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Thursday, May 24, 2018
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Democrats sink, GOP jolly; but what about future?

Of all the tweets – triumphant or resigned, boastful or bitter – that crossed my feed in the wake of David Jolly’s hard-earned trip to Congress Tuesday, the one that made the most sense came from Larry Sabato, the man of the center-left with the crystal ball from the University of Virginia.

That doesn’t mean it was the most fun. ThinkProgress probably nailed down that distinction with its tweets suggesting Jolly ought now support the issues that lost Tuesday night, or Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was reliably obtuse: Republicans underperform in Florida 13, she typed. Never mind that Barack Obama won there twice and Alex Sink, the very candidate turned back Tuesday, prevailed there both times she ran for statewide office.

Republicans underperformed? Sink and her outside supporters outspent Jolly and his outside supporters by nearly $1 million. Virtually every poll showed Sink up at least a handful of points as late at Tuesday morning. But Jolly pulled it out with a determined Election Day get-out-the-vote effort that overcame Sink’s slight edge at the end of early and mail-in voting.

Democratic operatives, official and otherwise, were so certain about Sink winning they spent most of Election Day counting the seat won. Pretty much as they had for the last three weeks. I’m genuinely worried about what my correspondents who emailed invitations to Sink’s excellent victory party are going to cope now. OK, not that genuinely worried.

Anyway, that smugness, so typical of the left, is why tweets such as this one from military vet and author Kurt Schlichter is such a hoot:

“No, seriously, we conservatives need to be gracious over the #FL13 unmitigated [butt]-kicking delivered to the loser Dems. #caring”

And this one, from Tallahassee-based Republican strategist Rick Wilson:

“The DCCC spin is way past pathetic. Just sad.”

Wilson also noted, about the Tampa Bay Times, “Their editorial side had a thumb on the scale [for Sink] the whole time.” So there’s that. (The other local daily – the one that carries this journalistic enterprise – endorsed Jolly, but was far less actively involved in the campaign.)

Which brings us to the tweet we mentioned at the top, Sabato’s. It’s as good a place as any to close:

“Yes, FL-13 will be over-interpreted like most specials, but tonite Rs have to feel pretty good about picking UP seats in Nov.”

Yes, they do. Unless they screw it up.