If the makeup of the district is any indicator, Democrats’ loss in the Florida special congressional election this week may be a clear indicator of the party’s struggles with older white voters.
And unless something drastic changes between now and November, those voters—and their animosity toward President Obama and Obamacare—will continue to haunt Democrats in Senate races throughout the country in 2014.
Geoff Garin, a pollster for Democratic candidate Alex Sink, said the president and the health care law translate into turnout among Republican voters—and that turnout was ultimately what won the Florida special.
Whites over 45 years old account for about 29 percent of Americans, but they make up almost half—44 percent—of the population in Florida’s 13th Congressional District. Considering that younger and minority voters are the ones most likely to drop out of the electorate in non-presidential elections, older whites undoubtedly dominated the low-turnout special election. (More than 150,000 voters who cast ballots there in the 2012 presidential election did not turn out Tuesday.)