Pelosi faces growing doubts among Dems after Georgia loss
- Annie Barker
The loss in Georgia followed similar disappointments in special House elections in Kansas and Montana, as well as in South Carolina Tuesday night. The Republican nominee, Karen Handel, while serving as a Senior Vice President for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, recommended that the foundation severe ties with Planned Parenthood, stating that Planned Parenthood was not using almost $700,000 in funds from the Foundation to perform mammograms and over concerns by certain Komen donors that their donations might indirectly fund abortions at Planned Parenthood. At some point, the time for moral victories is over.
But it could give Republicans a boost in confidence as they struggle to advance health and tax legislation that has been bogged down by infighting and investigations into whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation in last year's presidential election.
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.
Pelosi says the Democratic base is energized, adding, "We must now put forth our message". Focus on the future. While an honorable and ethical thing to do, in the long run, it has devastated the Democratic Party and Progressives. Initially, Ossoff's mantra was "Make Trump Furious".
Handel insisted for months that voters' choice had little to do with Trump. He modulated his rhetoric, calling for fiscal conservatism in his ads and focusing on jobs. And according to the Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index (PVI), there are 241 House districts that are more Republican than the national average vs. just 194 seats that are more Democratic.
She says Democrats "gave them a run for their money in all of them". It was civil disobedience rather than civil unrest. "But, clearly, these ads using her, linking her to our candidates is still working".
And unfortunately for Democrats, the picture is probably even worse in the districts that matter.
Handel, 55, has been a fixture of local politics for 15 years.
Kathleen Rice, one of a small group who has gone public with the message that Pelosi should go, hosted a dozen Democrats in her office Thursday for an hour-long strategy session. She was a known commodity who came into the race with high name identification.
"We showed the world that in places where no one thought it was even possible we could fight (that) we could fight", Ossoff told supporters. The fact that that level of investment failed to pay off with a win against a Republican candidate widely viewed as uninspiring left Democrats frustrated and dispirited heading into the 2018 midterm elections.
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The good news for Trump from Tuesday's election is immediate. Since 2002, Pelosi has hauled in $568 million for House Democratic campaigns - including $141 million during the 2016 campaign cycle. The most prominent and effective hit on the Democratic candidate was to tie him to the congresswoman from San Francisco.
She said she would have voted for the House Republican health care bill, though she sometimes misrepresented its provisions in debates with Ossoff. Super PAC's like the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Citizens United and ALEC who are both KOCH brother Advocacy and fundraising groups that spent hundreds of millions of dollars on Republican campaigns in 2016 are slated to spend even more on the mid-term elections.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is echoing that message. "This became a focal point in our messaging, as well as other outside groups and the Handel campaign itself".
"The House is in play, period", Donovan said. Republicans drove her unfavorable rating up over 50 percent in that election, and today it remains right around 50 percent. Yet as far as Trump's concerned, he keeps winning - even when the polls and the pundits forecast doom. Handel emphasized that pedigree often during her campaign and again during her victory speech. She also had a particular history with the controversial organization: In 2012, she resigned in protest as a vice president of the Susan G. Komen cancer foundation after it reversed a decision to end its grants to Planned Parenthood.
Congratulations to Karen Handel on her big win in Georgia 6th.
"Fantastic job, we are all very proud of you!" he posted Tuesday night.
Well, the Special Elections are over and those that want to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN are 5 and O! What's more, she has racked up years of goodwill in the party that's much more hierarchical than the GOP. A Democratic victory would have sent a wave of panic through GOP ranks. "This race proves Republicans have no reason to be defensive as a result of Obamacare's demise, it shows Republicans have nothing to hide from in the age of Trump and it signifies that nothing about the current faux-scandal-ridden environment has produced a downdraft for Republicans".
- Bigger picture: Perhaps the GOP House majority isn't as vulnerable as some people have been saying. Since this is a special election, she needs to draw voters out to the polls.
"Planned Parenthood was the principal issue", former Georgia Rep. John Linder, a past chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, told Newsmax, "She handled if deftly".
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