Republican Dave Jolly has defeated Democrat Alex Sink in the special congressional election in FLA-13. The margin was 48.5 to 46.5.
This was a closely watched election in which the Democrats invested lots of money and effort (Jolly was significantly outspent) and recruited a prominent candidate — their former nominee for Governor. Although the seat has been held for years by a popular Republican, Obama carried the district in 2012, albeit very narrowly, as did Sink herself in her 2010 run for governor. I discussed the numerous advantages Sink possessed in this post.
The race will be viewed by Republican operatives as a harbinger of things to come in this cycle. That view doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch. Sink will not be the last Democrat who sinks under the weight of Obamacare.
UPDATE: Dave Wasserman, the editor of the non-partisan Cook Political Report and certainly not a Republican operative, says “If Dems couldn’t win an Obama congressional district with a solid candidate against a flawed R, expect a rough November.”