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First poll shows Obamacare sinking Sink campaign

By   /   January 20, 2014  /   News  /   No Comments

By William Patrick | Florida Watchdog

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Call him a long shot, call him an underdog or call him crazy. But according to StPetePoll.org, little known David Jolly is up four points over Alex Sink in the Pinellas County special election race to fill the late Bill Young‘s U.S. House seat.

The poll surveyed 1,278 District 13 registered voters on Jan. 15, the day after Jolly won the GOP primary. The margin of error is +/- 2.7 percent.

Despite Sink’s clear name-recognition advantage, the great equalizer evidenced in the poll was the candidates’ position on the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

Accordingly, 68 percent of respondents said Obamacare would influence how they vote. Of those, nearly two thirds support repealing or replacing the federal health care law. The rest want it left alone.

The finding reflects wider disapproval shown in a Real Clear Politics average of six national surveys where President Obama‘s signature legislation is suffering a 15 point favorability deficit. On Friday, Gallup reported the president’s own approval rating stood at just 39 percent.

That’s a lot of negatives to be tied to and the Jolly campaign is already on the offensive.

“Let’s talk about Obamacare,” Jolly said in his most recent television ad. “I will work to replace it with a private sector solution that actually does fulfill that now famous promise: ‘If you like your insurance, you can keep it.'”


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In Sink’s razor-thin failed attempt to take the governor’s mansion in 2010, Sink openly supported Obamacare. She has since distanced herself by claiming the health law’s rollout was bungled.

“The rollout of the website and problems that have arisen with the implementation are unacceptable,” says a statement on her campaign website. “The Obama Administration needs to be held accountable to get the website running, and making any necessary changes to fix any problems with the law.”

Sink’s latest TV spot is an aw shucks feel-good ad featuring her elderly father, Kester. The ad blasts partisan gridlock while showcasing her down-home likability. It’s also an emotional play to connect with seniors, a critical demographic for both candidates.

Despite the district trending younger — in 2012, Obama defeated Mitt Romney by just 1-percent — Young, an octogenarian Republican, crushed his Democratic opponent with 58 percent of CD-13’s votes. Nearly 76 percent of StPetePoll.org’s respondents were over age 50.

With plenty of money in the bank, Sink can afford to withhold negative attacks until closer to the March 11 general election. Plus, the Florida Democratic Party is doing it for her.


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William Patrick is Watchdog.org’s Florida reporter. His work has been featured by Fox News, the Drudge Report, and Townhall.com, as well as other national news and opinion websites. He’s also been cited and reposted by numerous state news organizations, including Florida Trend, Sunshine State News and the Miami Herald, and is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Florida Press Association. William’s work has impacted discussions on education, privacy, criminal justice reform, and government and corporate accountability. Prior to joining Watchdog, William worked for the James Madison Institute in Tallahassee, Fla. There, he launched a legislative news website covering state economic issues. After leaving New York City in 2010, William worked for the Florida Attorney General’s Office where he assisted state attorneys general in prosecuting Medicaid Fraud. William graduated magna cum laude from Hunter College, City University of New York. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife and three young children.