Trump seizes on Republican victory in Georgia to push agenda
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 21, 2017,
Jun 21, 2017, 22:07
Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, defeated Ossoff 52 percent to 48 percent in the most expensive House race in US history.
Republican Karen Handel won Georgia's closely watched Congressional election.
Indeed, when Trump's White House tapped four Republican congressman for prominent posts in the GOP administration, the immediate assumption was that Republicans would have little trouble holding onto these seats.
Republicans already pointing to Handel's victory as evidence that backlash against Trump won't win the House for Democrats.
"Republican Karen Handel defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff in a high-stakes special election for a Georgia House seat on Tuesday, denying Democrats their first major victory of the Donald Trump era".
Republicans can also now breathe a sigh of relief with the knowledge that they can still win in the kind of affluent, educated districts that often favor Democrats - even with a president who has divided voters in their own party.
"No one knows who he is", Handel told USA Today.
Left-wing actors Jane Fonda, Chelsea Handler and Alyssa Milano all donated money and time to Jon Ossoff's failed campaign.
That did not stop Trump from weighing in on Twitter, urging voters to support Handel before the election and celebrating her victory afterward.
In another Tuesday night tweet, Trump congratulated Handel and said "we are all very proud of you!"
The race is reported to cost up to $50 million according to Politico. The race was held to replace former Congressman Tom Price, who's now the Health and Human Services Secretary.
Still, the defeat was sure to prompt soul-searching in a party that is shut out of power in Washington and has steadily lost influence at the state level in recent years.
The president's approval rating was 37 percent in a Gallup poll taken June 17-19 as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and congressional committees investigate possible Trump campaign ties to Russian Federation and whether the president obstructed the FBI's probe.
Ossoff benefited from just under $8 million in outside spending, including $5 million from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.