Democrat Margaret Good won Tuesday's special election in House District 72 in a victory that will likely set off a round of Republican recriminations ... and angst. Republican James Buchanan, meanwhile, son of GOP Congressman Vern Buchanan, came away with 44.8 percent and Libertarian Alison Foxall, 3 percent.
Donald Trump joked during his campaign that his voters loved him so much that he "could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and I wouldn't lose votes". The seat became available after the previous representative, Republican Alex Miller, resigned, telling the Tampa Bay Times she was unhappy with the "top-down" power structure in the House under Speaker Richard Corcoran.
Regarding polls, the race remained a squeaker to the end, with Good and Buchanan swapping the lead - always within the margin of error - and no clear front-runner right up to Election Day. With all precincts reporting in House District 72, Good received almost 52.2 percent of the vote, while Republican James Buchanan received 44.8 percent and Libertarian Alison Foxall received 3 percent, according to the state Division of Elections website.
That led political analysts to conclude that a big chunk of Republican voters - and most independent voters - went for Good.
The shock poll follows a warning from Democratic SuperPAC Priorities USA that Democratic focus on day to day news involving the Trump administration is winnowing advantages in the polls. Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski campaigned for Buchanan.
Democrats know that Florida is a key state for them in the all-important midterm elections. What if the Special Council and/or Congress finds that Trump conspired with a foreign adversary to undermine a USA election in his favor?
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"The Good campaign did a fantastic job in turning out Democrats", Eldon said.
The interest that was generated in the special election caught the attention of voters. Now, though, polls show that roughly half of voters favor the measure. The GOP has more than 12,000 more registered voters in the district than do Democrats.
The Politico-Morning Consult poll found 39 percent of voters would support a Republican candidate in November, while 38 percent would back a Democrat.
The poll also reported that large majorities of voters have "serious concerns" about some of his advisers meeting with officials tied to the Kremlin at Trump Tower or Trump's interest in lifting sanctions against Russian Federation. A plus on the GOP side is that Democrats are defending significantly more seats than the GOP in 2018.
Even so, it's a race that, on paper, Republicans should have won. He also credited Good and her team with running an aggressive, disciplined campaign. According to the elections supervisor, by Monday evening, the turnout had reached 22.8 percent from absentee and in-person early voting.