- - Saturday, March 15, 2014

Something amazing happened this week.

In Florida’s 13th Congressional District, a special election was held to fill the  seat vacated by the late Rep. C.W. “Bill” Young.

Republican David Jolly won.

In some ways Jolly’s win was a little bit of a surprise. The district is R+1, but Obama carried it in 2012.

Alex Sink, the Democratic nominee, had a serious fundraising advantage through most of the race. But David Jolly did something that the wise men of the Republican Party, like Karl Rove, say should not be done. David Jolly defied the common wisdom, defied Karl Rove and won.

What did he do?

He came out strongly against immigration amnesty.

During the race, Alex Sink famously said the country needed amnesty so people like her could hire cheap labor. The liberal media mostly ignored her incendiary and partially racist comment. Unions, which are seeing their membership drop and their members paid less surely, were thrilled to hear the Democratic nominee openly say what a lot of members of the Chamber of Commerce think.

They want amnesty for the cheap labor.

The conventional wisdom from the GOP leadership in Washington is that the Republican Party must embrace amnesty or die. Where this lunacy comes from is a mystery. Surveys show that illegal aliens favor Democrats by a margin of 8 to 1 and Republican voters overwhelmingly oppose amnesty.

David Jolly flew in the face of the conventional wisdom.

He openly ran against amnesty and was the only Republican to do so. He ran in what is considered a swing district, and he crushed a well-established Florida Democrat.

Karl Rove quickly went out to talk about how opposing Obamacare was the key to Jolly’s win and an important tool for the GOP. He also spoke about how groundwork and get-out-the-vote programs were important.

Those pearls of wisdom came from the guy who blew $325 million in 2012 and had nothing to show for it.

David Jolly did not win by simply railing against Obamacare. He won by standing against amnesty.

If an anti-amnesty message works in a swing district, how will it work in a solidly red district?

Probably quite well.

There are several lessons Republican candidates should learn. First, ignore the Washington consultants like Karl Rove. Listening to Rove is like listening to the head coach of an 0-16 NFL team on how you win the Super Bowl.

The second and most important takeaway is that amnesty is a winning issue for Republicans, if Republicans stand for America and oppose amnesty!

It is hard to call Florida’s 13th Congressional District a bellwether on the 2014 elections. But there are a lot of things Republicans can learn from this race that will make 2014 look like 2010 all over again.