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Georgia Dems search for upsides in House loss

She says Democrats “gave them a run for their money in all of them”.Don Lemon on Tuesday night wondered if Democrats believe the results of the Georgia special election were “necessarily a loss” as they got close to winning.Democratic candidate for 6th congressional district Jon Ossoff, left, concedes to Republican Karen Handel while joined by his fiancee Alisha Kramer at his election night party in Atlanta, Tuesday, June 20, 2017.It was Handel’s most public embrace of the man whose tenuous standing in this well-educated, suburban enclave made a previously safe Republican district close to begin with.Ossoff’s defeat means Democrats have failed to pickup the four Congressional seats vacated by Trump cabinet/cabinet-level appointees. Just 14 percent of Ossoff’s contributions came from Georgia, while 56 percent of Ms. Handel’s did. If the Democratic Party wants to gain ground in 2018 and beyond, it must complement resistance to the Trump agenda with compelling alternative policies. “We may have different beliefs, but we are part of one community, the community of the 6th District”.She also noted last week’s shooting of Republican Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and said politics has become too embittered. “Because in these United States of America, no one – no one – should ever feel their life threatened over their political beliefs and positions”. And Democrats are struggling to translate the energy of their core supporters into actual election victories.When told that Trump tweeted about her, Handel only briefly remarked, with some laughter: “I heard that, I heard, yes”.Handel’s tough race, combined with closer-than-usual GOP House victories in Kansas, Montana and SC, suggests Trump will dominate the coming election cycle, forcing Republicans to make peace with him, for better or worse.After the GOP’s Karen Handel and Ralph Norman won their respective races in Georgia and SC on Tuesday night, the president congratulated them in separate tweets. “Although I will say one thing: Maybe it shows that all the money in the world can’t buy an election”.And Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 House Democrat, remarked that “we had no business winning those districts” due to their GOP allegiance.But his loss could serve as a wakeup call for liberals who think the Trump presidency is so disastrous that they’re on track to win the House next year.”What’s really important is that Donald Trump has seized the narrative back, that he’s doing better with the voters than Democrats think he is”, he said.Taken together, the special elections suggested that going into next year’s midterms, the Democrats have not only significant advantages but also an impressive ability to squander them.And progressive activists’ willingness to pour millions of dollars’ worth of small-dollar online contributions into Ossoff’s campaign – donations fueled nearly entirely by a desire to deal Trump a political setback – was what convinced Democrats to take the race seriously.That followed another recent Democratic disappointment in Montana, where the Republican candidate won even after last-minute assault charges, and an earlier loss for the Democrats in Kansas. But Republican Karen Handel surged to victory, partly by tying her opponent to Pelosi. The Congressional Leadership Fund, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and other Conservative groups spent around $6 million dollars each, while the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent only $5 million dollars and outside groups only contributed about $2.6 million to Democrat Jon Ossoff’s campaign.Handel insisted for months that voters’ choice had little to do with Trump. She pointed voters instead to her “proven conservative record” as a state and local elected official.”It makes it a heck of a lot harder”, said Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, who unsuccessfully challenged Pelosi in a leadership election last fall. The election amounted to the most expensive House race in history.And so the score stands, GOP 4, Dems 0.