Republican Karen Handel easily beat back Democrat boy wonder Jon Ossoff in yesterday’s special election in Georgia’s 6th congressional district, touted as the most costly congressional race in American history.
Handel becomes the first female Republican elected to Congress from Georgia as Democrats’ effort to throw a wrench in President Trump’s already slow-moving legislative agenda fails rather spectacularly.
“Thanks to everyone who breathlessly and snarkily proclaimed #GA06 as a "referendum on POTUS @realDonaldTrump,” Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway tweeted. “You were right. #winning[.]”
President Trump tweeted his congratulations to Handel “on her big win in Georgia 6th. Fantastic job, we are all very proud of you!”
He added, “Well, the Special Elections are over and those that want to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN are 5 and O! All the Fake News, all the money spent = 0[.]”
The defeat of 30-year-old Ossoff in suburban Atlanta was a crushing blow to Democrat hopes of taking back the longtime Republican seat and thereby giving the Trump Resistance movement a major psychological boost as the Russian electoral collusion conspiracy theory investigation against President Trump fails to gain any new traction. President Trump bested Hillary Clinton by only one percentage point in the district this past November, leading some pundits to describe Georgia-6 as an establishment Republican district.
Ossoff's campaign spent $22.5 million, compared to Handel's $3.2 million, according to reports. That is a ratio of 7 to 1 in favor of the Democrat. Despite not being a resident of his district, a fact Handel ably capitalized on, Ossoff took in almost nine times more donations from California than from Georgia. One media analysis indicated a mere 3.5 percent of Ossoff’s donations from late March to the end of May came from within the state. Celebrity endorsements from entertainers Samuel L. Jackson, Chelsea Handler, Alyssa Milano, and John Leguizamo couldn’t save Ossoff. Nor could donations from traitor Jane Fonda, and actors Sam Waterston, Kristen Bell, Connie Britton, Jessica Lange, Lynda Carter, Rhea Perlman, or Jon Cryer get Ossoff across the finish line.
Although it wasn’t the kind of double-digit blowout Republicans are accustomed to in a district that until a few months ago had been represented by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, it still wasn’t even close.
Handel defeated Ossoff by about 52 percent to 48 percent in the runoff election. Ossoff’s percentage last night was roughly the same as the 48.12 percent he earned in the 18-way “jungle primary” contest on April 18, suggesting a huge money advantage and favorable saturation media coverage are not decisive factors in electoral politics in the Trump era.
Only the mainstream media treated the special election in the reliably Republican district as a hotly contested race that could go either way. In the end, it was all hype. The countless polls showing Ossoff ahead as Democrats struggled to turn the race into a kind of national referendum on President Trump were worthless, just like the polls that showed Hillary Clinton would defeat Trump last November.
After all, the 6th congressional district of Georgia has been Republican since Newt Gingrich took it in the 1978 election. The district garners a rating of R+8 on the Cook Partisan Voting Index, also called PVI. The PVI measures how strongly a district or state leans Republican or Democratic compared to the nation as a whole by comparing the district's average Republican or Democratic share of the two-party presidential vote in the preceding two presidential elections to the nation's average share of the same. So R+8 means the district is 8 percentage points more Republican than the nation as a whole.
Despite their oft-repeated claim that the public is fed up with President Trump and strongly anti-GOP, Democrats haven’t succeeding in flipping any congressional seats in the five special elections held so far this year. Not even one. If there is a powerful undercurrent threatening to deprive Republicans of control of both chambers of Congress in the 2018 midterms it has yet to surface.
As expected, Jimmy Gomez (D) won the June 6 election in California's 34th congressional district after Xavier Becerra (D) left to become the state’s attorney general. In the Kansas 4th, Ron Estes (R) won the April 11 election after Mike Pompeo (R) resigned to become CIA director. On May 25, Greg Gianforte (R) won Montana's at-large seat after Ryan Zinke left to become secretary of the interior.
There was also a less closely observed special election yesterday in the 5th congressional district of South Carolina to fill the seat vacated by Republican Mick Mulvaney, who became director of the Office of Management and Budget in February.
Republican Ralph Norman received 51.1 percent of the vote there, defeating Democrat Archie Parnell who received 47.9 percent of the vote.
President Trump tweeted, “Ralph Norman ran a fantastic race to win in the Great State of South Carolina's 5th District. We are all honored by your success tonight!”
The South Carolina race, like the race in Georgia, wasn’t much of a contest at all. The district was rated R+9 by the Cook Partisan Voting Index though it hasn’t been a GOP stronghold for as long as Georgia-6.
In 2010, Mulvaney defeated incumbent John Spratt, a Democrat, becoming the first Republican to represent the district since freedman Robert Smalls in 1875. Smalls became a Civil War hero when he freed himself and his crew by commandeering a Confederate transport ship and surrendering it to federal forces.
Now that Karen Handel and Ralph Norman have slammed more doors in the faces of the Resistance, expect the Left to come up with new mischief in their efforts to neutralize Donald Trump as president.
That’s what these people do.