In 2017, the first year of Donald Trump's presidency, there have been five congressional special elections, and as of last night, Republicans have now won four of them, including a key victory in a hard-fought race in Georgia.
Nevertheless, Karen Handel managed to garner 53 percent of the vote to beat her opponent, the Democrat Jon Ossoff, showing that the polls, much like in the presidential election, were off, and that money and enthusiasm did not translate to votes for the Democrats. Republican Ralph Norman won the seat formerly held by Mick Mulvaney, the current director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Democratic congressional leaders tried to project confidence after two election losses this week, but bubbling anger from the party's rank-and-file on Capitol Hill yesterday spurred demands for new leadership - including some calls for Minority Leaders Nancy Pelosi's ouster - as the party pushes toward next year's midterm elections. The special elections have been held in Kansas, Montana, Georgia and SC, districts that are heavily conservative.
"This is not the outcome many of us were hoping for", he told supporters.
"I don't think people in the beltway are realizing just how toxic the Democratic Party brand is in so many parts of the country".
Yesterday's victory demonstrates Republican roots in the race to replace party officials who left Congress to join the Trump administration, according to The Atlantic analysis.
- Millions of dollars were pumped into the 6th District race in Georgia by both parties. But Georgia, they said, could well be different.
Aboard Air Force One Wednesday, White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said Handel's win was proof "the American people are resonating with the president's agenda" and want to see his it enacted. Democrats will need to pick up 24 House seats to take back the majority. It's hard to second-guess strategies like that without knowing the data on which it was based, but the Ossoff campaign clearly chose not to make the race a referendum on the president.
"Generally speaking, Republicans vote in bigger numbers than Democrats".
"Republicans blew through millions to keep a ruby-red seat and in their desperate rush to keep stop the hemorrhaging, they've returned to demonizing the party's strongest fundraiser and consensus-builder", Hammill added, according to NbC News.