Karen Handel victory in Georgia feted by Republicans

Frederick Owens
June 22, 2017

Democrats' decisive Tuesday night loss in Georgia's special election - a race into which they poured tens of millions of dollars to make it the most expensive House race in USA history - is leaving Democrats to strategize a path forward for the 2018 midterm elections. In the primary election, no candidate reached the 50 percent threshold needed to secure a victory, so the top two moved to a run off election, with Democrat Jon Ossooff and Republican Karen Handel moving on.

Democratic candidate Archie Parnell's June 20 special election was overshadowed by the election in Georgia. For one thing, Ossoff, a 30-year-old former Capitol Hill staffer, did outperform his district's partisan leanings by six points, according to Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report. Their contest had become the most expensive House race in US history, with both candidates raising a cumulative $56.7 million.

He doesn't expect the district's leanings to change in the coming years either, betting that its makeup of well-educated and well-off voters will give Republicans "with a strong platform, a good history and a good record" a path to victory.

Handel thanked national and state Republicans for backing her campaign before making a direct appeal to Ossoff's supporters.

Considering the vast amounts of cash spent on Ossoff, and Democrats desperate for a win in special elections to prove they have momentum ahead of the 2018 midterms, it was expected that as soon as the race was called for Handel, there'd be quite a bit of analysis and reflection on what caused the defeat.

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Senate Republicans have been meeting behind closed doors to try and seek agreement on repealing sections of the Affordable Care Act, Barack Obama's signature healthcare reform which became known as Obamacare. Hillary Clinton landed at 45 percent.

Thompson lost to Republican Ron Estes, 52.5 percent to 45.7 percent. "The longer this race was in the national spotlight, the more money it drew from the Republicans, and the more they were able to consolidate their base".

"I never thought we were gonna win", said Dingell, calling on Democrats to focus on speaking to working-class voters like in her suburban Detroit district.

It has not been an easy year for the Democrats. "Indicates teams going in different directions", Jason Carter himself noted Wednesday morning on Twitter. In another tweet, Trump also congratulated Republican Ralph Norman, who won a special congressional election in SC. Democrats had hoped Georgia would provide a breakthrough for a party trying to harvest electoral victories from the grassroots anti-Trump activism seen in marches on Washington and boisterous crowds at town hall meetings around the country. "He's just not one of us", her ads said, and this message was reinforced by tying him to House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi - and perhaps inadvertently by Ossoff's own promise to "grow metro Atlanta's economy into the Silicon Valley of the South".

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