As expected, Democrat Ted Deutch won the Florida District 19 special election over Republican Ed Lynch, but a troubling victory it was in the final analysis. In the heavily democratic district Deutch significantly underperformed against his GOP opponent when considering historical norms.

Ted Deutch Florida

Voter registration in the Florida-19th tilts heavily democratic which is why Democrats have held this seat for generations both before and after redistricting in 1996. A Deutch victory over Lynch was a foregone conclusion but the margin of victory fell well short of historical precedent in the district.

Let us start by examining the last three presidential elections in which the vote broke more heavily toward the Democrat presidential nominee:

2000 Gore 71% Bush 27%

2004 Kerry 66% Bush 33%

2008 Obama 65% McCain 34%

Deutch beat Lynch 62-35%. With only 62% of the vote, Deutch underperformed against his party’s presidential nominees in the district by an average of 5%.

The picture is worse when reviewing past congressional races in Florida-19. Democrats showed significant vote erosion in the 2008 election.

2000 Wexler 72% Thompson 28%

2002 Wexler 72% Merkl 28%

2004 Wexler 100% (unopposed) 0%

2006 Wexler 100% (unopposed) 0%

2008 Wexler 66% Lynch 27%

Tossing out the 2004 and 2006 elections in which the Democrat candidate ran unopposed, Ted Deutch still underperformed his predecessor by an average of 8 percentage points.

This is a huge swing toward the GOP in an otherwise ho-hum mid-term election. Democrats will remain gloomy about their nationwide prospects in the November election as this dismal performance by Ted Deutch in Florida will give them no reason for celebration.