Posted: 04/19/17 14:23
by Dave Mindeman
Outside of the hyped up messages coming out of Georgia, what did we really learn.
First, the Democrat Ossoff had the overwhelming majority of votes. Keep in mind that this district was won by Tom Price, just 6 months ago, by 23 points. That is no small feat and Democrats have concentrated on NOT getting to the 50% threshold...acting as if it was a defeat. Expectations were way, way too high.
Yes, Ossoff will have a more difficult time in a one on one election, but it will be competitive and that, by itself, is pretty amazing.
Secondly, Trump and Republicans will count this as a victory, but no self respecting analyst wouldn't be more than a little worried about how the GA and KS elections turned out. If Democrats can run close in these deep red districts, that has to give pause to the Republican strategists.
Thirdly, the Republican candidates that tried to run on a pro-Trump platform lost badly. They polled in single digits. And the Republican that made the run off didn't even talk about Trump to any extent.
Fourth, Ossoff will give Democrats an opportunity to try some different messaging strategies against Karen Handel. As Secretary of State she tried to purge the rolls with proof of citizenship. That has always been a challenge when trying to match names on registration. But SOS's that have done this have always managed to purge plenty of legal minority voters. She is also a pro-life extremist. She tried to pull the Susan G. Kommen foundation out of Planned Parenthood ties as a member of the Kommen board. It was a fiasco and ended up costing Kommen credibility and she resigned from the board. Ossoff needs to point out this contrast and he should have the resources to do it.
This is a two person race that the DCCC cannot ignore. They need to support Ossoff - he is an exceptional candidate; the type of candidate that can win in the South. This election is in June - and who knows how much of a drag that Trump may end up being for Republicans. Is it a coincidence that Jason Chaffetz decides not to run in 2018 with these things going on? Will more Republicans jump ship?
The pressure is there. The resistance is working. Yesterday was a very good sign.