A couple of folks, including Polipundit, are scoring Ted Deutch’s victory last night as a 53.8 percent to 42.8 percent win, which would reassure Republicans that their candidates at least can beat their traditional levels of support in heavily Democratic districts. However, those results don’t include Palm Beach County, a big chunk of the district and a Democratic stronghold.
The AP is reporting, “With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Deutch, an attorney, had 62 percent of the vote compared to 35 percent for Republican Ed Lynch.”
Ed Lynch won a larger share of the vote than any Republican has in this district in at least 16 years, and thus, Deutch won a smaller share of the vote than Wexler ever did. But considering that it was a low-turnout special election, that means less than it ordinarily would.
One of my readers in that district offers his take:
The county breakdown was more interesting:
I’ve always known that Palm Beach County was a really “blue” area (it was the only county carried by Hillary’s brother Hugh Rodham when he ran for Senate, as I recall) but I didn’t expect it to run 11 points better for Deutch than the sections of Broward that are in the district. I don’t have the party breakdowns for the precincts included in the 19th, but by county the party affiliation skews more Democrat in Broward than in Palm Beach. In Broward as a whole the breakdown is roughly 53% Democrat with Republicans and Independents splitting the rest at almost exactly 24.5% each. In Palm Beach (in round numbers) Democrats are 46% of the electorate, Republicans 30% and the other 24% have no party affiliation.
But maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised after reading some of the comments posted to the local news site stories on the election. While conceding that Republicans were much better than Democrats on defending Israel, one Jewish correspondent wrote that “. . . they are much worse in dealing with Jews in America. They want to convert us all to Christianity and ban all other religions. No self-respecting Jew should ever vote for a Republican.” People like this are worse than Birthers. Fine, upstanding, tolerant liberals believe the sort of bigoted fantasies about Republicans and conservatives that they would dismiss out of hand or publicly denounce if the words “black” or “gay” were substituted. And that mainstream media keeps feeding that stereotype. It really is hard to make headway against that kind of propaganda. (And yet the highest-rated local talk radio station is the one that carries Rush, Beck, Hannity and syndicated Tampa libertarian Todd Schnitt. Go figure.)
I doubt that the comments sections of news sites are reflective of the electorate’s views as a whole. I suspect those who leave comments are more passionate, over-caffeinated, perhaps angrier, and probably quicker to denounce everyone on the other side. They just aren’t like the intelligent, astute, even-tempered, charming types who read political blogs.