Polls are now open in Georgia for the U.S. House special election. The runoff race is widely seen as a referendum on Pres. Trump: pic.twitter.com/cQGsBGApk8
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 20, 2017
CNN projects Republican Karen Handel has won Georgia's high-stakes special election. https://t.co/enHjPixCzS pic.twitter.com/qv5wxclMSP
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) June 21, 2017
For nine months in 1916, the French and German armies battled with insane ferocity over a small patch of land in Northern France, committing over two million soldiers, spending the lives of over 300,000 men (and more than that wounded) and at the epicenter of the battle, pouring a millions of shells (literally over a ton of explosives) on an area covering about twelve square miles. The Battle of Verdun was about control of a modest piece of strategically useful territory, but it was really about a lot more: two national combatants testing their strength, resources, and resolve, stakes far more important than an individual town or ridge. Virtually every inch of land that was fought over was destroyed. The victors, the French, held nothing more than what they started the battle with, and their army was broken so badly it has not yet recovered a century later. The losers, the Germans, lost the war.
The residents of Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District can be forgiven for feeling like the villagers of Verdun after a special election that pulverized the district with ad spending and activists. 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.
GA-06 was always going to be a heavy lift for both sides. For Democrats, the obstacles were obvious: it’s a deeply conservative district, Newt Gingrich’s old district, that Mitt Romney won 61-38 in 2012, where then-Congressman Tom Price was regularly re-elected with ease. Their candidate, Jon Ossoff, is young and looks younger, had no real base of support in Georgia (the vast majority of his donors were out of state), and doesn’t even live in the district. His opponent, Karen Handel, was much better-known: she was first elected to office in the district fourteen years ago, previously won statewide office as Secretary of State, ran respectable races for Governor in 2010 and Senate in 2014, and won national notoriety in 2012 over her ultimately unsuccessful effort to separate a national cancer charity from Planned Parenthood.
For Republicans, the race was difficult because this is probably the least Trump-friendly Republican district in the country, an upscale, educated suburban district full of transplants from around the country who work for big multinational corporations headquartered in Atlanta. Trump won it by just a point, running double digits behind Romney, and his approval ratings are well lower now than even his dismal favorability numbers on Election Day. Trump lost just four counties in the state in the 2016 presidential primary, but three of those four (Fulton, Cobb, and DeKalb) make up GA-06, all of which went for Marco Rubio. Trump’s worst counties in Georgia in the primary:
Dems now 0-4 in all their "referendum" special elections,but hey there's a bright side.. they tell me they're 4-4 in moral victories. #maga
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) June 21, 2017
Update: Formerly vitally important election with national implications that can't be overstated now scheduled to be irrelevant by 10 am.
— Mary Katharine Ham (@mkhammer) June 21, 2017
Jake Tapper be like… pic.twitter.com/h9MUZKpRjA
— TheLastRefuge (@TheLastRefuge2) June 21, 2017
The Russians Do It Again: Democrats Get Crushed In Georgia Election Despite 7x Spending Advantage https://t.co/dqUFsRjetV
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) June 21, 2017
If Ossoff had won, I bet you would have said it was all about Trump. https://t.co/tYq27WWigH
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) June 21, 2017
Another $18-20 million and I think he might have edged it https://t.co/FXjf7qzYua
— Allahpundit (@allahpundit) June 21, 2017
Meanwhile, the AP is still not prepared to call MIchigan for Trump
— DanRiehl (@DanRiehl) June 21, 2017
The moment CNN projected #Handel to win. The looks on their faces are priceless! 😂 #GA06 pic.twitter.com/tPHyUjHljX
— Daniel Scroggins (@palmbeachd) June 21, 2017
I gotta recommend the Allahpundit’s suggestion to Dems:
Throw more and more and more money at these elections.
That’ll do it.
…because some campaigns have no problem at all telling baldfaced lies, and because there are plenty of voters who are stupid enough to believe them.
The Pants on Fire claim that Ossoff supporters celebrated violence against GOP
Here’s a slogan: Make America Smart Again.
That’s hard to do when it has people like you, Gullible Greggie. You are a prime example that you can’t fix stupid.
I wonder, was that still a referendum on Trump or not?