Winners and losers from the Georgia special election
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 22, 2017,
Jun 22, 2017, 2:47
On Tuesday, Republicans also held onto the House seat in SC that was vacated in by Mick Mulvaney so he could become the White House budget director.
While the White House had played down the national importance of the Georgia race, Trump had gone all in on Handel, and the Republican Party no doubt sees the victory as a shot in the arm as it prepares to fight to preserve its control of Congress in next year's mid-term elections.
After Tuesday's win, Handel thanked Trump at her victory rally. Fantastic job, we are all very proud of you!
The controversial proposal, which Handel said she would have voted for, would "gut the protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions - hundreds of thousands of them", Ossoff argued at a debate earlier this month.
"Expect [a] circular firing squad in [the] Democratic Party - with [a] continued lurch to Left as [the] Herbal Tea Party gains momentum with autopsies on race highlighting Democratic candidate's lack of progressive credentials", Krueger said.
The president then followed up Wednesday morning, offering the Democrats some advice: "obstruction doesn't work!" But Republicans are now boasting a "5-0" record in special elections for seats Democrats sought to flip - counting Georgia twice, as Ossoff was unable to lock down an outright win in the initial contest and lost to Handel in the runoff.
On the other hand, a Handel win is not anywhere near the victory/mandate/endorsement the Trump team will claim it to be. In a strategic decision aimed at courting moderate Republicans who had supported Hillary Clinton in the fall, Ossoff rarely mentioned Trump's name, and Democrats only hit Handel on the GOP's health care effort late in the race. That's got to be encouraging for them, and a big reason they haven't won all these races is simply because they have been held in firmly conservative districts.
Republicans can feel better about the state of things than they could if they had lost. In the previous three elections in the South Carolina Fifth District, Republicans won by an average of 19 points - the same margin by which Trump won last fall.
Democrats pinned their hopes on a 30-year-old who had never run for office before and didn't even live in the district.
The most expensive House election in US history is down to the wire Tuesday in Georgia's sixth district.
The former Georgia secretary of state won by nearly 4 points, beating Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old documentary filmmaker and former congressional staffer - 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent.
"We showed the world that in places where no one thought it was even possible to fight, we could fight", Ossoff told a gathering of disappointed supporters. But veteran Republican operatives also warn against overreading the lessons of one special election.
Krueger said Georgia could taper GOP anxiety on the American Health Care Act, the Obamacare repeal-and-replace effort now making its way through the Senate.