Alex Sink said today she is "keeping an open mind" about running against David Jolly again in November.
Two days after her narrow loss to Jolly in the special election for Congressional District 13, Sink said she has no timetable for making a decision but is in no rush to decide.
She had not returned calls and messages after the election so we stopped by her rented condo in Feather Sound. Sink, a longtime Hillsborough resident Jolly had called a carpet bagger, chuckled at hearing I expected her to be back in Thonotosassa.
"Why wouldn't I be here? My lease runs until November."
Sink said she all along it would be a tough race and took nothing for granted.
"It's a 50-50 district but it still leans right because of gerrymandering," Sink said. "But I still think Washington is broken and needs better people."...
Winners and Losers from last night's election:
- Jeb Bush: He showed how strong his mojo remains.
- Nick Hansen: The on-the-ground senior adviser kept his eyes on the ball, while many or most of Jolly's consultants were simultaneously juggling other clients from elsewhere in Florida.
- Ashley Walker: You lost, but you did pretty much everything well. Tough electorate.
- Lenny Curry: After losses in Pasco's special Fla House election and the St Pete mayor's race, finally a big win!
- Bill Clinton: You - or Hillary are welcome at any competitive campaign. Just keep Obama away.
- Deborah Clark: A smooth election under the national spotlight.
- Non-local consultants: Anonymous Politico Beltway sources trashed the Jolly campaign for relying on senior consultants based more than 200 miles away in Tallahassee,notably Marc Reichelderfer and Sarah Bascom,but the bottom line is they won. That's good news for Charlie Crist, whose campaign until recently has relied mainly on non-local consultants too.
- Outside groups: The U.S. Chamber and other GOP groups kept David Jolly afloat.
- Lobbyists: Who says lobbyists are radioactive politically? Not Terry MacAuliffe, Haley Barbour, or David Jolly.
- Adam Goodman. Financially, the Tampa-based media consultant might have been better off working for one of those outside groups rather than Jolly, but a win's a win.
- David Jolly: Duh.
If I'm a Democratic House member in any competitive district in America or a Democratic incumbent senator up for re-election this year in a moderate-to-conservative state like North Carolina, Arkansas, Colorado, Alaska or Louisiana, I'm waking up more than a little anxious about what happened in Pinellas County on Tuesday.
In Alex Sink, Democrats had a better-funded, well-known nominee who ran a strong campaign against a little-known, second- or third-tier Republican who ran an often wobbly race in a district Barack Obama won twice. Outside Republican groups — much more so than the under-funded Jolly campaign — hung the Affordable Care Act and President Obama on Sink....
As of Sunday, more than 122,000 votes had been cast in the special election for Congressional District 13 in Pinellas County. The Republican advantage in votes cast to date has grown to more 4,623 votes. Presumably, a lot of ballots come in today and tomorrow.
We had been arguing that the Republican lead in mail-in votes cast was below where Republican nominee David Jolly needed it to be, but there's no question after the past five days he heads into election day with the momentum and with some wind at his back (Just as Obama had in 2012 when early voting was much stronger than in this election)....
Release from Public Policy Polling:
A new Public Policy Polling survey for tomorrow’s special election in Florida’s 13th Congressional District finds that Democrat Alex Sink is holding a 48-45 lead over her
Republican opponent David Jolly, with Libertarian Lucas Overby at 6%.
Key findings from the survey include:
-Sink has amassed a large lead during the early voting period, getting 52% among those who have already voted to just 45% for Jolly. We find that 60% of those who say they will vote have done so already, putting Jolly in a position where he will have to make up a lot of ground on election day....
Release from the Gwen Graham congressional campaign:
Today, the Gwen Graham campaign released its first poll of the year showing the race in Florida’s second congressional district in a dead heat — driven by Graham’s positive message and voters’ deep mistrust of Congressman Southerland’s partisan agenda.
Gwen Graham starts 2014 statistically tied with Southerland, 40% to 42% — despite Congressman Southerland’s superior name recognition and two TV buys by the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity. After voters hear equal information about both candidates, Graham takes 9-point lead, and her campaign’s fundraising strength indicates she will have the resources to get her message out. Among undecided voters, Southerland’s job approval is underwater by 7 points, 35% approve to 42% disapprove, indicating that he will have trouble growing his existing support....
Winner of the week
Jeb Bush. That the David Jolly campaign would spend its scarce resources sending thousands of Pinellas Republicans a letter last week from Jeb Bush — and a stamp — urging them to return mail ballots for Jolly, serves as a reminder of how much influence the former governor wields seven years after leaving office. It's not Gov. Rick Scott or Sen. Marco Rubio all over the TV and mail ads for Jolly....
We knew already that Charlie Crist could convincingly play a Republican or Democrat or independent, depending on the day.
On Saturday, we learned he can also be a darned good stand up comic.
"I'm a guy with a healthy ego. But every time my ego gets a little out of control my wife reminds me that John McCain considered me and Sarah Palin for vice president and decided Sarah was more qualified," Crist told a white tie crowd gathered in Washington, D.C., for the 129th anniversary dinner of the Gridiron Club and Foundation Saturday night....
More than 600 beltway elites gathered tonight in white tie at the Renaissance Washington for the 129th anniversary dinner of the Gridiron Club and Foundation. Along with skits from the journalists, the closed event featured Texas Sen. Ted Cruz speaking for Republicans, Sec. of State John Kerry speaking for the White House and Charlie Crist for Democrats.
The Gridiron Club, which funds college scholarships and journalism organizations, allows no live tweeting of the dinner, let alone TV cameras or recordings. But at least we can give you Charlie Crist's remarks as prepared for delivery:...
03/08/14 State Roundup
As of Saturday, about 117,000 ballots had been cast in Pinellas County's special election for Congressional District 13 — more than half of the votes likely to be cast — and Republicans are gaining steam in the closing days. The GOP advantage in votes cast more than doubled over the last week to about 4,500 votes.
But for all the talk about an energized, anti-Obama Republican base in this off-year special election, the key to victory on Tuesday — no surprise for a swing district in the swing state of Florida — is swing voters and independents. ...
As of Saturday, about 117,000 ballots had been cast in Pinellas County’s special election for Congressional District 13 - more than half of the votes likely to be cast - and Republicans are gaining steam in the closing days. The GOP advantage in votes cast more than doubled over the last week to about 4,500 votes.
That said, most of what we wrote yesterday still holds, so through the wonders of cut and paste:......
From the Associated Press: Investigators in Florida are not charging U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson over a domestic incident with his estranged wife.Officials with the Orange County Sheriff's Office in Orlando said Friday that probable cause didn't exist to support the allegation by Grayson's wife that he had pushed her against the front door of their home.
A judge granted Lolita Grayson a restraining order against the Democratic congressman from Orlando earlier this week after she alleged that Grayson pushed her against the front door of their home last Saturday when he stopped by the house....
As of today, about 113,000 ballots have been cast in Pinellas County's special electon for Congressional District 13, and Republicans have cast 3,756 more ballots than Democrats. We've heard some chatter from Jolly backers about a dramatic surge in Republican mail ballot returns in the closing week of the campaign. Republicans are definitely expanding their lead but not yet by enough to be confident. (Since Feb. 28, Republicans cast 10,121 ballots, Democrats 8,341, and others cast 4,430....
Back in 2010, Rick Scott featured his mom in TV ads to convince Florida voters that he was more than the cold, Medicare defrauder that Democrats were portraying him as. He went on narrowly defeat Alex Sink, who kicked off her own congressional campaign in Pinellas County with ads featuring her charming 90-year-old father, Kester Sink, of Mt. Airy, N.C.
Better than that actual ad, though, are these outtakes, which may help explain why Kester is a legendary ladies man around Surry County, N.C.
Lousy fundraising. Bringing his young gal pal on the campaign trail with him when the ink on his divorce papers is barely dry. Ingratitude for the national GOP leaders keeping his campaign afloat. Relying on senior consultants such as Sarah Bascom and Marc Reichelderfer based hundreds of miles away in Tallahassee.
Such are the anonymous complaints from beltway Republicans throwing the Jolly campaign under the bus in a juicy Politico piece that seems more than a little odd considering Jolly appears at this point well within reach of winning:...