By Dave Andrusko
Everyone—and I’m no exception—loves to offer “Five takeaways” from whatever it is we’re talking about. Here are five takeaways (and there could be plenty more) from pro-life Republican David Jolly’s victory Tuesday over pro-abortion Democrat Alex Sink in Florida’s 13th Congressional District.
#1. This had been advertised as a “bellwether” election, a foreshadowing of what could happen this November. As is so often the case, the National Right to Life Victory Fund defeated a candidate endorsed by the radically pro-abortion, loaded-with-money EMILY’s List. As of this morning with almost 100% of the vote tallied, Jolly had won 48.5% to Sink’s 46.7% to Libertarian Lucas Overby’s 4.8%. As is NRLC’s style, we worked quietly to educate, energize, and illuminate the vast differences between Mr. Jolly and Ms. Sink.
#2. It is no exaggeration—not in the slightest—to say that Jolly faced a huge uphill battle. Here are just a few of Ms. Sink’s many advantages: much more money; near total name recognition (she became Florida’s chief financial officer in 2006 and lost by 1 point four years ago to Gov. Rick Scott); a free run in the Democratic primary while Jolly duked it out with fellow Republicans in the GOP primary; the presence of a third party candidate who almost always draws votes from people who would otherwise go to the Republican candidate—to name just four.
#3. ObamaCare is every bit the albatross it’s been seen to be. The “Affordable Care Act” is an anchor around the ankles of any candidate—like Sink—who defends it, or (worse) voted for it. We will hear about ObamaCare through November 4.
#4. I heard a little last night from Jolly’s victory speech at his headquarters in Clearwater Beach. (The 13th CD stretches from south Pinellas to Dunedin, according to the Tampa Times.) He was incredibly gracious and so appreciate of his former boss, pro-life Rep. Bill Young, who served in the House of Representatives for more than four decades before his passing. (I met Rep. Young many times. His son and mine played on the same baseball team for several years. A great guy.)
#5. In its press release to the media, NRLC observed,
“Many political pundits have argued that the abortion issue would play a diminished role in 2014 even as the vast differences on the life issues between Jolly and Sink were being highlighted on the campaign trail. Their contrasting positions on Obamacare—in a district which President Obama carried in 2008 and 2012—were at the center of campaign.”
Here’s a simple rule of thumb. When a candidate is pro-abortion and wins, the abortion issue is said to be “crucial.” When a candidate is pro-life and wins, any mention of the abortion issue is written in invisible ink.
But Mr. Jolly and Ms. Sink know otherwise.