What’s Happening Today, March 12:
Republican David Jolly won the special election in Florida’s 13th congressional district yesterday. Unofficial results show Jolly taking 89,099 votes, or 48.43 percent, his Democratic opponent Alex Sink taking 85,652 votes, or 46.55 percent, and the Libertarian candidate Lucas Overby taking 8,893 votes, or 4.83 percent. The election was held to fill the seat previously held by Republican Bill Young, who died in October, during his 22nd term in Congress. Jolly once served as an aide to Young, and also worked as a lobbyist in Washington.
In focusing on the election and candidates, the Washington Post described Libertarian Lucas Overby as someone who could end up “stealing voters” from the Democrat or Republican. Yet the Post admitted that Overby’s “focused on attracting the type of voters who don’t usually vote in a midterm.” One percent of the district’s voters are registered Libertarians and Overby won with nearly five percent of the vote, winning more votes than the difference between the winner and runner-up. Overby is a 27-year-old commercial diver.
NPR called the district “one of the few remaining competitive congressional districts,” and offered that the election was being viewed by Democrats, and Republicans, as a proxy for Obamacare’s roll-out. The NPR article, published before the election was held, pointed toward a steady, if slim, lead in the polls by the Democrat Alex Sink. Politico suggested the election was an important one for Democrats to win in order to show that contrary to popular belief, Democrats aren’t destined to take losses in the November mid-terms.
At Slate, David Weigel writes that the election was the most important in America, last night. Democrats had begun to eye the district as a possible pick-up when the 82-year-old Bill Young announced he would be retiring at the end of his current term: Barack Obama won the district in 2008 and 2012, even though George W. Bush won it in the previous two elections.