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Jeb Bush wades into CD-13, endorses Republican David Jolly in TV spot. Will it matter?


An endorsement from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush means a lot... in a GOP primary.

But in a special general election for Congress in a swing district?

We'll have to find out now that Bush endorsed David Jolly in his run against Democrat Alex Sink. Bush showcases his endorsement in an ad paid for by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Bush's involvement isn't the only eyebrow-raiser when it comes to conservative strategy in the district. Last night, Jolly "seemed to be making a Fox News audition tape," said Tampa Bay Times columnist John Romano, noting the candidate's conservative stances on abortion, immigration, and education.

In an interesting twist, it appears Jolly is against Common Core -- the educational standards that Bush has crusaded for.

The red meat would be less noteworthy in a very red district. But CD-13 isn't one. President Obama carried the district with 50.1 percent of the vote compared to Mitt Romney's 48.6 percent, according to a Daily Kos analysis.

But those election results are for a general election. In mid-term special elections, Democrats drop off at a far higher rate than Republicans. It looks like the GOP is again banking on that happening. Considering past results, it's not a bad bet. But considering recent Democratic wins locally (think Amanda Murphy), the Republicans might be displaying a penchant for falsely believing that everyone is a conservative deep down inside.

It's also important to note that campaigns come down to candidates. And word in Pinellas County is that Sink is underwhelming as a candidate; Jolly did better in last night's debat.

We'll just have to see.