Angry Dems turn against leaders after House election losses

Wade Massey
June 28, 2017

While Ryan praised the ongoing investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia, he argued that doubt in Trump's leadership is not enough to flip seats in Congress.

The Democratic Party's dreams of an upset victory to add a congressional seat in a special election in an affluent suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, have crashed as their outsider candidate Jon Ossoff lost narrowly to local veteran Karen Handel.

He and his party forced a Republican to spend millions to protect a district that's quite literally built to elect people like Handel.

With the president's approval numbers hovering below 40 percent, should the Democrats be anxious about their losing streak in what could be considered an election year's pre-season?

As the Democrats' fourth loss in a row since the presidential election - though all in Republican strongholds - the Georgia result also underscored the reality that Mr Trump has maintained the support of his base.

While pundits debate what the real importance of the Georgia special election was, one number puts the loss of Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff in a stunning perspective.

And so the score stands, GOP 4, Dems 0.

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The thank you to Trump was Handel's most public show of support of the man who wasn't embraced by many voters in the well-educated suburban Atlanta district in November. "We need a genuinely new message, a serious jobs plan that reaches all Americans, and a bigger tent not a smaller one". Some expressed fears about the same tactic being used elsewhere as they aim to take back control of the House in next year's midterms. "It is possible that he could actually get re-elected if Democrats aren't careful". "Nancy Pelosi is not the only reason that Ossoff lost".

In Georgia's 6th Congressional District, Democrats spent over $20 million with millions more pouring in from outside groups.

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

That Mr Ossoff came closer to victory than any Democrat for 30 years in a traditionally Republican seat was encouraging for the party, but cold comfort especially after it pumped millions of dollars into his campaign.

"I worry sometimes that we get so obsessed and angered by Donald Trump, which is OK, but you can't hold on to it because it takes your eye off the ball", Ryan said.

The other party just sent a septuagenarian grandfather who yells at televisions to the Oval Office, yet an odd notion persists that it's the Democrats who don't have a good "bench" of young stars. In all four states, Democrats bolstered their historical performance in districts they lost by double-digit margins previous year. But despite all the money, the Democratic Party didn't turn the tables in special elections for house seats vacated by Republicans. Republicans have won all four of the four special elections that have been held under President Trump.

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