Dem loss in Georgia underscores party challenges

Thursday, 22 Jun, 2017

This year's special elections, including Jon Ossoff's loss to Karen Handel in Georgia, are a reminder that it will indeed be hard for Democrats to win in Republican-leaning districts, just as it was for the Democrats in 2006 or for Republicans on Democratic-leaning turf in 2010. The 6th District seat has been solidly Republican, but Democrat Ossoff got 48 percent in a crowded April 18 election to almost win the seat outright and fuel Democratic optimism about repudiating Trump.

High-profile endorsements for the candidates were also abundant: President Donald Trump voiced his support for Handel. In another tweet, Trump also congratulated Republican Ralph Norman, who won a special congressional election in SC.

[F] or Democrats, having failed to unseat a Republican in four special House elections in a row despite an extremely energized base, it's now a time for soul-searching - and finger-pointing.

Democrats would have hailed an Ossoff victory as a rebuke of President Donald Trump in the staunchly Republican district.

Each of the special elections so far have also come with their quirks: For instance, Georgia 6 had a very high turnout and tens of millions of dollars invested by each party, whereas SC 5 had a much lower turnout and very little investment. Ossoff's loss is the latest in a string of Democratic losses in all three other special congressional elections that have taken place this year. Ossoff had raised roughly $23 million and spent about $22 million as of the most recently available campaign finance reports.

After Tuesday's win, Handel thanked Trump at her victory rally.

Former Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California), said Ossoff's loss was "tough", but Democrats, "can and will do better in 2018".

With Price out of Congress, a special election was held in Georgia's 6th district to fill the vacancy.

"You've got to be careful about reading too much into this election", Bloomberg said. "Hey Media, instead of saying Democrats LOST say Republicans WON!"

"Democrats have got to get back in the habit of winning again, and I think one way we can do that is by getting new candidates and a new generation of leadership", Moulton told reporters Wednesday during a briefing on the new House Democratic national security task force. "Trump agenda is popular", he posted in a re-tweet of one of his previous messages.

Rumored to be a close race by the mainstream press. "The strong headwinds facing Republicans, incredible grassroots enthusiasm behind Democrats, and a damaged and exposed House Republican Caucus all clarify that we have the momentum heading into 2018".

"I've said from the very beginning that this race was and remained about the people of the 6th District", said Handel.