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In Georgia, Handel reaches out to Democrats and thanks Trump

22 June 2017

In a Tuesday night tweet, Trump congratulated Handel and said "we are all very proud of you!"

Democrats on Tuesday also lost a special election in neighboring SC, where Republican Ralph Norman easily prevailed over Democrat Archie Parnell in a seat formerly held by Republican Mick Mulvaney, who is now Trump's budget director.

"Well, the Special Elections are over and those that want to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN are 5 and O!" "All the Fake News, all the money spent = 0" he wrote on Twitter.

The Democrat in the Georgia race, Jon Ossoff, was unsuccessful in flipping a traditionally Republican district in the Atlanta suburbs previously represented by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. Yes, Democrats need to win a net of 24 seats to take back Congress, and 47 districts held by Republicans are less conservative than Georgia 6. There were real people standing for office: a political veteran seeking redemption, in the Republican Karen Handel, and a newcomer in the Democrat Ossoff.

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The race is being viewed nationally as a gauge of whether President Donald Trump's sagging approval ratings are a drag on Republicans that could threaten the party's control of the House in the 2018 midterm elections. The lack of new leaders gives Republicans the ability to turn elections from a referendum on Trump to a partisan contest against the likes of Pelosi and other stalwarts unpopular with Republicans and some independents.

Republicans were beside themselves about Ossoff's ability to raise money from outside Georgia, while their candidate was sustained and carried across the finish line by spending from Republican outside groups.

Progressives poured $23 million into Jon Ossoff's campaign.

The result set off a round of gloating from Republicans - up to and including those with the surname "Trump" - and some serious teeth-gnashing among Democrats, who were clearly and publicly frustrated by their inability to win a race despite a firm belief that Trump's unpopularity is their ticket to winning elections. There are many districts that will be a lot tougher for Republicans to hold than Georgia's Sixth next November.

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Republican candidate Karen Handel speaks to CNN about Georgia's special election on June 20, 2017. The same people who called you a misogynist for refusing to vote for a woman are angry that another woman won something. The first-time candidate raised more than $23 million for his campaign, but most of that came from outside of Georgia from liberal enclaves like NY and California. Maybe it was just a function of the split in the GOP, the Romney Republicans vs. the Trump Team, and, absent Trump on the ballot, the Georgia district simply reverted to form.

"This is not the outcome any of us hoped for, but this is the beginning of something much bigger than us", Ossoff told supporters Tuesday night. Republicans are favored to hold a fourth seat up Tuesday in SC, while Democrats already held their lone open seat in a California special election.

In other words, in the realm of spin, appearances, and momentum, a Handel win is a huge victory for the White House.

Trump's party also claimed victory in another congressional race on Tuesday, in neighbouring SC. But, President Donald Trump also won, since the Democrats were incautious enough to make the election about him. "But we do know that he lost doing the opposite".

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She also noted throughout the campaign that she's lived in the district for 25 years, unlike Ossoff, who grew up in the district but lives in Atlanta, a few miles south of the 6th District's southern border. "This race proves Republicans have no reason to be defensive as a result of Obamacare's demise, it shows Republicans have nothing to hide from in the age of Trump and it signifies that nothing about the current faux-scandal-ridden environment has produced a downdraft for Republicans".