Republicans were served with another wake-up call as they received another reminder of President Donald Trump's unpopularity when Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff narrowly missed winning the seat Republicans have held for the last 40 years.
Obviously, Ossoff and his allies hoped to cross the 50% threshold yesterday and avoid a runoff, but the fact that he earned 48% of the vote is an impressive feat for a Democrat in a Republican district in a Republican state.
Democrats don't even really need to win this June runoff, held to replace Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, to take back the House. The seat, in Georgia's 6th Congressional District, became open when Trump tapped then-Rep.
After all, Trump promised to support LGBTQ people also, despite his numerous anti-LGBTQ appointments, most recently Scott Garrett to head up the Export-Import Bank. Ossoff got tons of love and money from Hollywood, raising and spending well more than $8 million.
In a statement late Tuesday night, Ossoff described his strong showing as "a remarkable victory".
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Ossoff has been counting on uniting Democrats in Georgia's special election.
Handel's efforts as secretary of state to purge Georgia's voter rolls by requiring voters to prove their citizenship led to fights with the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.
During a brief speech Tuesday night she dismissed Ossoff as a "liberal lightweight" and promised to "kick a little Ossoff".
President Trump took credit for helping to block Democrat John Ossoff from getting an outright win in a congressional special election in Georgia.
Trump had indeed seemed aware the election was as much about him as those in the fray, and had seemed engaged in a stream of tweets through the day on Tuesday as the district voted. Why wouldn't he be?
Democrats still have an opportunity to flip the district in the June 20 runoff, but it will be a tall order now that Republicans can put their full might behind a single candidate.
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Jon Ossoff addresses the crowd following his big election win.
One person Handel didn't mention was President Donald Trump, who tweeted his congratulations Wednesday morning. The Dunwoody retiree and Handel volunteer says Republicans were too cautious in the primary for fear they'd "step on toes".
"For the second week in a row, Democrats have misread the electorate, falling short to Republicans and wasting millions of dollars in the process", McDaniel concluded.
Ossoff outperformed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Cobb and DeKalb counties and was running ahead of Clinton's numbers in Fulton County.
Democrats, meanwhile, saw Handel - whose 55th birthday was Tuesday - as the Republican against whom they would fare the best, in part because of her conservative stances on social issues and attacks on Planned Parenthood.
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