In spite of a concerted effort by Democrats to outspend their way to regain a seat in Congress, Karen Handle of Georgia was a clear winner in the Atlanta area special election. Democrats touted the race between Jon Ossoff and Handle as sure proof that Donald Trump is already a failed president. But when the dust settled, Republicans had won yet another special election and the Democrats were 0 and 4.
Handel’s victory over political upstart Jon Ossoff was immediately cast by the GOP as a devastating blow for Democrats. Vox saw things differently with it’s headline. – The overall message of 2017 special elections is that Republicans are in trouble.
So who is right? What do these early wins by Republicans mean?
One thing is certain. The Georgia special election was the most expensive House race in history and Democrats who yearned for a special election rebuke to Donald Trump’s presidential election didn’t get what they wanted.
Handel, the former Georgia Secretary of State, received 52 percent of the vote to Democrat Jon Ossoff’s 48. As she delivered her victory speech, the National Republican Congressional Committee sent out a memo that blasted the Democrats failed effort by saying the party “marshalled their resources and went all-in Georgia … and they failed.”
“After promising a revamped strategy that would deliver them a majority, House Democrats are no closer to that goal today than they were at the beginning of the new year,” said the memo, which claimed that Democrats had gone “0-5 in specials elections.”
Over the last few months, Republican House candidates held GOP seats in Kansas and Montana. In addition to Handel’s victory, Republican Ralph Norman won a closer-than-expected race in South Carolina to succeed Mick Mulvaney, who resigned from Congress this past February to become Trump’s Office of Management and Budget director.
After Tuesday night’s results, Republicans hold 241 seats in the House of Representatives compared to 194 for the Democrats. To regain the House, Democrats must hold all of their current districts and win 24 GOP-held seats.
Kellyanne Conway, a top White House aide, chided Ossoff for being 30 years old and living just outside Georgia’s 6th District, and tweeted her thanks to Republican Karen Handel “for standing strong, for running on issues, for being a grownup and for living in the district.”
National Republican Congressional Committee communications director Matt Gorman said Democrats have a “competence problem” and said there were no moral victories to be had.
But “moral victory” is about all that Democrats had to offer after last Tuesday’s special election. Zac Petkanas, who ran Hillary Clinton’s rapid response team said, “The fact that all these races were close should have any member of the GOP who won by less than 15 points absolutely terrified.”
Rachel Madow of MSNBC went so far as to blame the weather for Ossoff’s loss. In spite of such excuse making, the reality is that, to date, Republicans won a seat in Montana in spite of intense negative press and in Georgia where their candidate was outspent 7-1.
The Georgia race was the costliest in the history of Congressional races. Ossoff raised over $23 million. That race may be an indicator of things to come as he received nearly nine times more donations from California than from Georgia.
Ossoff reported receiving 7,218 donations from California between March 29 and May 31 compared to the 808 he received from Georgia. The nine Bay Area counties alone saw 3,063 donations for the Democrat hopeful.
Another indicator that both the mainstream media and the national Democrat party are living in denial is the unreliability of their own polling. Real Clear Politics showed Ossoff winning by 5 points just days before the Georgia election while the end result was close to a 5 point win for Handle.
Handel’s victory denied Democrats the momentum boost toward the 2018 midterms they hoped for. Since President Trump selected a handful of congressmen from conservative seats for his Cabinet the GOP has won each House special election of 2017.
The GOP win comes at a critical time for congressional Republicans bogged down in trying to pass major legislation like a replacement for Obama Care. House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement, “Democrats from coast to coast threw everything they had at this race, and Karen would not be defeated.”
Republicans cannot afford to rest on their laurels. Every local race has become a national referendum on President Trump.
~ American Liberty Report