In an unprecedented financial war being waged on television screens throughout Pinellas County, outside groups are spending more than $4 million to support - and trash - Democratic congressional candidate Alex Sink and Republican David Jolly.
More than $2.6 million has been spent on television ads for Sink, including $1.9 million from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Jolly supporters have shelled out $1.6 million, including more than $700,000 from the National Republican Congressional Committee.
The election is viewed as a harbinger of how the overall midterms will do: how viable the Democratic or Republican platforms are to the voters. The 13th District has been a Republican, conservative-leaning district for decades (also when it was a different number, but still covering the same ground), but the area and the state in general has been "going purple" or leaning blue over the last few years...
Why the barrage? A mixture of numbers, timing and politics makes Pinellas County's 13th Congressional District a possible microcosm of national congressional elections this fall.
Both major parties have a solid chance at victory in the Pinellas district, where about 37.1 percent of registered voters are Republicans, 34.7 percent are registered Democrats, 24 percent have "no party affiliation," and the others are in smaller political parties.The district is technically +3 Republican, but the 24 percent of no-party affiliates are key (the moderate middle always is, dammit, so GET THE DAMN VOTE OUT).
Right now, the polling I'm finding is either from one party - there's a DCCC poll showing Sink in the lead - or from polling firms working for the campaigns - there's a firm working for Jolly showing him in the lead. If I can find a more "reliable" (yeah, I know, with polling it's not that exact a science unless you're Drunk Nate Silver) polling source I'll post it.
The election is on March 11.