April 14, 2010

You may not have known this -- since it wasn't exactly plastered on Fox -- but down in Florida yesterday they held the first election since health-care reform was passed: a race to replace Rep. Robert Wexler. Guess who won: A Democratic state senator named Ted Deutch. He won by 27 points.

A Democratic state senator on Tuesday handily won the first U.S. House race since Congress passed a massive health care overhaul, beating a decidedly underdog Republican who tried to use the backlash against the measure to pull an upset.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Florida state Sen. Ted Deutch had 62 percent of the vote compared to 35 percent for Republican Ed Lynch. No-party candidate Jim McCormick trailed far behind with just 3 percent. The Associated Press called the race just about two hours after the polls closed.

Deutch, an attorney, and Lynch, a contractor, both 44, were vying to replace retiring Democratic U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler.

''I have never before felt the way that I feel at this moment,'' Deutch said to cheering supporters.

''We've heard for months that tonight ... is a referendum on health care, it's a referendum on the (President Barack Obama) administration, it's a referendum on what direction this country is going,'' Deutch added. ''Let me tell you something, what we learned today is that in Broward County and Palm Beach County, Florida, the Democratic Party is alive and well.''

I didn't see the media say much at all about this race. I'm not saying that all's well in election-land, but I find it interesting that in this atmosphere, a Democratic politician won the first race out of the box. And did it handily.

Chris Cillizza says that this race shouldn't count too much because it's a very Democratic district among a few reasons, but the republican, Ed Lynch ran against Wexler once before according to Howie so he was familiar with the voters of the district and he ran on a total platform of "scaring grandma" over the health care bill. I think Chris dismisses this race way too easily. Lynch lost by the usual margins in a normal atmosphere so wouldn't you expect him to have had a better result since the media is calling it a doom and gloom year?

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