MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ panelists see dire implications for Democrats in the Florida special congressional election won by Republican David Jolly, with host Joe Scarborough calling Jolly ‘a terrible candidate’ who beat ‘top-notch Democrat’ Alex Sink.
Scarborough spoke Wednesday with Politico’s Jim VandeHei and political analyst Mark Halperin about the race, which saw Jolly beat the former gubernatorial candidate by two percentage points — despite having to overcome a potential libertarian spoiler. The Republican candidate ran largely on opposition to Obamacare, which the “Morning Joe” host believed pushed him to victory despite his shortcomings.
“Alex Sink, a top-notch Democratic candidate,” Scarborough said, “and Jolly — I don’t know him, all I know is what I heard from Florida and up here — a terrible candidate in many ways. Republicans cringed over many things he was doing on the campaign trail. And they still won.”
“It’s really hard to spin it,” VandeHei agreed. “This is bad news for the Democratic Party. The guy’s a lobbyist. He was recently divorced. Went around the campaign trail in pinstripe suits and with his 26-year-old girlfriend. Republicans in Washington thought he was a bad candidate. And he won a tough district.”
“This is very bad for Democrats,” he continued, “and for Republicans, if you think about it — what’s happening in politics right now is that Republicans suck slightly less than Democrats. And that’s where their getting an advantage.”
“They didn’t win this because they liked him as a candidate or that they liked his policies,” VandeHei explained. “If you look at his ads and you look at the polls, they don’t like President Obama, they don’t like Obamacare. And those two things alone sunk a candidate who raised more money, who almost won the governorship! This is a real deal candidate.”
Scarborough seconded VandeHei. “The Democrats could not have found a better candidate to run in this district,” he said. “They could not have found a better candidate. And a lot of national Republicans thought they could not have found a worse candidate.”
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