Thursday, March 13, 2014

Mitch Perry Report 3.13.14: Spinning madly in Washington & PInellas County

Posted By on Thu, Mar 13, 2014 at 9:00 AM

click to enlarge AlexSink4.jpg
Alex Sink lost on Tuesday because of A) Obamacare, B) too much outside money, C) too many negative ads which ultimately  depressed turnout, D) Democrats don't vote in special elections.

Which is it? All of the above? Some of the above?

The spin started minutes after David Jolly was declared the winner in the CD13 contest early Tuesday evening. According to a Democratic Party pollster, Sink did almost a Herculean act in losing by less than 2 percentage points, since the Republicans had a 13-point advantage in voter registration amongst voters who actually went to the polls, either on Tuesday or in the weeks of voting by mail.

But overall, tthe GOP has only a 2-point advantage in party registration in CD13, which meant it was incumbent to get as many Democrats out as possible, since apparently GOP voters will vote anytime, anywhere, whereas Democrats have to be especially motivated. That's the upshot when it comes to the question of whether Republicans had a clear advantage in a congressional election in March, instead of November.

Whose fault is is it that Democrats didn't go to the polls? Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told reporters on a conference call yesterday that if it were November, Alex Sink would be sworn in today by House Speaker John Boehner, not Jolly. The theory being there'd be a lot more Democrats who will vote in November vs.March.

But as Boehner said yesterday in Washington, he's had his share of special election losses, and he knows what it's like to try to put lipstick on a pig.

How else would you describe the verbiage of White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which is that the CD13 has been in GOP hands for 60 years, and the fact that Sink lost by less than 2 percentage points was an incredible effort?

Ain't no one buying that line.

Interestingly, I've heard from three different Democrats complaining of overkill from the Sink campaign, which was giving them sometimes five or six phone calls a day. If you look at it from the perspective that the only way the Dems could win was by trying to get every one of their voters out to the polls, it does make sense. But five to six calls a day ended up turning off those voters, and ultimately alienated them.

And there are some Democrats resentful that the DCCC pushed out Jessica Ehrlich and installed Alex Sink in the race, even though the former state CFO had never lived a day in her life in the District. The DCCC wants her to run again in November.

This loss hit hard, and the bitterness is going to stick around for awhile..

You'll notice that I've only mentioned the word "Obamacare" once in this post. Unlike most pundits, I'm not convinced that the healthcare law was the single determinant factor in why David Jolly won by 1.8 percent. But if nothing else, the perception is that it's toxic. That means Marco Rubio should stop worrying about the ACA being the gateway to a single-payer healthcare system. 

And Democratic lawmakers in Tallahassee are pushing back on what they perceive as GOP efforts to suppress the vote.

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