- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The White House doesn’t believe that Obamacare played a role in David Jolly’s special election victory in Florida on Tuesday.

Mr. Jolly, a Republican, bested Democrat Alex Sink in the race to fill the late Rep. Bill Young’s 13th congressional district seat. The election was seen as an early indication of how the health-care reform law, its rollout and consequences will play among voters during midterm elections this November.

Even though Obamacare was a central issue in the Florida race, the Obama administration doesn’t believe it swayed voters.

“Any fair assessment of the role the debate about the Affordable Care Act played reaches the conclusion that, at best, for Republicans it was a draw,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Wednesday. “It was not a negative or positive. It was not the decisive factor.”

Mr. Carney cited as evidence the fact that Mr. Jolly didn’t mention the law during his victory speech on Tuesday night. The Republican won with 48.5 percent of the vote, while Ms. Sink captured about 46.7 percent. Libertarian Lucas Overby garnered 4.8 percent.

More broadly, Mr. Carney downplayed the results of the race and said it doesn’t equal a resounding defeat for Democrats in November.

“This is a seat that was held by Republicans for 58 years … We thought it was going to be close,” he said.

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