Monday, 24 September, 2018


Republican Karen Handel wins key Georgia election

BI Graphics_6th Georgia Skye Gould Business Insider
Bennie Garza | 21 June, 2017, 21:23

And in the midst of the George W. Bush administration, Democrats began rattling off an impressive string of special election victories that served as precursors to their 2006 and 2008 victories.

Of course, there's more than one way to look at the results.

Republicans are favored to hold a fourth seat on Tuesday in SC, while Democrats already held their lone open seat in a California special election. Tom Price, now Trump's health secretary, won the district by 23 points in 2016.

The South Carolina race, like the race in Georgia, wasn't much of a contest at all. It was going to be an easy win for the Republican candidate, in a district that has been deeply red since Mick Mulvaney, now the Office of Management and Budget director, won the seat in the Tea Party wave of 2010.

The 55-year-old Handel is a former Georgia secretary of state. But taking a step back, there's a silver lining for the party that's come up short: if Democrats can seriously compete in red districts in red states like these, they can seriously compete nearly anywhere.

The race to replace Price was a money bonanza, with both Ossoff and Handel enjoying a seemingly bottomless pit of funds both within their campaigns and from outside groups. That fervor quickly elevated what would otherwise have been a sleepy local race into a high-stakes referendum on Trump, and the most expensive House campaign in history.

Handel becomes the first Republican woman to represent Georgia in Congress.

Dan Pfeiffer, a long-time senior aide to former President Barack Obama, tweeted that Democrats need a "progressive populist candidate" focused on the economy and the GOP's health care effort to win tough House races.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Handel defeated Ossoff by a margin of 52 to 48 percent. "It says: Perhaps the approach that's being taken in Congress and by the President are more acceptable to a swing district or swing-voting parts of the country than people are predicting". He was clearly a political juggernaut, as his $25 million dollars in campaign funds demonstrated. Campaign spending is most helpful in a primary, when name recognition is low and when one particular ad can effectively define a candidate. "Reduce the deficit so the economy can keep growing". Vice President Mike Pence also to Atlanta earlier in the month to stump for Handel. Actually, two of them.

Democratic voters nationwide, Petkanas said, don't know Ossoff. "I think Republicans will continue to recognize that taking away coverage from millions of Americans and raising costs for millions more is a politically unpopular and unsafe enterprise".

Should Democrats fail to convert at least one of the seats, it could be a demoralizing blow for the anti-Trump resistance movement.

Handel has aligned herself gingerly with Trump.

Ossoff told his supporters: "The fight goes on". At the same time, she successfully painted Ossoff as an outsider based on the fact that he lived three miles outside of the Sixth District, which he had explained as living with his fiancée to support her while she finished her degree.

The fundamentals of this race always favored Handel. There are several reasons why Handel won and Ossoff lost.

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