Democratic Losses in Special Elections

Elias Hubbard
June 24, 2017

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Thursday and said he hopes Democrats do not force out House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

As upstart Democrat challenger Jon Ossoff prepped for (and then lost) his special election runoff against Republican Karen Handel in Georgia's 6th District, Democrat Randy Bryce announced on Sunday his intention to challenge Republican House Speaker Paul D. Ryan in 2018 for Wisconsin's 1st District.

Between the two candidates, more than $50 million were spent on their campaigns.

There was at least one voice of reason in the Democratic Party, in the person of Sen.

'I don't think it's fair, ' Ryan told Don Lemon. Democrats remain optimistic, acknowledging the loss was not what they had hoped for but there is still much work to be done to combat the wealthy Republicans. "We are the party that stands up for working families, for the middle class, and yet many of them are not voting for us".

"The issue I think strategically is that Trump energizes their base and Leader Pelosi energizes their base", said Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, who was unsuccessful past year in trying to unseat Pelosi. Losses by Republicans in any of those races would likely have hastened the retirement of incumbents in competitive districts and would have emboldened strong potential Democratic candidates to jump in. When Democrats have no choice but to rely on a banjo-playing, cowboy hat-wearing political neophyte to run a statewide race in Montana, it's a safe assumption that there are some recruiting issues that run deeper than House leadership.

Albright said the administration's lack of strategic planning is making it more hard to address myriad national security issues and hampering efforts to work with allies. Republicans tried to run against Nancy Pelosi in Georgia's special election - they are that devoid of ideas and policies they can tell the people about. Democratic Party divisions are on stark display after a disappointing spec.

"In the previous election - the Republican candidate won by more than 20 points".

Another mistake Democrats have made seems to be with their embrace of undocumented aliens.

Democrats must defend their current districts and win 24 GOP-held seats to regain a House majority next November.

That's a winning strategy because it should be pretty clear to most voters by 2018, if not already, that Trumpism isn't delivering on its populist promise.

Ossoff lost to Handel by four percentage points. In 2014, 210,504 votes were cast in Georgia's 6th Congressional District - total - and that year's no-hoper Democrat won 71,486 of them.

Pelosi added that Republicans have long sought to target Democratic leaders in their advertising, "and usually they go after the most effective leaders". Moulton supported Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan in his failed bid for Democratic leader.

Yet the result in a historically conservative district still offers Republicans a warning that Trump, for better or worse, will dominate the looming campaign cycle.

The apparent effectiveness of such attacks alarmed some fellow Democrats, and they show no signs of letting up.

In the Ossoff race, even though the 30-year-old documentary filmmaker and former congressional staffer ended up running a more centrist and not Trump-centric campaign, Republicans were able to zero in on the more than $23 million in donations Ossoff raised, largely from liberal enclaves like California and NY, and make an easy connection to Pelosi. She said she would have voted for the House Republican health care bill, though she sometimes misrepresented its provisions in debates with Ossoff.

Now what? Is it time for Democrat soul-searching, a la the 2012 Republicans?

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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