Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Special Election in Florida's 19th District

It's flown well under the national radar, but today there's a special election in the heavily-Democratic 19th Congressional District in Florida to fill out the term of the departed Robert Wexler. Expect the Democrats to spin this as a win for ObamaCare if they hold the seat while the GOP will gain huge momentum if their candidate somehow pulls this off.
Polls are open in Florida's 19th Congressional district, where a special election is being held Tuesday to fill former Rep. Robert Wexler's seat. The contest is also the first federal election to be held since the congressional passage of the Democrat's health care plans, and the controversial reforms could play a large role in the election results.

Republican candidate Ed Lynch says he wants to repeal the new law. The 44 year-old contractor is making opposition to President Obama's health care legislation a major part of his campaign. Lynch is also critical of the federal stimulus program, and of the president's handling the war in Iraq. The Democratic candidate, 44 year-old State Sen. Ted Deutch, supports the new health care law.

About four in ten voters in the district are senior citizens, and many national polls indicate that older voters were opposed to the health care reform legislation. Republicans hope to pull off an upset similar to Scott Brown's victory in January in a special election in Massachusetts to fill the seat of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.

The heavily Democratic district stretches from northern Broward County into Palm Beach county, just miles inland from Florida's Atlantic coastline. The nine-term Wexler, who was very popular in the district, stepped down at the beginning of the year to lead a Middle East think tank.
The district voted 65% for Obama in 2008.

The Democrat outraised opponents by 20 to 1. If she doesn't win it'll be a massive humiliation for Democrats. Believe it or not, weather could play a factor. What, is it going to be under 75 degrees?
Typically, Bucher said, a special election gets 15 percent to 20 percent turnout, Bucher said. "We're hopeful that we get better than the standard, but it's hard to tell," she said.

Snipes said bad weather depresses turnout. If Tuesday is anything like Monday, she said, "that'll be a disaster."
Meanwhile, more grim news for Democrats on the national level.

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