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Democrat Falls Short Of Avoiding Runoff In Republican District In Georgia

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In a race that was widely seen as an early test of the impact that President Trump was having on fellow Republicans, Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff garnered the most votes in a Special Election in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District but fell short of avoiding a June runoff election that seems likely to keep the seat in Republican hands:

ROSWELL, Ga. — Jon Ossoff, a Democrat making his first bid for elective office, narrowly missed winning a heavily conservative House district in Georgia outright on Wednesday, according to The Associated Press. It threw a scare into Republicans in a special congressional election that was seen as an early referendum on President Trump.

Mr. Ossoff received 48.1 percent of the vote, just short of the 50 percent threshold needed to win the seat, and he will face Karen Handel, the top Republican vote-getter, in a June runoff.

A documentary filmmaker and former congressional staff member, Mr. Ossoff, 30, had hoped to avert a runoff in the Sixth District, a Republican-dominated section of the Atlanta suburbs that had been represented by Tom Price, who is now Mr. Trump’s health and human services secretary. But despite his financial advantage — Mr. Ossoff had raised $8.3 million, more than quadruple that of the next-closest candidate — and a highly energized liberal base, a majority was just out of reach in a district that has not sent a Democrat to Congress since the Carter administration.

Mr. Ossoff released a statement early Wednesday after the race was called.

“This is already a remarkable victory,” he said. “We defied the odds, shattered expectations, and now are ready to fight on and win in June.”

Mr. Ossoff’s strong showing will ensure that national Democrats continue to compete here and will increase pressure on the party to contest a special House election next month in Montana that it has so far ignored. Combined with Democrats’ better-than-expected performance in a special House election in Kansas last week, the Georgia result will be an immediate boon to Democratic groups, lifting their fund-raising and bolstering candidate recruitment efforts, while sobering Republicans who are assessing whether to run in Mr. Trump’s first midterm election. Already, Republican candidates and outside groups have had to spend over $7 million against Democrats in a series of deeply conservative districts.

Early Wednesday, Mr. Trump, who had posted a number of Twitter messages on the contest in the last few days, claimed a victory for Republicans before the race was called.

As Mr. Ossoff faces Ms. Handel in a head-to-head race on June 20, it is unclear whether he will be able to sustain the success he enjoyed on Tuesday, in an 18-person field. Ms. Handel, who received just under 20 percent of the vote, is a former Georgia secretary of state and is viewed as an establishment-friendly Republican. While she has struggled in her two previous campaigns, losing primaries for governor and senator, she will receive the full support of a party that dominates Georgia politics, as well as nearly unlimited resources from Washington Republicans, in the runoff.

Ms. Handel, 55, has portrayed herself as a Trump supporter, though she was less fervent in her backing for him than were the other Republican candidates in the race, who adopted Mr. Trump’s catchphrases and style in an attempt to stand out.

The intense Republican competition and liberal enthusiasm lifted Democratic hopes that they could snatch a surprise victory.

“We are certainly going for an outright win here today,” Mr. Ossoff told CNN on Tuesday before the polls closed.

Much as they did in last week’s race in Kansas, Democrats initially got their hopes up after promising early-vote returns were posted soon after polls closed. But as the Election Day results trickled in, it became clear that those early and absentee ballots, reflecting their fired-up base, would not be sufficient to match the Republicans’ structural advantage in the district.

On Tuesday night, hundreds of Ossoff supporters crammed into a ballroom at a Crowne Plaza hotel. Cries of delight erupted as early returns flashed on big television screens. But many attendees were cautiously optimistic, with an emphasis on caution.

Janice Owens, 60, a project manager who had been knocking on doors and making calls for Mr. Ossoff, said she and others would not feel the effort was wasted if Mr. Ossoff failed to avert a runoff.

“I don’t think anybody thinks it’s for naught,” she said. “Because we’re not giving up.” If anything, the Ossoff campaign showed how Democrats had been successful, even in this Republican-friendly chunk of suburbia, in converting an enthusiastic but inchoate anti-Trump movement into a real political force.

Ms. Handel took the stage at a lightly attended victory party of her own shortly after 11 p.m. to claim her spot in the runoff — and urge Republicans to unify to stop Democrats’ effort to “steal a seat.”

Ms. Handel, battling a few bouts of feedback from a microphone, invoked the “great legacy” of a district that she noted had produced the former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Senator Johnny Isakson and Mr. Price.

But she made no mention of Mr. Trump. Ms. Handel dismissed her opponent as a “young man” beholden to national liberals and vowed to “kick a little Ossoff.”

The contest here effectively represented the first performance review at the ballot box for Mr. Trump and the Republican Congress among the sort of upscale voters who were left without a political home last fall. Mr. Price’s former district is the most highly educated Republican-controlled district in the country. And while the president won here in Atlanta’s booming northern suburbs, he did so by just a single point four years after Mitt Romney romped to a 23-point victory.

For all of the attention lavished on the working class — Rust Belt voters who flocked to Mr. Trump’s campaign — voters who have flourished in the 21st-century economy will prove more crucial when it comes to the fight for control of Congress next year. If Democrats are to have a chance at recapturing the House, they will have to win over the dominant constituency here: suburbanites who only grudgingly cast a presidential ballot in November and have no deep affinity for either Mr. Trump or the Democrats.

None of the major Republican contenders pointedly distanced themselves from the president — they did not dare anger the partisans most likely to vote in a spring special election — but most of them did not make him central to their appeals, either.

With Republican Party officials worried that Democratic enthusiasm might be enough for Mr. Ossoff to get more than 50 percent of the vote and win the seat outright, though, Mr. Trump eventually did weigh in on the contest. He recorded a robocall delivered Monday to Republican voters in the district, warning that Mr. Ossoff would “raise your taxes, destroy your health care and flood our country with illegal immigrants.” And he posted on Twitter a series of messages similarly criticizing Mr. Ossoff while prodding Republicans to “force runoff.

As with last week’s election in Kansas, in which the Republican narrowly held on to a seat vacated by Mike Pompeo when he was named Director of the Central Intelligence Agency by President Trump, many observers are pointing to the fact that Ossoff managed to come fairly close to the majority he needed to win outright in a District that then-incumbent Tom Price had won easily in 2016  by a majority of nearly 80,000 votes. Once again, though, there are several caveats to take into account in that assessment, many of which appear to make it unlikely that Ossoff will be successful in taking on Handel in a runoff in two months. As with the Kansas race, turnout for yesterday’s Special Election was significantly lower than the General Election last November. In 2014’s midterm election, turnout was just under 211,000 votes. Back then, more than 303,000 people cast ballots for Price and his Democratic rival, for example, while the turnout yesterday was just under 193,000 voters, a difference of 110,000 voters from 2016 and roughly 20,000 votes from 2014. While this is slightly higher than what you might expect from a Special Election, it’s still a significant enough difference to support the idea that Ossoff was benefiting from lower turnout in what has been a solidly Republican district since Newt Gingrich won the seat in the 1978 midterm elections. Before that, the seat had been solidly Democratic since it was first established in 1826. In addition to the turnout factor, Ossoff also benefited from the fact that there were a large number of Republicans in the race, a total of 17 candidates as a matter of fact. Although only four of these candidates ended up garnering more than 2,000 votes, it had been obvious for weeks that this large field of Republicans would end up being a drag on the entire field and that the most likely outcome of yesterday’s election would be a June 20th runoff between Ossoff and whichever of the GOP candidates ended up getting the second most votes.

All that being said, Ossoff’s performance yesterday is not something that should be ignored and, along with polling showing that President Trump’s job approval numbers are starting to impact the party as a whole, the results here should be seen as something of a warning to Republicans everywhere that a relatively unpopular President could end up hurting them going forward. It’s hard to deny, for example, the energy that appeared to be behind Ossoff’s campaign as yesterday drew closer. His rallies were well-attended, for example, and he did far better last night than a Democrat has done in this District in quite a long time. Additionally, there at least appeared to be a lot of grassroots support for his campaign, although it’s worth noting that there was considerable reporting about the fact that much of Ossoff’s money, and many of his volunteers were coming from outside the 6th District and that Ossoff himself didn’t live in the district he was running to represent. While it always seemed inevitable that, as effectively the only Democrat in the race, he would likely garner the most votes yesterday he certainly did better than could have been reasonably expected, and that shouldn’t be rejected out of hand.

Looking ahead to the runoff in two months, everything on paper indicates that the seat will most likely stay Republican in the end. For one thing, Republican candidate Karen Handel has a long and mostly successful history in the district in the past, having served on the Fulton County Board of Supervisors before being elected Secretary of State in 2006. She garnered the most votes in a seven-candidate Republican primary field for Georgia Governor in 2010 and only narrowly lost the primary runoff to current Governor Nathan Deal in a runoff primary election. Additionally, it’s likely that turnout for the runoff will be lower than the turnout yesterday was, and that is likely to benefit Handel in a District that has been held by a Republican for nearly forty years. Finally, it’s not clear how much of the momentum that propelled him to a near-win will stay with Ossoff compared to the Republican momentum likely to gather behind Handel now that she is the only Republican in the race. None of this is to say that Ossoff can’t win in June, of course, but it’s clear that his best show was to get over 50% yesterday, and he fell just short of that goal. Additionally, even if Ossoff manages to pull off a narrow win in June the odds are that he’ll be heavily challenged in 2018 and that the GOP would be favored to win the seat back in the midterms.

The June runoff isn’t the only Special Election test coming up for Republicans, although the outcome seems clear in all but one of them. On May 25th, there will be a Special Election to fill the at-large seat in the House of Representatives for Montana that was recently vacated by newly appointed Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. The Republican candidate is Greg Gianforte, a Montana businessman who previously ran an unsuccessful campaign for the Republican nomination for Governor, and the Democratic candidate is Rob Quist, who previously had a career as a singer and songwriter whose songs have been recorded by artists such as Loretta Lynn and who is running in his first bid for political office. Like the Kansas and Georgia races, this is a seat that many observers believe is one that could be ripe for a Democratic pickup, especially given the often mercurial politics of Montana. On June 20th, the same day as the runoff in Georgia, there will be a Special Election in South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District to fill the vacancy created by the departure of Mick Mulvaney to become President Trump’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget. That race is not expected to be competitive given the fact that, well, it’s South Carolina and the District is considered to be safely Republican. In any case, it will be a fairly interesting Spring and by the time it’s over we should have a better idea of what impact Trump is really having on the rest of the GOP.

 

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Scott says:

    Good writeup although I could spin a couple of different scenarios based on different premises.

    Does higher turnout favor the Rs or Ds?

    Given the publicity, why was the turnout so low? Just because it is out of cycle?

    Does the fact that Karen Handel is so well known and yet gathered only about 20% of the vote a sign of weakness?

    Will this be a campaign of issues or referendum on Trump? which approach is better for which candidate?

    Overall, it is a crapshoot. And I expect it to get ugly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  2. 1. Good question. In this first round the somewhat higher than you’d expect for a Special Election turnout clearly helped Ossoff, but not enough. The problem for him is that turnout isn’t likely to be this high in a mid-June runoff at the end of Spring/beginning of summer when many voters in the district may well prefer to be away enjoying a break rather than home voting. Additionally, the fact that Ossoff came so close, combined with the fact that they are unlikely to be caught with their pants down a second time, is likely to motivate Republicans to come out for the runoff and should also lead to Handel receiving a lot of organized support from outside the district.

    2. Special elections are typically low-turnout elections because they are out of cycle. People aren’t used to voting in mid-April.

    3. Another good question, but I’d argue that the fact that there were ten other Republicans in the race diluted whatever support Handel herself may receive now that it’s a one-on-one race.

    4. Republicans will want to make it about the issues because of the district’s long history of going GOP. Democrats will want it to be a referendum on Trump. Who wins that battle could decide who wins.

    But yes, it’s likely to get ugly. Especially since the Montana race I mentioned is the only other Special Election this year that’s likely to be competitive.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  3. Mikey says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I’d argue that the fact that there were ten other Republicans in the race diluted whatever support Handel herself may receive now that it’s a one-on-one race.

    That occurred to me as well. It seems unlikely Ossoff will pull more in the one-on-one runoff than the 48.1% he got in the one-on-a-bunch yesterday. And the GOP is now on high alert given how close this one and the Kansas one were. They’ll be putting max resources into the runoff.

    Republicans will want to make it about the issues because of the district’s long history of going GOP. Democrats will want it to be a referendum on Trump.

    It’s so hard to flip districts these days, with the extreme gerrymandering, that I don’t really hold out much hope. If Ossoff didn’t win 50% + 1 yesterday, he probably won’t in June. It’s certainly possible Trump could do something so heinous between now and June that the Democrats’ efforts to link him to Handel actually swing the election in their favor, but even that seems unlikely.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  4. CSK says:

    @Scott: @Doug Mataconis:

    Ossoff did in fact run against Trump. His slogan was “Make Trump Furious.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  5. gVOR08 says:

    Republicans will want to make it about the issues

    Yeah, issues like,

    stop Democrats’ effort to “steal a seat.”

    Mr. Ossoff would “raise your taxes, destroy your health care and flood our country with illegal immigrants.”

    Democrats run on issues. Handel will run by painting Ossoff as an outsider, an “other”, a tool of paid liberal agitators. Ossoff’s only real hope to win the runoff is that Trump does something obviously stupid, or is publicly caught having done something outrageous, by June.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  6. Moosebreath says:

    @Mikey:

    “It seems unlikely Ossoff will pull more in the one-on-one runoff than the 48.1% he got in the one-on-a-bunch yesterday.”

    The good news for Ossoff is that he is likely to get the vast majority of the votes of the other 4 Democrats who were in yesterday’s jungle primary. The bad news is that the 4 of them received a grand total of about 1,600 votes, or about 8/10 ths of a percent of the votes cast.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. @gVOR08:

    Another factor that could end up hurting Ossoff is the fact that he doesn’t live in the District. While it may surprise many people, there is no requirement that a Member of Congress live in the District they represent. However, Handel and the GOP are likely to use this, combined with the fact that most of his money has come from outside the district, to support the idea of him being and outsider.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. MBunge says:

    Grotesque gerrymandering is problem #1 but that’s exacerbated by both parties not even trying to maintain some kind of grassroots operation in enemy territory. That’s what Howard Dean understood with the “50 state” concept. You need to invest some time and money everywhere because it’s not only the way to really take advantage of sudden opportunities, but it keeps you from intellectally and emotionally writing off huge portions of the electorate.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  9. CSK says:

    A bit OT, but possibly relevant: Jason Chaffetz has decided not to seek re-election.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  10. teve tory says:

    PACs from outside the district spent millions on anti-Ossoff ads. I wonder what the total breakdown was.

    And it’s true that Ossoff doesn’t live in the district, but he was born and grew up there, whereas Handel was born in Washington DC and grew up in Maryland.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  11. teve tory says:

    Tom Price won reelection in that district by 23.4% just six months ago, and now Ossoff came within a hair of winning? That’s a drastic shift. Just for fun, one of the stats guys computed what the result would be if next year every district swung as hard for Dems as GA-06 did. IIRC the result was ~65 more Dems in the House.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  12. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @gVOR08:

    Ossoff’s only real hope to win the runoff is that Trump does something obviously stupid, or is publicly caught having done something outrageous, by June.

    I think that’s a given. What are the chances of Dumb Don not doing something…you know…really dumb?
    The real hope, for far more than just this one seat, is that Comb-Over Donnie doesn’t start a trumped up war, to cover for his myriad shortcomings and failures, by June.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  13. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    I’d just like to say that the world is a better place today, with Bill O’Reilly off the air. Even if it’s only temporary. Someone will pick him up no matter how tainted he is. Kaepernick can’t get a job, but O’Reilly will.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  14. CSK says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    That’s a real concern. The Humanoid Yam has discovered that he gets lots of applause if he starts throwing Tomahawks out of his playpen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. CSK says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    I’m thinking Steve Bannon will replace O’Reilly on Fox.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  16. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @CSK:

    I’m thinking Steve Bannon will replace O’Reilly on Fox.

    O’Bannon has a good face for radio.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  17. SKI says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Another factor that could end up hurting Ossoff is the fact that he doesn’t live in the District. While it may surprise many people, there is no requirement that a Member of Congress live in the District they represent. However, Handel and the GOP are likely to use this, combined with the fact that most of his money has come from outside the district, to support the idea of him being and outsider.

    I question whether that will in fact be impactful given that (a) he lives only a few miles outside, (b) is doing so temporarily in that he is a life-long resident of the district who moved recently and is committed to moving back as soon as his long-time girlfriend finishes med school. I’m thinking anyone who makes this the basis of their vote against him wasn’t going to vote for him regardless. A truly casual voter who might be influenced by such things isn’t showing up for a run-off special election.

    Also, with respect to this:

    3. Another good question, but I’d argue that the fact that there were ten other Republicans in the race diluted whatever support Handel herself may receive now that it’s a one-on-one race.

    You can’t assume that 100% of the non-Handel GOP votes will go to her. In every run-off election, some people, whose candidate didn’t make the next round, switches parties or doesn’t show.

    Ossof is at 48.6%, Handel is at 19.5%. Together, presuming they don’t lose voters themselves, that accounts for 68.1%, leaving 31.9% which splits something like 31% to 1% in terms of “sides”. If both capture 98% of the expected “transfer” from other same-side candidates, he wins. She can’t afford to lose more than 2% – or 0.6% of the total vote from the other GOP candidates to him.

    Now, of course, this presumes that there isn’t a sudden surge of interest in the race that brings in voters who skipped the initial special election but will show up for the run-off.

    And remember, in the past 6 months, we have seen a -20+% swing in GOP share (Price won with 61.7% of the total vote in November). There is nothing that says that bleeding off, caused in large part by Trump and GOP actions on Healthcare, stops.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  18. Tony W says:

    “Democrat Falls Short “

    Interesting headline for a huge and embarrassing Trump defeat.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  19. James Pearce says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    Kaepernick can’t get a job, but O’Reilly will.

    With his business degree and fraternity connections, Kaepernick can definitely get a job. Maybe he could collaborate with O’Reilly on their next blockbuster, “Killing My Football Career”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  20. teve tory says:

    Al Giordano‏Verified account
    @AlGiordano

    Follow
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    Al Giordano Retweeted Devin
    The numbers I’m looking at suggest he falls short of 50 percent but he’ll be close enough to scare GOP US House members not to mess with ACA

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  21. Jen says:

    Karen Handel is the one who spearheaded the effort to get Komen to pull their Planned Parenthood funding that got Komen in a bunch of hot water a couple of years ago. I really dislike her politics; while I know it’s an uphill battle I do hope the Dems can pull off an upset here.

    That said, special elections almost always favor Republicans–even in Democratic-leaning districts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  22. wr says:

    @gVOR08: “Ossoff’s only real hope to win the runoff is that Trump does something obviously stupid, or is publicly caught having done something outrageous, by June.”

    Yeah, but what are the odds that Trump will do something insanely stupid like announcing to the world he’s ordered an “armada” to the Korean peninsula when it’s actually heading towards Australia, and when caught announcing like PeeWee Herman “I meant to do that.”

    Never happen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  23. wr says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: “O’Bannon has a good face for radio.”

    And O’Reilly got his job because of his looks?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. wr says:

    @James Pearce: Yes, how dare that uppity Kaepernick dare express a political opinion that doesn’t agree with Republicans. Clearly he should be drummed out of the sport for his outrageous thought crime. Bring back the blacklist and make America great again!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  25. gVOR08 says:

    @wr:

    and when caught announcing like PeeWee Herman “I meant to do that.”

    I see Spicer is doing an, ‘I didn’t say when’ act with his usual bluster. What a freaking clown act. Of course it does hold out the hope that if Trumpsky decides to do a nuclear strike they’ll fail to actually order it. And I’m still holding out hope that someone had the good sense to flip a couple of characters on the nuclear cookie.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. Scott says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Democrats will want it to be a referendum on Trump.

    Maybe it is my personal prejudice on how elections should be run and won but I think the issues need to be discussed. To make it about Trump just doesn’t provide a reason to vote for Ossoff. This is the same mistake (in my opinion) that Clinton made. She ran too much against Trump and did not run for herself. I would hammer healthcare, Social Security, Medicare and tax cuts for the very wealthy. At least if you lost, you put the issues you care about up front. Make the people reject the issues.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  27. Tyrell says:

    This Ossoff guy seems like a good person with an impressive record. But most of his funding (99.7 %) came from outside.
    The Democratic party needs to move to the center – right to attract the middle class working people. They also must quit ignoring the southern people and stop. The left wingism doesn’t sell outside of California.
    Hillary moved too far to the left to get Bernie’s people’s votes – so far she crashed into the 4th turn wall on the last lap !

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 20

  28. SKI says:

    @Tyrell: Well, that is an impressive collection of non-sequiturs without a point. Yes, he raised a lot of money but, last I checked, that is a sign of a good candidate, not one with a problem.

    First, it was 95%, not 99.7% Source

    Second, 5% of his $8.3 M in fundraising being from GA equates to more actual cash than Handel raised from the district.

    Third, you aren’t counting the millions of out of GA national money that flowed in to run anti-Ossof ads as a negative against the GOP…

    As for your personal opinion about HRC and Sanders, which BTW is unsupported by any actual evidence, you don’t connect that repeated whine to Ossof in any way. Are his policies out of touch with his district? Do you even know what his policies are?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  29. SKI says:

    @SKI: Oh, and his cash on hand is about ten times Handel’s right now…

    I’m still failing to see how this is a problem…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  30. James Pearce says:

    @wr:

    how dare that uppity Kaepernick dare express a political opinion that doesn’t agree with Republicans.

    It’s hard to conceive, I know, but there’s more than two ways to look at the Kaepernick situation.

    A) The “uppity” angle you cite, which is not actually my angle
    B) The hero angle, where he should be applauded for using the power of his position to speak hard truths

    And the angle I actually have, which is this: Colin Kaepernick, the egotistical competitive NFL QB type, got benched, got butthurt, got caught slacking, and then –ex post facto– came up with the noble reason why he slacking. Oh no, it’s not because he’s a spoiled millionaire and a poor sport and he lost his starting position. It’s because he cares! He cares more than you! He cares enough to risk his entire career!

    Well, I’m not buying it.

    Colin Kaepernick doesn’t have a job because every team in the NFL knows he’s full of shit and a quitter, and yes, he has football talent, but he’s also going to blow up your locker room and ruin your season. There’s a lot of talented guys who won’t do that, and those are the guys who have jobs in the NFL.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  31. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Tyrell:

    The Democratic party needs to move to the center – right to attract the middle class working people.

    The democratic Party is currently the only party occupying the center-right.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  32. gVOR08 says:

    @Scott: Nobody votes on issues. They vote on a perceived tribal allegiance. The Dems need to construct a Not Trump tribal identity. To do it, they need to dogwhistle about the deplorables. Dems aren’t very good at that.

    Face it, the Dems’ problem is that there is a large White Tribe that sees Dems as the Minority Tribe. It’s hard to see how Dems break out of that without sacrificing minorities, and losing them from the Dem base. Unless the Dems find a way to change their perceived identity, we’re talking 47%/47% R/D bases (national) and elections won on turnout. Trump should be a great help for Dem turnout, but that brings us back to running against Trump. There’s a reason 90+% of ad money goes into negative ads, they work.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  33. Gavrilo says:

    @SKI:

    A relatively unknown 30 year-old without any elected experience raising $8.3m is very impressive, regardless of where the money came from.

    The problem is that if he spent $8m and only got 93000 votes, it means he spent like $86 per vote. That’s a very high number and suggests he might have a problem with his turnout operation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  34. SKI says:

    @Gavrilo: he didn’t. He has $2.1 million cash on hand. Still a high spend rate but the race was nationalized with millions in ads being run against him and Atlanta is a city with commensurate airtime costs.

    And, as you note, he started with very low name recognition.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  35. Gavrilo says:

    @SKI:

    He had $2.1m on hand on April 5. I’m sure he spent most of it over the last two weeks. If he didn’t spend it, and came within 4000 votes of an outright win, he’s the biggest moron of all time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  36. wr says:

    @James Pearce: I have never met Mr. Kaepernik. Never even seen him play. But I feel pretty safe in saying that he and I are equally concerned with what you “buy” and what you don’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  37. Terrye Cravens says:

    Why should we assume Ossof can not win the runoff? He did a lot better than the candidate he will be running against. The Democrat comes in number one by a huge margin and people say “the Democrat fell short”. I don’t think most people really thought he would do as well as he did. Can he win in June? I don’t know, but I think he has a real shot. And right now it looks like Cruz is polling behind the Democrat in Texas. Give Trump another year and the Democrats might just win the House back.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  38. al-Alameda says:

    @Mikey:

    It’s so hard to flip districts these days, with the extreme gerrymandering, that I don’t really hold out much hope. If Ossoff didn’t win 50% + 1 yesterday, he probably won’t in June.

    Yep, that’s exactly the way I see it too.

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  39. James Pearce says:

    @wr: With sick burns, you shall rule.

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  40. DrDaveT says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    O’Bannon has a good face for radio.

    Middle-aged men can get by on ‘craggy’; middle-aged women can’t. It’s just one more aspect of male privilege that Republicans would simultaneously deny and explain away.

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  41. Eric Florack says:

    Here’s the takeaway from that special election in the 6th District of Georgia…
    The party of equality, of Feminism,of the Women’s March and of supposedly breaking glass ceilings just dumped around $10 million to run a privileged white male. Against a woman. And, lost.

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  42. Grewgills says:

    @Eric :
    He ‘lost’ 48.1% to 19.8%. He only got 2.4 times as many votes as her. What a loser.
    Idiot

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  43. Pch101 says:

    @Eric Florack:

    The Republican party provides a safe space for morons like Eric. Even simple arithmetic is beyond his grasp.

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  44. teve tory says:

    GA-06: a decade ago top price beat the dem by 40%.Last year the dem lost by 20%. This time the dem lost by ~2%.

    If the GOP tries to pass the amoral, shitty AHCA again, which would damage 500,000–1 million georgia residents, shortly before the runoff…

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  45. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    You heard it here first. If the Handel loses, Eric will say that it’s because she wasn’t a true conservative.

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