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Opinion

Florida's special election and liberals' delusions of underdog status

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Timothy P. Carney,Florida,Campaigns,Alex Sink,David Jolly

Sometimes I think it's baked into the liberal mindset to think of themselves as the outsiders — the insurgents.

This compulsion makes some sense of the bizarre claim by millionaire developer and presidential confidant Valerie Jarrett that she and her White House colleagues are "speaking truth to power." It might explain why Obama could pretend to be battling all the special interests while pushing legislation favored by Big Pharma (Obamacare) and Philip Morris (tobacco regulation).

The latest flare-up is in Florida's 13th District, where Republican David Jolly won a special election over former statewide candidate Alex Sink in the race to replace the late Rep. Bill Young, a Republican.

Florida's 13th is a fair-fight district. President Obama won the district in 2012 by 1.5 points. Young held the district easily for years, in part because he was a famous porker.

Also on Tuesday, a libertarian candidate drew 5 percent in the race. Tough climb for Republican Jolly. Yet he won, while railing against Obamacare.

More interesting than the cringeworthy spin by professional Democratic spinsters like Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Brad Woodhouse is the weird effort to paint Sink as the victim of big money.

That's the impression one might get from a quick read of John Nichols in the Nation ("Democrats are not going to be beat by Obamacare this year. But they could well be beat by money.")

Nichols, on a couple of places in the article, makes sure to note that Sink's actual campaign raised nearly twice as much as Jolly's. But while worrying about Jolly's advantage in outside money, he never gets around to adding the campaign cash with the outside money and laying out the bottom line: Jolly and Sink both had about $6.4 million behind them in the election, with a slight edge for Sink.

Oddly, the Center for Public Integrity never mentions that fact either in their piece headlined "Outside groups help boost David Jolly to victory: Independent campaign efforts spent nearly $5 million to elect new Republican congressman."

That's exactly the spin from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee: "Alex put this district in play despite Republicans spending $5 million against her."

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