A Democratic candidate who has explicitly defended
A poll released Thursday by the Tampa Bay Times shows Democrat
The district is one of the country’s few true tossups. It had been held for more than four decades by Republican C.W. "Bill" Young, who died in the fall, but the district, in the St. Petersburg area along the Gulf Coast, has trended Democratic in recent years. President
Both parties and allied groups have spent millions of dollars on ads in the race, many focused on the healthcare law. The poll found likely voters in the district were closely divided on the subject, with 47% saying they oppose the law, 43% supporting it and 10% expressing no opinion.
How to respond to such attacks is an issue that has bedeviled
Sink appears to have adopted that approach. Last week, her campaign unveiled an ad on the topic using a message that, if she wins, voters in many other parts of the country are likely to see this fall.
The ad accuses Jolly, who says he favors repeal of the Affordable Care Act, of wanting to "go back to letting insurance companies deny coverage." In a nod to the area's large senior citizen population, it also says the GOP proposed repeal would "force seniors to pay thousands more for prescription drugs." One provision of the healthcare law ended the so-called doughnut hole in Medicare's prescription drug coverage, reducing costs for some seniors.
"We can't go back to letting insurance companies do whatever they want," Sink says in the ad. "Instead of repealing the healthcare law, we need to keep what's right and fix what's wrong."
That approach contrasts with the strategy being employed by several Democratic senators running for reelection in states that have a more Republican tilt than the Florida congressional district. They have been more wary about directly embracing the law.
In Louisiana, for example, Sen.
In North Carolina, Sen.
Hagan's campaign and its Democratic allies have responded by attacking GOP healthcare positions, but have generally avoided specific mention of the healthcare law itself.