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February 07, 2014 4:03 PM Early Returns

By Ed Kilgore

As Greg Sargent points out at Plum Line today, the special election campaign to replace the late U.S. Rep. Bill Young (R-FL) is increasingly revolving around Obamacare, particularly now that Democrat Alex Sink (the target of both candidate and “independent” ads harping on Obamacare’s “failures”) is running ads pushing a “mend don’t end” message on the subject.

Greg cautions us not to read too much into what happens on March 11. I agree, since there’s a lot going on in this race other than substance, including Sink’s good early fundraising and high name ID, late conservative money pouring in, Republican David Jolly’s status as a Washington Lobbyist, the usual GOP turnout advantage in special elections, the heavy voting-by-mail trend in Florida (George Will whines: “[N]o matter who wins, the district loses because it has lost Election Day.”). But since this is the first election of the 2014 cycle, and in a purple House seat (Obama carried it narrowly in both 2008 and 2012), the results will be massively over-interpreted as a “referendum” on this or that—and most definitely on Obamacare.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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