Democratic candidate Ted Deutch has won the year's first congressional election. The special vote, held Tuesday to fill Robert Wexler's reliably Democratic House seat representing parts of Florida's Palm Beach and Broward counties, ended with Deutch winning 61 percent of the vote to the Republican candidate's 35 percent. Does the result mean anything for national political trends?
- Calming Dem Fears Politico's Alex Burns predicts, "The state legislator was widely expected to win, but his 27-percentage point victory margin may help quiet some Democratic concerns, in the near term, about their party's standing with seniors and Jewish voters."
- Don't Get Cocky, Dems Liberal blogger Chris Bowers says it's "not actually rosy news for Democrats nationwide." He explains, "Duetch slightly underperformed Democratic presidential candidates in this district. Perhaps the district is trending redder, as Obama underperforming Kerry would suggest. Perhaps this is still a good result for an open seat campaign. Or, perhaps this suggests that Republicans have a slight lead in the National House Ballot."
- Seniors Not Flocking to GOP NBC News' Mark Murray sees evidence against the conventional wisdom that Obama was losing seniors' support. "Perhaps the biggest news here has to do with seniors, who heavily populate that Broward/West Palm Beach district. That seniors -- the demographic group Obama has struggled with -- overwhelmingly stuck with the Democrat is pretty significant."
- No Anti-Health Care Backlash The Associated Press' Brian Skoloff finds that "Republican backlash over President Barack Obama's health care overhaul had little effect in the nation's first U.S. House race of 2010. ... [GOP candidate] Lynch, a 44-year-old West Palm Beach contractor, sought to make the race a statement on the health care bill."
- Not About Health Care The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza shrugs, "there are far too many mitigating factors for the Florida special election to be rightly cast as the first true referendum on the recently-passed health care legislation." For example, "Deutch raised $1.35 million for the race while Edward Lynch, the Republican nominee, brought in $103,000." The race's results, he says, were typical and predictable.