There is no other way to say it: Tuesday night was a disaster for the national Democratic Party. The Democratic candidate #Jon Ossoff poured $30 million into the race for the Georgia 6th congressional district with a result that he lost to#Karen Handel by nearly four percentage points, 51.9 to 48.1 percent according to the New York Times.
Democrats also lost a special election in neighboring SC on Tuesday, where Republican Ralph Norman easily prevailed over Democrat Archie Parnell in a seat formerly held by Republican Mick Mulvaney, who is now serving as Trump's budget director. Republican Karen Handel, author of a book about Planned Parenthood titled Planned Bullyhood, ran a repulsive campaign.
The young Democrat received 8.9 times as many many donors from California than from any other state in the union, including all of the totals from Georgia itself.
Republicans immediately crowed over winning a seat Democrats spent at least $30 million trying to flip. For months Democratic leaders told the nation and their own supporters that all the anti-Trump energy witnessed in the rallies and those poor Trump approval ratings would be great news for Democrats at the ballot box.
#Ossof Race better be a wake up call for Democrats - business as usual isn't working. A TIME analysis of the 2016 election results in those exact same precincts found that Trump only captured 50.44% of the vote to Hillary Clinton's 49.56% when one discounts third-party candidates and write-ins.
But it's not all good news for the GOP (or bad news for Democrats). This goes to the nub of the divide between centrist and more progressive Democrats, but the overall point is correct: By 2018, Democrats will need to run on something. After all, Trump barely carried that district last fall.
"This is the beginning of something much bigger than us", Ossoff said in his concession speech.
Trump invested significant political capital in the Georgia race - appearing at a fundraiser for Handel in April and tweeting his support Tuesday morning. Scott Brown in the 2010 special election in MA. Total disarray. The MAGA Mandate is stronger than ever.
Republicans won. But Norman isn't necessarily on Ryan's side. The upshot: Democrats did much better in those districts (and in Montana's at-large seat) than they would under normal circumstances.
However, Republicans in the House of Representatives did narrowly push through an overhaul of national health care reforms championed by former President Barack Obama and Senate Republicans are promising to reveal their version of the measure on Thursday and then vote on it next week.
"It shows us that people are wanting some of the things we've been talking about, President Trump's been talking about - less government, more power to the folks".