Bill Clinton lent his political muscle to Democrat Alex Sink’s election campaign for the 13th congressional district of Florida, but to no avail. Sink wound up losing to her Rand Paul-supported Republican opponent, David Jolly, in what many analysts are calling a bellwether election for the impact of Obamacare on the 2014 election cycle.
In a high-profile election that pitted candidates on opposite sides of the Obamacare issue and saw over $11 million spent, both parties pulled out the big guns in the days leading up to Tuesday's election.
The week before the election, Bill Clinton offered his support to Sink, recording a phone call that went out to local Democratic volunteers. The Huffington Post reports that over a half-dozen House Democrats also emailed fundraising appeals on Sink’s behalf.
On the Republican side, Rand Paul recorded a phone message of his own last week, but this one intended for supporters of the Libertarian candidate, Lucas Overby. The strategy apparently worked, with Overby’s impact not proving enough to damage Jolly.
Though Sink outspent Jolly 3 to 1 on TV ads early on, campaign donations—many of which came from members of Congress and outside groups—helped Jolly narrow the spending gap somewhat in the final weeks.
The Republican candidate ended up taking 48.5% of the vote, with Sink earning 46.7%, and Overby 4.8%. Sink conceded to Jolly Tuesday evening.