St. Petersburg, Florida - On March 11th, voters will go to the polls to decide who will fill the late C.W. Bill Young's congressional seat. Ahead of the election, a conservative columnist wrote about the race and its dynamics. 10 News teams up with PunditFact to check his facts.
Conservative columnist George Will focused on Florida for a recent column about filling the District 13 seat. This race is typically called a "toss-up district" because of President Obama's close wins in 2008 and 2012.
Will wrote about those wins in his column: "Obama carried this Gulf Coast district, a one-county constituency near Tampa, by 8.2 points in 2008 and 5.6 points in 2012."
"Basically, he was just looking at the county election results, which doesn't tell you the whole picture for congressional District 13," says Katie Sanders with PunditFact.
The district stretches from South Pinellas to Dunedin... except for parts of southern and downtown St. Pete. Sanders says the margin of victory is closer at four points instead of eight.
"He was trying to make the case that David Jolly is going to have a tougher time here, in part because of the composition of the district, which he messed up a little bit, and also because of the trend toward early voting."
Speaking of early voting, in Will's column he also said, "Any Floridian who has ever requested an absentee ballot henceforth gets one automatically."
"That's not really what the state law says. The state law says if you requested a ballot -- for example, for the special election --then you'll get it for the 2014 general election and all elections through the 2016 general election," says Sanders.
PunditFact rates both of Will's claims FALSE.
Will did post a correction to the election numbers in his column. You can see it and the breakdown of these fact-checks here: