The tea leaves can be read in many, many ways but Republicans are hoping that David Jolly’s victory in a Florida special election to replace the late Rep. Bill Young is a signal of an impending GOP wave in November.
Report from Fox News:
Republican David Jolly narrowly defeated Democrat Alex Sink on Tuesday in a Tampa-area House race largely seen as a critical test for ObamaCare.
With nearly 100 percent of the vote counted, Jolly had 48.5 percent of the vote to Sink’s 46.7 percent. Libertarian Lucas Overby had 4.8 percent.
The race to replace the late Rep. Bill Young was considered a tossup, and was cast as a political bellwether, and a testing ground for each party’s messaging strategy — which revolves in part around the Affordable Care Act.
Jolly’s election night headquarters in Clearwater Beach erupted into loud cheers as it became clear he was the winner. In his victory speech, Jolly simultaneously struck a conciliatory tone and expressed gratitude for his mentor, Young, and Young’s family. Jolly was introduced by former “Price is Right” game show host Bob Barker, via video. Young’s two adult sons were also onstage with Jolly, and he embraced them at the end of his speech.
The race for Florida’s 13th congressional district was seen as a toss-up since polls indicating only a few point spread on any given day. Democrats will take the close result as a sign they may not fare too badly in November while Republicans will point to it as a sign that the Senate is easily within reach.
It’s worth noting that Jolly will be forced to defend the seat in November as well since the special election only fills out the remainder of the term through 2014.