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Screenshot of U.S. Chamber of Commerce ad against Alex Sink.
Republicans are madly spinning the narrow Republican victory by David Jolly over Democrat Alex Sink in last night's special election in Florida's 13th Congressional District as a referendum on Obamacare. Now that they've won. Before the ballots were counted, of course, the special election wasn't going to be predictive. Really:
NRSC's Walden Tues 10am.: "Special elections aren't too predictive." 8pm: FL13 "a loud warning" for "Democrats running coast to coast."
Reality check: 48.4 percent of the vote in your favor in an extremely low-turnout election is not a referendum. It's a one-off in which the party with the bigger base is likely to prevail, which is what happened with this seat. Because Republicans didn't win this seat, they held it, barely. A 48.4 margin is a full 15 points less than the late Bill Young held this seat by in 2010, and almost 10 points less than he held it by in 2012. Still, Republicans turned out, Democrats didn't.

That slim 48.4 hold was gained by spending a boatload: $2.2 million from the National Republican Congressional Committee; $1.2 million from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; $470,000 from the American Action Network; $470,000 from Karl Rove's American Crossroads. That's along with the uninspiring $1.3 million Republican David Jolly was able to raise himself. All in all, Republican groups sunk about $5 million into this race, Democratic groups $3.7 million.

None of which stopped the aforementioned Walden from claiming that Sink was "ultimately brought down because of her unwavering support for Obamacare." For the 89,099 people who ended up voting for Jolly, yeah, maybe. For the nation? Hardly.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 09:07 AM PDT.

Also republished by DKos Florida and Daily Kos.

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