Rich Galen

When I first came to Our Nation's Capital in 1977, Democrats held a 292-143 edge in the U.S. House - an astonishing 149 seat majority.

Over the next nearly four decades I have had to do what the poor writers at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) had to do Tuesday night after the results of the special election in Florida came in.

They had to find a way to write: They got more votes, but we really won.

The election in Florida's 13th District between Republican David Jolly and Democrat Alex Sink was touted by both sides as an early messaging test for November's mid-terms. Jolly beat Sink by 48.5 percent of the vote to Sink's 46.7 percent. The remaining votes went to Libertarian Lucas Overby who got 4.8 percent.

The Washington Post reported that Jolly's win was by "3,400 votes out of 183,000 cast."

The central issue in the race was Obamacare. The Republican, Jolly, called for repeal. The Democrat, as the AP's Dave Espo wrote, took a "fix-it-don't-nix-it approach" to the issue.

Secondarily, moves to reduce Medicare (and Medicare Advantage) budgets were high on the campaigns' agendas.

Every person on my Twitter feed has already exhausted the puns on Jolly and Sink: "GOP Jolly over Sinking (!) of Dems in FL," so don't bother.

But, thanks for playing.

The Democratic writers took pains to point out that in spite of this Congressional seat being held by a Republican since right after Juan Ponce de León bumped into Florida in 1513, Ms. Sink came THIS CLOSE to upsetting Mr. Jolly.

They did not say that Barack Obama won in 2012, even if only by one percentage point.

The Ds wrote that ultra conservative OUTSIDE MONEY (read: Koch Brothers) poured into the district ignoring the fact that even with that OUTSIDE MONEY the Democrat outspent the Republican.

In fact of the campaigns themselves (without SuperPACs or National Committee money) the Democrat outspent the Republican by about 3-1.

On the winning side (and I don't have as much experience in this) the job of the comms people at the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is to make this result as broadly applicable to November as possible.

NRCC Chairman Greg Walden (R-Or) was quoted in a press release as saying:

"One of Nancy Pelosi's most prized candidates was ultimately brought down because of her unwavering support for ObamaCare, and that should be a loud warning for other Democrats running coast to coast."


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.