June 21st, 2017

Karen Handel wins Georgia seat

Georgia’s 6th Congressional District has been Republican for quite some time, sometimes solidly Republican, and it turns out that yesterday was no exception: Republican Karen Handel won by about four points despite the Democrats’ throwing a ton of money into defeating her, and despite their hopes that Trump had alienated enough usually-Republican voters that they’d take it out on Handel by rejecting her.

Didn’t happen. The money was wasted, and either voters are not all that disaffected with Trump or they managed to realize that Handel and Trump are two different people (they don’t even look alike!), or both.

Dan McLaughlin has this to say in National Review:

Patrick Ruffini estimated on Twitter this morning that the two parties combined to spend more money in this House race ($50 million) than Ronald Reagan spent on his 1984 presidential re-election (even adjusting Reagan’s $28 million campaign for inflation). At this writing, given the projected outcome, the net result looks very much like Verdun: a costly and depressing victory for the Republicans, bled white defending their own turf, and a debacle for Democrats, who came home empty-handed and must be able to win districts like GA-06 if they are to take control of the House in 2018 and carry out their chief policy goal of impeaching President Trump…

The reason why both sides poured so many resources into this race was the simple calculation by both sides that upscale suburban Romney-not-Trump voters are precisely the kind of swing votes that the Democrats need in 2018 to reclaim the House. And yet, Karen Handel persisted, and prevailed. If the Democrats are going to crack that code in 2018, they haven’t yet. Ossoff’s message was a mixed bag of occasional Trump-bashing, conservative-sounding promises to tackle wasteful DC spending, and a very belated rush to hit Republicans on health care after soft-pedaling the issue until the campaign’s final days, when candidates traditionally give up on persuasion and focus on firing up their base.

Funny thing; I don’t see many Republicans today who find this victory the least bit depressing. I suppose Handel’s victory should have been larger, but it was a substantial win and wins are usually not a cause for sorrow.

My takeaways from this election?

(1) Once again, the Democrats ran a bad candidate. Bad fit for the county, extraordinarily young, inexperienced, and to the left. Why did they make such an obvious error? I’ve researched it a bit, and I haven’t found the answer, except that the other candidates must have been pretty awful. That’s a problem that’s getting very serious for the Democrats in general, and was responsible (IMHO) for their 2016 loss of the presidency, when the very poor candidate Hilary Clinton emerged as the most viable candidate, with the geriatric (sorry, Bernie!) Sanders close behind. Osoff was new blood, but not all new blood is good blood.

(2) Money can’t buy you love. Ooops, I mean elections. But it can help.

(3) Polls continue to be not so hot, although not so very bad either.

22 Responses to “Karen Handel wins Georgia seat”

  1. Griffin Says:

    I suspect the Republicans that would be depressed would be of the NeverTrump variety who are not so secretly hoping for him to bring down the party.

  2. Cornhead Says:

    I see this election as a total and complete defeat for the Dems. They spent a fortune and still lost. The polls had him winning!

    And why anyone should listen to Nate Silver and other pollsters after November is a mystery to me.

    The Dems are a regional and urban party. The rest of America is fed up with them.

    My favorite take is from the Nebraska Dem Chair. She thinks “big money” cost JO the election. But the SC Dem lost too. Regardless of what the Dems spent, they lose.

    The only thing the Dems have left is the Russia investigation.

  3. Llwddythlw Says:

    I wonder if this is something to do with the Dems moving sharply leftward and possessing an almost religious fervor as to the correctness of their beliefs. In such a situation, they might be unable (or unwilling) to stop ploughing their own furrow, despite the manifest lack of success that has accrued to them.

  4. blert Says:

    Check out the crazy poll numbers prior to the final daze.

    They are a repeat of October-November.

    Paglia is more on target with what ails the MSM-Left-DNC.

  5. parker Says:

    The democrats are relying on a plethora of ‘victim’ groups which are often in conflict with each other. Many of these groups and the individuls within them have nothing but rage and alligence to a dogma they do not actually understand. Now, slowly day by day they are starting to eat their own.

    They do not realize their dogma turns off a majoity of the voters. This is why democrats are back to the minority status of the 1920s.

  6. RohanV Says:

    I’m not so sure that Ossoff was a bad choice of candidate. Or more accurately, maybe he was a bad choice for the main campaign, but a good choice for the primary. He did come very close to winning the race outright in the primary.

    I can see the local Dem strategist deciding that race was unwinnable in the main two-candidate election, because the Rep/Dem divide would be accentuated. But gambling on a win in the primary might work. So they chose a candidate who was very different from the Republican ones, and downplayed his party identity.

  7. Chris Says:

    RohanV- I think you nailed it.

  8. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    I suspect it’s a combination of the rationales that Llwddythlw and RohanV offer.

  9. Llwddythlw Says:

    In celebration of the electoral victory:

    Instead of a miserable toss-off,
    The left put up Jonathan Ossoff,
    The west coast donated,
    His coffers inflated,
    I can’t see the Dems laugh this loss off.

  10. MollyNH Says:

    Our NE radio guy Howie Carr, advises ” whenever you hear a race is neck and neck, it usually means the Democrat is losing.” Loll

  11. Irv Says:

    I think it is Trump’s mannerisms that so offend the establishment in both parties. He is crude, direct, completely non-nuanced in his opinions, a braggart and a blowhard. He’s the antithesis of every establishment politician. His very existence in their world is an insult to their sensibilities. An the greatest insult to their way of politics is the fact that he says what he’s going to do and then does it.

    Unfortunately for the establishment of both parties, the people are continuing to vote on his policies and not his manners. Everything he has done in his executive orders and his visits with business and labor leaders has been good for the economy. Just try to find even one substantial action he has taken that doesn’t benefit the middle class.

    The establishment just can’t get it through their heads that the people care about things that affect their daily lives. They care about jobs, the economy, illegal immigration and law and order. They don’t care about Trump’s manners, his personality, his crudeness or the Russians because, while those things might be interesting, they really don’t mean much to their daily lives. They enjoy watching them like a reality TV program but they’d never confuse them with their real lives.

    Trump won because the establishment couldn’t or wouldn’t relate to people on a level that was important to them and he’ll continue to win until they figure that out.

    I, personally, doubt they ever will.

  12. AesopFan Says:

    Irv Says:
    June 21st, 2017 at 10:53 pm…
    The establishment just can’t get it through their heads that the people care about things that affect their daily lives. They care about jobs, the economy, illegal immigration and law and order. They don’t care about Trump’s manners, his personality, his crudeness or the Russians because, while those things might be interesting, they really don’t mean much to their daily lives. They enjoy watching them like a reality TV program but they’d never confuse them with their real lives.
    * * *
    This.
    On the other hand, the things the MSM and pundits obsess on ARE about their real lives.

  13. huxley Says:

    I surfed around for the bottom-line numbers on campaign spending by party and could only find scattershot data and aggregate figures.

    Maybe if I had looked harder I would have found what I wanted.

    But I came away thinking the final numbers must be really lop-sided and embarrassing for Democrats.

  14. huxley Says:

    And why anyone should listen to Nate Silver and other pollsters after November is a mystery to me.

    Cornhead: My trust in Silver has been chastened but he still seems reasonable enough I continue to read him.

    His final number for Trump 2016 was 28.6% — which put Trump as an underdog but not the no-hoper the MSM and Democrats assumed.

  15. regularjoeski Says:

    local Political scuttlebutt said Ossoff was the candidate because his father wanted to buy him a seat. Father is a fundraiser who knows local Ds and Pelosi. Ds actually had a candidate running who could have won, old Ga Democrat who lived in district. Ossoff had money advantage from day one.

  16. JackReno Says:

    Let’s all go on believing, however faintly, in “the polls” until the last dog dies.

    Excellent notion!

  17. Bilwick Says:

    Of course, the Dems could take all those millions they pour into political campaigns and use the money to actually help the poor people they always profess such great concern for. I’m sure that will happen–right after Maxine Waters is elected president of Mensa.

    And then there’s this: http://dailycaller.com/2017/06/20/ossoff-voters-impossible-to-reach-because-they-live-with-their-parents-democratic-organizer-says/

  18. Bill Says:

    Democrats who are playing this as a moral victory are deluding themselves.

    They won’t wake up to the fact that the hard left turn the Democratic party has taken has led to electoral disaster.

  19. Bill Says:

    “Let’s all go on believing, however faintly, in “the polls” until the last dog dies.

    Excellent notion!”

    JackReno – I’m with you, if you mean not believing in the polls regardless of what they say.

    But what I see is we don’t believe in polls that we hope aren’t true, but as soon as one pops up that actually says Trump is popular it’s the golden gospel.

    I do think the pollsters are missing something. I don’t think that the majority want to be wrong (they kind of live and die by the reputation for accuracy – who’s going to pay a cr@ppy pollster).

    If the polls improve for Trump and you and others are still saying ignore them, I’m with ya.

  20. Bilwick Says:

    I enjoyed the attacks on Handel in the Ossoff ads: “She’s a career politician.” Isn’t that what Dishonest Jon wants to be? After he won, and his term expired, was he just going to return home like Cincinnatus?

  21. Daniel in Brookline Says:

    Ha! “She persisted.” I love it!

    So far, President Trump has not tweeted that the Republicans put another woman in Congress (instead of the Democrats’ white male). I don’t expect he will. Tweaking one’s opponents’ noses is fun, but unnecessary.

  22. AesopFan Says:

    This was a good take on the “money can’t buy you votes”aspect.

    http://thefederalist.com/2017/06/21/jon-ossoff-proves-cant-buy-election/

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