Culture

Handel's Victory Shows Limits of Trump Card

Handel's Victory Shows Limits of Trump Card”

Handel, an establishment Republican and former state secretary of state, defeated Democratic challenger and political novice Jon Ossoff by about five percentage points, USA television networks projected, denying Democrats what would have been their first election victory of the year.

Bruce Reed, a top party leader and former chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden, and President Barack Obama's former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said as much before Ossoff's loss.

Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, who has advocated for a revamped party framework, said that the party is distracted by scandals and intrigue in Washington and needs to refocus on kitchen-table issues that moderate voters care about.

Republican Karen Handel won a closely watched special congressional election Tuesday, salvaging a seat in the traditionally conservative Georgia where Democrats had hoped to strike a blow against Donald Trump's presidency.

In another tweet, Trump also congratulated Republican Ralph Norman, who won a special congressional election in SC.

"Ossoff race better be a wake up call for Democrats - business as usual isn't working", tweeted Representative Seth Moulton of MA. "They need to learn from this and figure out how to win next year".

The Georgia race ends as the most expensive House campaign in USA history, with a tab that may exceed $50 million.

House Democratic leaders are taking some comfort in coming in a close second for a seat that's always been firmly in GOP hands.

Ossoff's campaign was less direct in trying to link Handel with Trump, who barely edged Clinton in November in the 6th District. But now, after a string of disappointments, those divisions have re-emerged, though Pelosi appears unlikely to face an immediate challenge. But as an increasingly well-educated and diverse suburban district, it is the kind of territory Democrats need to win if they want to gain the 24 seats necessary to reclaim the House in 2018. "And I'm not sure that that's there yet".

"I think there was consensus within the room that there are other members within the caucus who feel just like we do", Vela told CNN.

"She personally told me she was rock solid" with the president, said Webb, 70.

Pelosi insists Democrats still have a shot at winning the majority in next year's midterm elections, saying, "The House remains in play now".

Mollineau does not deny Democrats have work to do to in preparation for the 2018 midterm elections, but said that recent special election losses do not mean change must happen immediately. She has beat back all comers, including last fall, when Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan of OH ran against her. Ryan fell well short but garnered dozens of votes, enough to underscore dissatisfaction with Pelosi and with her aging leadership team that has left promising young Democrats with few places to rise.

And Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 House Democrat, remarked that "we had no business winning those districts" due to their GOP allegiance.

The result comes as relief for Republicans who had grown concerned about whether their party, buffeted by the scandals that have plagued the Republican president, could hold the seat in Georgia's sixth district, which became the most expensive congressional race in USA history. He returned to Washington late Wednesday.

"The president's numbers are in the thirties and our base is energized", she wrote.

Kathleen Rice, one of a small group who has gone public with the message that Pelosi should go, hosted a dozen Democrats in her office Thursday for an hour-long strategy session. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to become more unabashed in pushing Democrats further to the far-left. "And we will fight".

Some on the left argued for a sharper progressive message and more pointed attacks on Republicans and Trump, while Democrats from Midwestern and working-class districts emphasized the importance of an economic message that could appeal to working class voters who were drawn to Trump.

But prescriptions for how the Democrats should move forward varied.

One thing most everyone could agree on: Coming in second doesn't cut it now and wouldn't be an outcome to celebrate next November.



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