back to the pre-Civil Rights days? Alex Sink is not a good campaigner, but the truth is that even Bill Clinton, the best politician in modern history, would be defeated in most districts in Florida, and throughout the South and the Bible Belt. Fear of losing control, fear of seeing cultural changes that are abhorrent to parishioners of our pseudo Christian churches, robust opposition of abortion rights, gay marriage, affirmative action, equal opportunity and pay for women and minorities, immigration reform, alleged adoption of socialist policies, and other issues that are very close to our hearts, are the catalyst that fuels the hatred of most Americans in RED states. We keep talking about facts, about record, about vision, when the “values” that influence the decisions of most voters in RED states are the exact opposite to what we hold dear…and the example established by Christ, which they ignore in favor of the pursuit of material goals – and overt hatred and intolerance – that are the exact opposite to true Christian values.

    1. FT66 March 12, 2014

      I agree with you that Alex Sink is not a good campaigner. But why should we realise this after the results are out? What did the Party do in order to overcome this problem. I do think this was the teaching lesson well in advance before November. Dem Party leaders have to wake up now and see through where and how to help. A District which was carried by Pres. Obama twice couldn’t be gone the other way even if it was a special election. We have to admit people were a bit lazy to play their part.

      1. Dominick Vila March 12, 2014

        Another dimension to what happened is the fact that Republicans are highly motivated and convinced they can get control of both chambers of Congress, and Democrats are not. Considering the number of red/purple states and districts where elected officials are running for re-election, or where vacant seats are up for a vote, the only way we can hold on to the Senate is to have a massive turnout. That didn’t happen in Sink’s case, and unless something dramatic happens it is unlikely to occur in November.
        Alex Sink’s poor performance, and the predictable results, my be a precursor to what will happen in November in Florida is Charlie Christ is our nominee. We have to do a better job at vetting our potential candidates, we must motivate the electorate, and we must find a better way to highlight the benefits of ACA and how President Obama’s policies have contributed to the economic recovery we are all seeing. Otherwise, we might as well save our money because the cards are stacked against us this time.

        1. dpaano March 12, 2014

          The biggest problem, as I see it, is that Democratic candidates fail to fight back when the Republicans push their BS lies!!! Democrats need to fight back whenever lies are being told…..they should have done that when Bush was president, but they let him and his gang do whatever they wanted without any fight! Has the fight gone out of the Democratic party, and if so, WHY!!! Now is the time to get down and dirty when it comes to fighting the GOP!!! We can’t keep our pearly hands clean in this race!! If so, they will run over us with their lies and schemes!!! If we have to get down in the gutter with the scum, we should be doing it!!!

          1. Dominick Vila March 12, 2014

            That is definitely part of the problem. Regarding the Dems behavior when Bush was pushing for crusades, the problem was not limited to us not presenting an argument, the worst part is that the Dems in office were so terrified of Bush, when he – against all logic – became a “war president” after 9/11 – that they actually supported the overwhelming majority of his proposals and actions, and by so doing they became complicit in his unscrupulous and ill advised actions.

          2. dpaano March 12, 2014

            Apparently, some of the Democrats are STILL afraid of the GOP. But, if they want to win the midterm elections, etc., they’re going to have to get over that fear and get down in the gutter with them, as I said before! If they want to play dirty…..we have to play just as dirty. If not, we’re going to get run over again, and I would hate to see Republicans in charge of this country!!

        2. JSquercia March 12, 2014

          Once again the key factor is TURNOUT.>It appears we learned NOTHING from the 2010 disaster

        3. Ford Truck March 13, 2014

          Its actually Charlie Crist, not Christ. But then maybe if it really were Christ running, even I, an affirmed atheist, would have some hope in him! I’m sure Christ would run as a Democrat.

          1. Allan Richardson March 13, 2014

            And Crist, whose original Greek family name was Christodoulos (servant of Christ), IS running as a Democrat. When he first came to prominence in Florida as a Republican, he gained fame as “Chain Gang Charlie” because he felt jail and prison inmates should be earning their keep by working on public works. Some voters liked this because of their “make ’em suffer” attitudes toward “those criminals,” but in itself it is a borderline idea, and was the MOST conservative idea in Charlie’s platform. No wonder he got sick of being among the clowns in the GOP. The last straw was when he was primaried by the much less capable Marco Rubio, and then, re-entering the Senate race as an independent, was defeated in a three-way race by Rubio again. But he waited until between elections to make the formal switch. We Democrats welcome Charlie to our party, and support him for Governor, the job he held previously as a Republican (and compared to those before and especially since, not that bad for a Republican either). We met him while out walking during one of his state Senate re-election campaigns in St. Petersburg, and found him to be a nice and reasonable man.

            And yes, in our current political climate, Jesus of Nazareth would be a Democrat (and well to the left of most Democrats), after being kicked out of SOME of the churches that claim to worship him!

          2. Independent1 March 14, 2014

            Thanks for the insights on Crist. With respect to your last paragraph, as you point out, very few of today’s mainline religions emulate what Jesus really taught. The vast majority pick and choose versus from the bible, most often out of context, and in some cases even fabricate them, to support contrived beliefs which they feel their congregations can “live up to” and which often give them a false sense of spirituality.

    2. CPAinNewYork March 12, 2014

      Dominick, you’re wasting your time with those well-worded postings. You’re not getting to the fundamental truth, which is that Florida voters, especially the retirees, are stupid.

      1. dpaano March 12, 2014

        Not so much stupid……mainly senile!!

      2. Dominick Vila March 12, 2014

        I think dpaano got it right. When I hear fellow seniors criticizing the programs they benefit from and depend on to live, I often wonder if they are brain dead. Many are still convinced that President Obama tried to destroy MEDICARE when he cut over $700B from its budget. The idea of eliminating fraud and waste, redundancy, and inefficiencies seem to be too complex an issue for some of them to grasp.

        1. 4sanity4all March 12, 2014

          This is why the Democrats should be out there, proclaiming the truth to one and all. My sister, a Republican, told me that Obama cut that money from Medicare. I told her to go look it up; that that figure was the amount of fraud that he reduced. It was money that was not paid to scammers, not money that would have gone to doctors. I keep trying to explain to her that the talk radio that her husband loves to listen to is full of half truths and lies, but I am able to make only small dents in the body of lies they believe. But they are wealthy, and they live in fear that the Democrats are going to raise their tax rate. I think that is their biggest reason to love the Republicans- they keep convincing people that it would be so unfair if they had to pay taxes that would help people get a meal or see a doctor. Then I tell her about my hard working, college educated daughter’s relentless search for a good job, while she work five part time jobs, and how glad she is to be able to finally afford good health insurance, because of the ACA. A couple of weeks ago, my sister asked for information about the ACA, because her own daughter needs it. So, we all have to keep talking sense to people, and hope that it sinks in; we are all in this together, and we will all succeed, or fail as a country.

      3. 1standlastword March 12, 2014

        Not that they are stupid…the problem is they are still ALIVE!!!!! The grim reaper will solve this problem in DUE TIME!

      4. JSquercia March 12, 2014

        Not sure that they are stupid but they are SELFISH and uninformed

        1. Canistercook March 13, 2014

          Wonder who is really uninformed with government payrolls and pensions out of control, disability payments increasing like crazy, unwed mothers increasing like crazy and ACA a disaster!

          1. Duckbudder March 14, 2014

            WRONG. Thanx for playing, here’s some stinky cheese as a parting gift.

          2. Independent1 March 14, 2014

            You just never give up with those lies and gross distortions of the truth do you!!! When are you going to grow up and realize adults have some responsibility to tell the truth once in a while???

    3. jmprint March 12, 2014

      I don’t think your wasting your time, because you speak from your heart, but CPA is correct, people that are in their comfort zone, pretty much are stupid, because the are blinded by lies. I was so disappointed by this loss. I don’t recall seeing any polls that showed sinks was behind. People must understand that this world is changing rapidly and we need to conform and make things better for all, if we want America to be the country it once was, the greed has to stop.

      1. Dominick Vila March 12, 2014

        I don’t disagree that greed is a factor, and I am convince that big money plays a big role in the outcome of elections in the USA, but greed is not the only factor voters consider when they decide who to vote for.
        Speaking of greed, I watched something on TV this morning about one of our many mega-churches losing $600,000 (I did not watch the whole thing, so I am not sure what it was all about). The first thing that came to my mind as I watched the large audience and the preacher that were talking about this issue was how would Christ have reacted had he known what people are doing in his name, and how materialistic his flock has become. Incredibly, churches, one of our most profitable enterprises, are tax exempt!

      2. Canistercook March 13, 2014

        If better for all means more people on food stamps and disability and less jobs we understand more than you think.
        We are not blinded by lies we are seeing

        1. jmprint March 13, 2014

          But it doesn’t mean that at all. Corruption doesn’t escape anybody nor anywhere, so in saying that, most people that need food stamps is just that THEY NEED THEM. If the republican obstructionist would stop playing games with peoples lives and work with the democrats we would have more jobs. But if any law doesn’t benefit them or the 1% they are against it, simple as that. Better means helping people get on their feet to become self sufficient and productive. Do you see something wrong with that?

    4. Independent1 March 12, 2014

      Dominick, what’s your sense on this: Could this election be an example of Florida’s voter suppression tactics working? Could the Democratic turnout have been less than it could have been because the GOP made it tougher for people to vote in areas more likely used by Democratic and Independent voters. I have to wonder if that didn’t have an impact.

      1. Dominick Vila March 12, 2014

        The race was close until the last few days when it became apparent that Alex Sink was struggling. That, I suspect, was the reason for all the e-mail that people like me received from Democratic organizations asking for money. The issue was not lack of money or voter suppression, the problem is that not enough Democrats got off their behinds to vote, and that Sink’s campaign team did not present clear counter arguments to what the Democrats were saying on a number of issues, especially ACA. The sooner we accept the fact that Dems are losing because of our shortfalls, and not because of issues such as voter suppression, the better off we will be. We must do a better job at vetting candidates, we must make our positions on issues relevant to the electorate at state and district level clear, we must defend our positions with responses that take into consideration the values and wishes of the electorate we are dealing with, and we must find a way to rally our people. The latter will be the kiss of death for us in November. If large numbers of Democrats don’t vote, we will lose and we will lose big.

        1. Allan Richardson March 13, 2014

          The big motivation for GOP voters is FEAR. And even though WE know that their fears are false and based on lies, fear still motivates them. In 2008, Obama got the votes of Democratic voters with a larger than usual dose of hope and idealism; in 2012 he was re-elected by rekindling that hope and also reminding his base (and independents) that the hope COULD AND WOULD be crushed (i.e. just enough FEAR). But a midterm takes MORE motivation than a Presidential election, and a SPECIAL election like this takes even MORE. What happened was (and could be this fall) that without the glamor of a Presidential campaign, and due to voters underestimating the importance of those “lesser” offices, the Democratic voters did not have enough FEAR of a GOP takeover to GOTV. And on strictly policy considerations, this race did NOT arouse the fear: the Republicans held that seat before, they would probably (and did) keep it, and switching one seat 8 months before they all come up for election would be of no effect anyway.

          Before November gets too close, Democrats have to preach FEAR to our base voters, so that voting becomes an URGENT matter. While the right wing duped voters are TERRIFIED that their corporate masters will have to pay more taxes, or that gay people might be able to lead happy lives unmolested by the evangelical thought police, Democrats are complacent and do NOT fear the idea that Obamacare (an incomplete but vital improvement over the status quo ante for most of us) will be taken away, as many of the middle class protections which were “untouchable” until the late 1970s HAVE BEEN taken away. Pundits say that when enough people have benefited from the ACA (and REALIZE they have benefited; the Koch cancer “victim” in their recent ads DOES NOT BELIEVE the fact that HER OWN MONEY has been saved!), even Republicans will embrace it. The current ideological clown car would repeal it EVEN IF 100 MILLION AMERICANS were depending on it, as long as they could convince 51 percent that “YOU are not one of those ‘takers’ who depend on this socialist scheme.”

          So, Democrats, spread some FEAR in the “inner city” and other places where poor working people, middle class people in danger of BECOMING poor (and who isn’t?), and fair minded upper middle and upper income people live, that EVEN for the last two years of Obama’s term, and EVEN if Hillary or another Democrat succeeds him, the Republicans can do enough damage to the budget and to the necessary spending steps that would FINISH the job of ending the Recession (they don’t WANT to, because unemployed workers will put up with any abuse to keep a job), making them so DANGEROUS to democracy that they MUST be defeated, until enough of the wackos LEAVE their party that it can become once more the respected, reasonable opposition party, and competent enough to trust once more as a governing party from time to time.

          The GOP, as of today, is the American TALIBAN.

    5. Independent1 March 12, 2014

      Dominick, I’m not sure if you get emails from the DCCC, so I’m passing along some their assessment of the Jolly/Sink election:

      To get in the weeds a bit, the voters in this March special election were even more Republican than they would have been during a normal November election. Bottom line: despite the Republican registration advantage, we almost won last night. And this November, we will defeat Republican Rep.-elect David Jolly.

      Wonder why Republicans only managed to squeak by with a 2% margin in an electorate with a double-digit GOP advantage? It’s simple. The Republicans’ repetitive attacks on Obamacare were flimsy:

      By 57% to 31%, Independents preferred a Democrat who supports improving the Affordable Care Act over a Republican who supports repealing it.

      In this campaign, Democrat Alex Sink took on the Republicans’ Obamacare attacks head on. And it worked: polling consistently showed voters trusted Sink on Obamacare more than her Republican opponent.

      In fact, in every poll conducted by the campaign, Sink had a larger
      advantage over Jolly on Obamacare than she had in the core trial heat question. That means that the issue ultimately provided more of a lift than a drag to her campaign. (Source: Garin Hart Yang Research)

      This was the most expensive House special election in American history. We were facing attacks from 11 different outside groups. Eleven! See for yourself:

      Boehner’s National Republican Congressional Committee: $2.2 million
      Corporate Special Interests: $1.2 million
      American Action Network: $473,000
      Karl Rove’s American Crossroads: $471,000
      Republican Party of Florida: $214,000
      Cantor’s allies at YG Network, Inc.: $209,000
      NRA: $122,000
      Republican Mainstreet Partnership PAC: $23,000
      National Right to Life: $23,000
      Conservative Strikeforce $4,375
      Susan B. Anthony List: $1,763

      We can win. Congressional Republicans’ record-low approval rating is taking a toll, even among registered Republicans. In Florida, not only did Alex Sink win Democrats and Independents, she also picked off a good chunk of Republicans.

      With House Republicans just weeks away from releasing a new
      Paul Ryan budget, we have to keep shining the spotlight on the radical GOP agenda. Republicans’ plan to put millionaire tax breaks before Medicare and the middle class isn’t just wrong — it’s deeply unpopular.

      1. Dominick Vila March 13, 2014

        I do receive e-mails from the DCCC, including the one that you enclosed. Honestly, I put more faith on what I hear than what polls say. Don’t forget what happened to the Republicans in 2012, when all polls, except for Nate Silver’s, were predicting a Romney sweep. Most were busy booking ballrooms to celebrate the GOP presidential victory, and ended up using them to drown their sorrows.
        As you know, I live in Central Florida, and most of my neighbors, friends, and some relatives are hard line Republicans. What I hear about Obamacare in this neck of the woods is inconsistent with the DCCC conclusion. Either people are lying when they are polled, or the DCCC is trying to put forth a positive spin to the Alex Sink debacle after weeks of predicting a victory.
        I don’t want to sound negative, but I prefer to be objective, and in my opinion our chances to win seats in Republican states and districts is going to be a tall order. I hope I am wrong.

        1. Independent1 March 13, 2014

          Thanks for the insights! And I’m sure the DCCC is working to put a positive spin on the election;and like you say, it’s not going to be easy in November to win battles in the highly Republican states and districts. I think the only thing that gives me a little encouragement is that despite all the negativism that the GOP through out during the campaign, Jolly’s winning margin was really quite narrow at 2% given the GOP’s political advantage of the Republican plurality. And as you’ve pointed out before, if there’s any hope of the Dems winning, they absolutely have to get more Dem voters to the polls in November.

  5. Budjob March 12, 2014

    This is just a reminder to the electorate in the not so great state of Florida.Their are a lot of ways that are more expedient to commit suicide than placing your future in the hands of republican politicians!!

  6. Ford Truck March 12, 2014

    Even if the Democrat Sink won the election, Retardlican Jolly would be declared the winner because Floridians are too freakin’ stupid to correctly count ballots. Yes I am still pissed about the 2000 presidential election and will be until the damn day I die!!

  7. bstockinger March 12, 2014

    Until Democrats learn to get everyone of their voters to the polls in the mid-terms, they are going to have a hard time beating Republicans in toss-up elections. You have to participate to win elections. Democrats can get the vote out every 4 years and then they forget how in the mid-terms.

    1. 4sanity4all March 12, 2014

      And they firmly believe that having to declare their party in the mid term elections will be just awful for them. Sadly, years ago, if you declared the ‘wrong’ party around here years ago, your street would never get swept, and your garbage removal would not always occur. So, bad actions by politicians years ago have a continuing legacy that discourages voting. Very sad, because it is so hard to counter.

    2. Allan Richardson March 13, 2014

      FEAR, FEAR, FEAR is what motivates GOP voters to get to the polls. Misplaced or prejudice-based fear, yes, but still fear. There are many implications of Republican power that OUGHT to stimulate fear in Democratic and independent voters, but they do not seem to be FEARFUL ENOUGH to get to the polls. Hope and idealism only go so far to motivate action, and we can’t wait for Presidential election years. We need people in “red” districts who are being shafted by their “representatives” to KNOW they are being shafted, and FEAR the continuation of that shafting. And maybe a LOUD ENOUGH FEAR MESSAGE will even get through to SOME of the hard-line GOP voters who are currently fearing the WRONG things.

      Today’s GOP is America’s Taliban. BE VERY AFRAID OF THEM.

  8. cthetruth March 12, 2014

    The top 1% unfortunately are Republicans. They have the money to spread their propaganda. My question is how can the people of Florida elect a man whose healthcare company was fined 1.5 billion dollars, the biggest fine for a healthcare company ever, a person who took the fifth over 50 times, resigned with over a 300 million dollar package, and then become governor of Florida. No wonder the Republicans do not support The Affordable Care Act, those like Rick Scott have benefitted greatly from stealing from the taxpayers. This is why people are posting that Floridians somewhat lack intelligence , or perhaps they are so blinded by ideology that any Republican will do.

  9. terry b March 12, 2014

    It always amazes me how the country’s version of the Nazi party can win any election. Apparently the fascist views that the current party members favor do not bother the majority of voters as it should.

    1. charleo1 March 12, 2014

      I think one of the answers as to why the radicalism on the Right,
      which comes very close at times to sounding and behaving like a Fascist ideology. Is it requires one to stand back, and watch a little while. Even then, you must know what Fascism looks like, to
      recognize it, without all the goose stepping. That it doesn’t start out rounding people up for extermination. It starts by inventing or manufacturing a crisis. Or, using a crisis that already exists, to excuse the radicalism they will later claim is necessary to address that crisis, and save the Great Nation! Fascism is Nationalistic in the extreme. And relies heavily on patriotic themes, and using ethnic, and religious dogma, to underpin the morality of it’s strict authoritarianism. Which, of course it uses to maintain a tight grip
      on the population, in both thought, and action. But, it’s important
      to remember, few of the Fascists regimes of the past, were
      established at the point of a gun. So, Fascism appears to be like any other regular political organization on it’s face. Albeit, always ultra Right. As any other ideology, requires the consent, or the acquiescence of the majority. But it is the unmistakable trait, that such a regime, once put into power will change entirely, and not follow any such policies as it’s supporters believed they were voting for at the time. One such example of this occurred in our own 2010 election cycle. Where extreme ideologues were able to mask their true intentions, and win elections by promising jobs in a very weak economy. Only to use their political power to advance an agenda of extreme cultural, and socioeconomic measures. Some of which were designed to prolong the poor economy, they felt served their Party’s political interests. To win at all costs, is hallmark of a purely Fascist organization. Or, that of a political organization, with Fascist-like, tendencies.

      1. terry b March 12, 2014

        You are unbelievably good. I could not have put it any better. Thanks.

        1. charleo1 March 12, 2014

          You’re very welcome, terry. I’ll tell you something. Five years ago, the T-Party made it’s first public emergence on the National stage. And, after a few weeks, I was sure Fascism, it one of it’s most aggressive forms, since it’s annihilation, at the end of the Second World War. Had arrived, and taken root in my Country. And no one seemed to recognize it. I’m sure everyone thought the world had put an end to this insidious, and evil form of tyranny for all time. My friends said I sounded nutty as the T-Party! Fascism in America? We would know. Scholars would know, And besides, this is just some old White people upset a Black President got elected. They’ll calm down when they figure
          out, he’s not going to use the military to have
          that race war, they’ve been worried about since reconstruction. But now, they’re in the Halls of Congress, running the Republican Party! And
          threatening to cause a default in the largest economy in the world. Which would cause that
          crisis, and chaos I was talking about, as being necessary to suspend the regular laws, and Rights. And bring down the tyranny, and fear, that is Fascism. Now, could I be wrong? Of
          course I could very well be wrong. It’s early.
          The National Socialist Workers Party, (Nazis,) took 10 years to gain enough seats to accomplish the takeover. So let’s watch, shall we? But, I ain’t voting Republican again. Probably as long as I live! That’s if I get to vote that long.

      2. Independent1 March 12, 2014

        Hi Charle, just to point something out : Jolly only beat Sink by 2% in an election where Republicans held a double-digit margin over Dems with respect to who came out to vote and of course Republicans hold a large margin over Dems just in registered voters. See the DCCC’s assessment of the election in a post I left for Dominick earlier in the blog.

        1. charleo1 March 13, 2014

          I didn’t see it above, but found it, and read it. The
          thing is, the GOP still hold an enormous amount of, unwarranted credibility with their core constituency. Who seem to be in an unnatural thrall with them. This willingness of the White retirees to ignore the threats plainly stated by a Party that has become much more radical, and infinitely more apt to defund, or even end programs vital to their own financial security, has
          been staggering. These are not mentally challenged people. So, there’s something else besides clear headed logic driving their behavior. Whatever it is, it’s the reason facts don’t matter. A good example is Paul Ryan, who wasn’t pulling punches, when he set out with the support and votes of every Republican member of both Houses of Congress, to essentially turn Medicare into a partially subsidized, version of ObamaCare.” The fact that nearly 100% of these Seniors literally counted the days they would at last be free of the for profit insurance cos. Had no problem relegating the generation behind them to it’s vagaries, for life! Nor did the fact he hypocritically, exempted current beneficiaries, (his base.) While guaranteeing their children a much less secure retirement, didn’t matter. Nor did the fact their children were likely to have a less secure retirement anyway, seem to bother them. In fact, nothing the GOP has done to the poor, the invalids, even the children of the temporarily unemployed, has caused this, me-first generation of Seniors, who are ironically themselves, burying the Nation in debt, not one iota of angst. Their angst begins, not with the 10s of millions of others in the Country, priced out of their access to quality healthcare. It begins, when a political Party decides to take the huge political risks to finally do something about it. So, demonstrating that their narcissism, and self
          serving mentality runs to the core of who they are. They, “decide,” to pretend to not know the
          difference between cutting 700 billion out of a
          wasteful, fraud rampant, Medicare. But choose
          instead to believe the politicians that have made
          no bones about their disdain for all things government, including their precious budget busting, Medicare. Yes, there is a twisted logic
          to all this. But it ain’t pretty.

  10. charleo1 March 12, 2014

    Dominick asks a very pertinent question. How long will it be until this older, Whiter power base, Republicans have been able to bully, mis-inform, and generally, scare the crap out of, into voting aganist their
    own best interests? My guess is about another 10 to 15 years, tops.
    They don’t call Florida God’s waiting room for nothing. Florida is not
    a State with a high per capita income. This is especially true of the millions of retirees, that sell their homes in New Jersey somewhere,
    and use the proceeds to buy a condo, or mobil home. And live on their small pensions, savings and Social Security, a few years, and then die. Mission Accomplished. But, when Republicans start telling them, the Country is almost broke, they worry about their Social Security. And
    when they tell them, this Black President is in charge of welfare, and
    he’s wants to buy every low wage worker a health insurance policy.
    And, use the money that was going to pay for your Medicare to do it.
    They flock in huge percentages to the polls to defeat that President’s
    Party. As has been the case for as long as I have been paying attention
    to such things. Which is the second reason Republicans tend to win in
    off cycle, non-presidential election years. Young people, and poor
    people, and to be young today, too often means being poor, usually
    vote for Democrats. But, the young, and poor tend vote in much smaller numbers. As has been the case, since forever. Certainly in my lifetime.
    As one column I was reading pointed out, “They are going to crawl their
    tired wrinkled asses into the polling booth and vote aganist their own children’s best interests. If that’s what they think they must do, to hang
    onto to what they got.

  11. Bryan Blake March 12, 2014

    Bring back Governor Howard Dean. His strategy for winning elections was the most successful in a couple of decades. There are lots of bright and articulate people who are Democrats who are too timid or intimidated to dip their toes in the public ponds. Republicans see politics as a “divine calling” while Democrats see it only as “a marital duty”. Therein lies the problem!

    1. 1standlastword March 12, 2014

      You are a wise old man Mr. Blake…;-)

      1. Bryan Blake March 13, 2014

        Just old. I would only be wise if I decided to give up robbing banks in my canary yellow muscle car with racing stripes and took a job on Wall Street.

  12. dpaano March 12, 2014

    Are these people in Florida so old and senile that they can’t figure out that Republicans are NOT their friends? I can’t believe this….but I guess the GOP machine in Florida has them all hornswoggled!!

    1. Paul Bass March 12, 2014

      I love it! What a quaint Southern phase, “Hornswoggled”, keep it up dpaano, I love our regional dialects!

    2. Independent1 March 12, 2014

      Sink almost pulled out the election because of her pressing the Obamacare issue. Jolly only won by a 2% margin in an election where Republican voters came out to vote with a double-digit margin over Dems (and of course Republicans hold a large margin in registered voters also). See the DCCC’s recap on the voting in a post I left for Dominick earlier in the blog.

  13. jointerjohn March 12, 2014

    This race illustrates a primary issue not being addressed adequately by the democratic party, that too many democrat voters only show up for presidential elections. Work on that problem and many races like this can be turned. It is also high time the Christian denominations that are not totally crazy, like the United Churches of Christ and Disciples of Christ, stop allowing the Southern Baptist and Assembly of God type fear and hate mongers to define Christianity.

  14. BeverlyNC March 12, 2014

    Republicans can pretend this election was about Obamacare but it wasn’t. It was due to Florida’s voter suppression law and the ridiculous amount of money Republicans spend to buy elections. There were no ads of the merit of their candidate but just false attacks on Alex Sink.
    These are not the values we want in our leaders and now we have another bought Republican in the House who will vote as he is told. How sad for our Democracy. It is bought not earned.

    1. Independent1 March 12, 2014

      If the election was about Obamacare, the Republicans lost – here’s polling date from the DCCC on the election results with respect to Obamacare:

      Wonder why Republicans only managed to squeak by with a 2% margin in an electorate with a double-digit GOP advantage? It’s simple. The Republicans’ repetitive attacks on Obamacare were flimsy:

      By 57% to 31%, Independents preferred a Democrat who supports improving the Affordable Care Act over a Republican who supports repealing it.

      In this campaign, Democrat Alex Sink took on the Republicans’ Obamacare attacks head on. And it worked: polling consistently showed voters trusted Sink on Obamacare more than her Republican opponent.

      In fact, in every poll conducted by the campaign, Sink had a larger
      advantage over Jolly on Obamacare than she had in the core trial heat question. That means that the issue ultimately provided more of a lift than a drag to her campaign. (Source: Garin Hart Yang Research)

  15. midway54 March 12, 2014

    The plutocrats who own the elements of the military-industrial-security state complex, who own and control with few exceptions the State and Federal politicians; who own and control the major media with its shameless, mendacious flunkies convincing the low-information, ignorant rubes and dupes to fornicate themselves and all the rest of us through their votes for neofascist rightwingers, must all be doing high-fives in the corporate offices, board rooms, and planes over the election of still another Florida crackpot to join the many of nutcases in the (animal) House of Representatives. The Gilded Age II plutocrats and robber barons are fully in charge.

  16. howa4x March 12, 2014

    I don’t think Obamacare was the defining issue of the campaign since the voters were mostly Medicare recipients. I think the cut to the overpayment in Medicare advantage was twisted to say that Medicare was under attack by Obama. Also the district was represented by a republican for 25 yrs and Jolly was his aide so he know most of the district voters, so this is not a bellwether district to measure. I wouldn’t draw to many conclusions about this race

    1. Independent1 March 12, 2014

      Actually, it was the GOP’s flimsy adds against Obamacare and Sink thowing it back at them that almost allowed Sink to pull out an election where Jolly only won by a 2% margin in an election where Republican voters coming to vote held a double-digit margin over the Dems. See my post to Dominick earlier in the blog which provides an assessment of the election from the DCCC’s standpoint.

      1. howa4x March 13, 2014

        I saw some post mortem on the race and it was Sink who was waffling on Obamacare. Plus she was not from that district and that was harped on by the repubs. Even with all the problems in her campaign she only lost by 2%. That should scare the GOP

        1. Independent1 March 13, 2014

          I agree. If Sink was waffling on Obamacare and actually wasn’t from the district – then the GOP should be worried with Jolly only winning by 2% when it looks like a lot of Independents and Dems may not have turned out for this election which really didn’t mean a lot except for bragging rights. Which the GOP appears to be overplaying like virtually everything else they do. (Thanks for the insights.)

  17. 1standlastword March 12, 2014

    Well it “IS” a republican district that they’ve held for 60 years so I would have to conclude that it wasn’t Obamacare that sunk Sink….it’s more like the proverbial horse that you can lead to water but can’t make it drink.


    The republican party is still in a death spiral because as I’ve said before as a collective they are the wrong people for the times and that remains true.

    1. Independent1 March 12, 2014

      Actually, it was Obamacare that almost allowed Sink to pull out an election where Jolly only won by a 2% margin in an election where Republican voters coming to vote held a double-digit margin over the Dems. See my post to Dominick earlier in the blog which provides an assessment of the election from the DCCC’s standpoint.

  18. Angel Perea March 13, 2014

    THE INCONVENIENT TRUTH: This is on going example of such misinformed
    voter stupidity! Jolly’s record is that he was nothing more that paid Lobbyist for political prostitutes in Washington that has supported cuts in Social Security and Medicare! Yet the voters believe the lies about his support for the same programs using the same dishonest advertisements paid for by the out of State political interests!

  19. Jrigney March 13, 2014

    In a state where voters are happy to send a corrupt bag of shit-dust like Rick Scott to Tallahassee, nothing they do in Florida surprises me anymore. Of course…$5million + worth of attack ads undoubtedly bought a lot of eyeballs, connected as they surely are, to feeble brains.

    Good work, 13th District voters…..like the old cliche’ goes: “If you don’t get what you want, you’ll surely get what you deserve”.

  20. lemstoll March 14, 2014

    Sold to the highest bidder….

  21. MauriceManfredNieszery March 18, 2014

    Tolle Zeiten an Dir Schapon Merci


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