Tuesday marked the most expensive House race ever. Newcomer Jon Ossoff (D) faced off against Republican Karen Handel. The special election was to replace the House seat vacated by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. The Georgia 6th district seat has been held by a Republican since Newt Gingrich won the seat in 1979.
Handel defeated Ossoff by 3.8 points. That is a far smaller margin than the 20 plus point victories Tom Price received in the same district. The race cost $23 million and garnered national attention. Democrats gained momentum when Ossoff overperformed expectations in the April primary. They hoped that Democrats could flip this long red seat blue. In the end, that was not the outcome.
Ossoff Isn’t Done
While Ossoff made huge strides for Democrats, simply by being competitive in this deep red district, Democrats are disappointed with the loss. Democrats had hoped to attract “reluctant Trump” voters. Voters who weren’t sure about Donald Trump in the 2016 race but took a chance on him. Democrats were banking on these voters turning on the President. It appears that these reluctant supporters remain in the President’s corner.
In his concession speech Ossoff said “In the first opportunity in this country to make a statement about how values can still unite people at a time when politics has been dominated by fear, hatred and scapegoating and division, this community stood up. This is not the outcome any of us had hoped for, but this is the beginning of something much bigger than us … the fight goes on.”
Handel is Gracious – Her Supporters? Not So Much
In her speech shortly following Ossoff’s Handel commented directly to his voters. “To the Jon Ossoff supporters, know that my commitments, they extend to every one of you, as well. We may have some different beliefs, but we are part of one community, the community of the 6th District,” she said.
Karen Handel was gracious in her victory; the same cannot be said for many of her fellow Republicans. The President himself started the evening with a respectful tone
The tone shifted a little later when the President began to gloat
President Trump’s son was typically immature and disrespectful in his response
Similarly, Kellyanne Conway must not have learned about sportsmanship in tee ball as a child.