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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Alex Sink's Barack Obama problem



The special election to succeed the late C.W. Bill Young in Congress is Alex Sink's to lose, and the latest Quinnipiac poll underscores how easily one of Florida's most accomplished women very well may lose to an obscure Republican. Fifty-seven percent of Florida voters disapprove of President Barack Obama's performance, Quinnipiac found, and Florida voters oppose the Affordable Care Act 54 percent to 39 percent.

Sink has a complicated history with Obama. Were it not for the president's political problems and the unpopularity of Obamacare in 2010, she almost certainly would today be preparing for her gubernatorial re-election campaign. Four years later, the president's political problems threaten to drag down her congressional campaign.

She jumped into the Pinellas County congressional race when everybody was focused on the government shut down and the damaged GOP brand. That seems like ancient history now, given the attention on the health care law and the president's damaged brand.

Republicans already are talking about dusting off some of Rick Scott's attack ads against Sink and repeating them this year with some minor tinkering.

One Scott ad featured a clip of Obama talking about Alex Sink: “I need you to raise money. I need you to walk and knock on doors. Whatever it takes, to make sure Alex Sink is the next governor of Florida." Then a narrator adds, “Maybe that’s because Sink’s supported Obama’s government takeover of health care. Or because Sink supported Obama’s trillion-dollar stimulus bill, while it gave us big debts and no jobs. What will Obama do to make sure Sink is the next governor of Florida?” Obama's voice again: "Whatever it takes."

[Last modified: Friday, November 22, 2013 1:04pm]


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