Fundraising wasn't enough. Outside groups like the Congressional Leadership Fund and National Republican Congressional Committee stepped in to help the GOP candidate, Karen Handel, make up the difference, giving $18.2 million on her behalf. The reality in American politics is that House districts are drawn so tightly to favor one party that beating incumbents is almost impossible.
"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". Trying to win on the other party's turf is usually a losing proposition.
Trump's collapse in November - he beat Hillary Clinton by just 1.5 percentage points in a district that Mitt Romney had carried by 24 points four years earlier - was the sole reason national Democrats saw the race as potentially competitive.
After briefly addressing the health-care bill unveiled Tuesday by Senate Republicans, Pelosi spent the bulk of her weekly news conference playing down the special-election losses, defending her leadership and lashing out at a cadre of "blatantly self-serving" internal critics inside the House Democratic Caucus. And Democrats are struggling to translate the energy of their core supporters into actual election victories. Porter said Wednesday that he expects Democrats to field "strong candidates" for every statewide down ballot office - something the party hasn't managed in recent years.
"They pick people in safe and tough districts for Democrats to win", Crowley said Wednesday. But after yet another disappointment for Democrats, it may be time for soul-searching and finger pointing.
White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters told reporters aboard Air Force One that Karen Handel's win serves as proof that "the American people are resonating with the president's agenda" and want to see his agenda enacted.
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.
The Republicans are up 4-0 in special elections since the inauguration and, while they are all in Republican strongholds, Democrats thought they were in with a shot.
Ossoff, a 30-year-old former congressional aide and documentary filmmaker, riled up a remarkable amount of support during the campaign, raising over $23 million and utilizing the efforts of more than 12,000 volunteers.
"We're doing what we need to do", he said, "and I'm working on a plan to rebuild the money that we spent now".
"The brand is just bad", the OH lawmaker told CNN's Don Lemon Wednesday. Veteran GOP ad-maker Brad Todd says that's because the San Francisco congresswoman is the personification of the liberal values they can't stomach.
Yes, while nearly all other Democrats and liberals are in a mournful mood, Yglesias is out there enthusiastically shaking his pom-poms with his laughable analysis in which he determines yet more bad news for Republicans.
'We need leadership change.
With no special election victories to point to as a guide, though, Democrats are in conflict over what kind of candidate can be successful next year.
Some Democrats on Capitol Hill have argued that the party has gotten carried away with opposition to Trump.
"What happened on that ballfield was a bad tragedy and we need to all continue to lift up Steve and the others who were injured that day", Handel said. "The fact that we have spent so much time talking about Russian Federation has been a distraction from what should be a clear contrast between Democrats and the Trump agenda, which is on economics".
Pelosi said she didn't want to hear Republicans "all of a sudden be sanctimonious" as if they had "never seen such a thing before". "It will only get better in 2018".