In a major victory for President Trump and the GOP, Republican Karen Handel scored a decisive victory over Democrat Jon Ossoff in the Special Congressional Election in Georgia’s sixth district on Tuesday. The GOP also retained another House seat in a special election in South Carolina’s fifth district.
The 30 year old Ossoff had been leading in polls until recent days, and had much riding on his candidacy. He had become the subject of Democrat aspirations in their ongoing battle to topple the President, weaken the Republicans’ control of Congress and gain a victory at long last. But Ossoff faded badly at the end, losing by almost five points.
This was all great excitement, this Georgia congressional race, which was unfortunate but predictable. The media is always looking for a race, any race, they can tout as a “bellwether” for the national political landscape. And suburban Atlanta was a fit battleground for the media narrative with its representative cross-section of the electorate.
This is just the type of race the media always overhypes – a race which would draw zero attention in a mid-term or presidential election year, but which they magnify beyond reason in the least active year of the four year political cycle – the year after a presidential election. Of course, everyone chose to ignore or overlook how insignificant this race – with one of 435 congressional districts at stake – will become days after its conclusion,
But all the excitement revolved around the Democrats. Still reeling from their night of long knives last November when their world came apart, the left was willing to throw ungodly amounts of money at the race. Leftist elites from Hollywood to Martha’s Vineyard poured massive sums into the district, and it became the most expensive congressional race in history – by far. Some fifty million dollars was expended on this contest- the previous high was thirty million.
All of this for one district whose member of congress will make little or no difference upon her arrival in Washington.
Indeed, rest assured that this race that will long be forgotten by the time midterm elections are conducted more than sixteen months from now. But as much as they will try to minimize this result, leftists were brimming with false confidence about Ossoff’s chances in the weeks since the primary election in which Ossoff collected the most votes, but not the majority needed to avoid Tuesday’s run-off. It was only in recent days, and in the midst of tightening polls, that they began to downplay its importance.
The Democrats were giddy over the possibility of flipping this congressional seat because it has traditionally been held by Republicans. And not back-benchers, either. Both Newt Gingrich and the man who vacated the seat to become HHS Secretary,Tom Price, rose to national prominence from this 6th District seat, but the area has moved slowly leftward over the years. While Mitt Romney won the district easily, Trump prevailed by a very slim margin, so barring an unforeseen landslide, Tuesday’s result would have hardly represented a dramatic reversal of fortune for the President regardless of the final outcome.
But in the end, if this was the referendum on Donald Trump that Democrats claimed it to be all along, the result affirms that the voters are hardly ready to reverse the judgment they rendered last November 8.