This post was published to Critical Blackness at 6:19:38 AM 3/12/2014
The FL-13th a perfect storm of messaging, demographic, and money – though according to the Huffington Post it appears outside R groups closed much of the spending advantage on TV – seems to have come down to the two percent advantage of Rs over Ds in the registered voter pool.
This was long considered a test case for the President’s ObamaCare messaging, and a bellwether for what Ds can expect going forward in 2014. The GOP ran a guy who hated ObamaCare, in a district that had 25% of its population over 65. It should have been a win for Ds. Close, but a win for Ds.
The next week or so is going to be essential in the understanding of the rest of 2014. The post mortem on what worked and what did not, how the population reacted and moved is going to be telling. For example, how did minority turn out go. Did blacks and Hispanics vote? Did young people. What about single women. These core constituencies win swing election districts. Tampa area populations are fascinating test cases, and while they are more conservative than other urban areas where people are going to vote this year, Sink had the money, org, and name recognition to win this thing. That she didn’t is troubling.
If Ds turned out and still lost, 2014 is going to go badly. If Ds did not turnout, if participation was lower than expected or even just traditionally low – as mid-terms are want to be – then Ds have a formula to combat the loss.
It is also interesting that the third party Libertarian candidate didn’t affect the race at all. This was really a big deal race. If Ds are ever going to win the House, or even make inroads in the House, and by ever I mean before and during redistricting in 2020, we have to be able to pick groundballs like this one.
In related and interesting news, the GOP once again touted a confused and rather pathetic woman complaining about ObamaCare and how it was going to destroy her life. In reality, she will save 500 a month in premiums, and about 7500.00 in yearly expenses. This according to Chris Hayes and a conversation held last night on All In, with Jonathan Cohen from The New Republic.
Cohen correctly asked – if every GOP story about ObamaCare collapses under even the most basic fact check or push back… maybe ObamaCare isn’t actually a disaster. He said it with a wry twist, but it is something that I have long maintained.
The GOP isn’t even pretending to tell the truth about ObamaCare and the results are part of the reason Sink lost in the 13th. When questioned and shown the information that Ocare would save her money, allow her to keep her doctor, and generally make her life better, the woman’s quote is, “Impossible… I simply do not believe it.” Again, that is from All In.
The resistance to facts, and to demonstrable, objective, reality allows for the kind of result we saw last night in Florida. The GOP lie machine is playing into the fears of people and until ObamaCare fully implements later this month and over the next 9 months or so, the GOP seems to be winning the conversation.
What we can do is tell the truth, advocate for our position, send money – though Sink had plenty – and get out and vote. 2014 is a moving target. The election isn’t today, and the more time we have to demonstrate ObamaCare’s success and GOP mendacity, the better we’ll do. However, Ds need to “Wake the F Up.”
J. Christian Watts
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