Opinion: Expect this ‘surprise’ in race to replace Tom Price

The field for the race to replace Tom Price in Congress is now set with a whopping 18 candidates, and heck if I know who will win. But I can go ahead and tell you who’s going to lose the runoff.

Just bear with me for a moment.

The race to replace Tom Price in Congress will get more attention than its probable final result will justify. (AP Photo)

The race to replace Tom Price in Congress will get more attention than its most likely final result will justify. (AP Photo)

Let’s first set the stage for this special election, spurred by Price’s confirmation as secretary of Health and Human Services, as it will be reported by those who need a Delta jet to get to his old district. Democrats are talking up their chances in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District, and some national media outlets are indulging their fantasy. There won’t be many elections to talk about between now and the April 18 contest, and Price’s stature will only heighten the out-of-state interest in the race.

Add to this mix the somewhat rocky start to Donald Trump’s presidency — particularly in the eyes of those viewing it through their longtime D.C. lens — and there will be a temptation to proclaim the race a referendum on Trump. (To be fair, some candidates in the Sixth, seeking to galvanize Trump supporters by running under his banner, will emphasize this element, too.)

So, imagine waking up on the morning of April 19 to read that a Democratic candidate has made the inevitable runoff in this special election — perhaps ahead of the leading Republican. Should we attribute such an outcome to Trump troubles? Trump fatigue? A Trump backlash?

Nope. When it happens, as I expect it will, you’ll be able to chalk it up to one simple thing: math.

We are talking about, at worst for Republicans, a 60/40 district. Price’s 2016 race was his worst performance since first running for Congress; he still won 62 percent of the vote. Two years earlier, he won 66 percent. Two years before that, 65 percent.

The only sign of a real drop-off came in the presidential race, where Trump barely eked by in the Sixth District with 48 percent. Four years earlier, Mitt Romney ran less than 4 points behind Price, a multiple-term incumbent. The gap between Price and Trump was almost four times larger. But that’s precisely because Price’s number tracked so closely to his usual performance, while Trump’s showing was singularly bad. Which seems to tell us more about Trump than about the district’s affinity for Republicans.

So, back to the special-election runoff. Remember, it’s a 60/40 district. That means half a dozen viable Republican candidates, plus about as many also-rans, will be fighting for roughly 60 percent of the vote.

Meanwhile, Democratic heavyweights are pushing for their party to unite behind 29-year-old former congressional aide Jon Ossoff, who claims some $250,000 in financial commitments and twice as much in funds raised through a left-wing website, DailyKos.com. There are four other Democrats in the race, including former state Sen. Ron Slotin. But assuming Ossoff can emerge as the consensus candidate among five Democrats, he can expect a large chunk of that other 40 percent of the vote.

That would probably be enough to be the leading vote-getter in April, albeit well short of the majority needed to win the race outright. And if that happens, you will hear an explosion of commentary about an anti-Trump backlash producing a head-spinning result in a GOP stronghold. For several weeks. Right up until the day of the runoff. When the survivor on the Republican side will win. Probably with ease.

And when the Democrat loses the runoff, despite all the breathless talk, remember you read it here first.

Reader Comments 0

101 comments
RafeHollister
RafeHollister

What did Obama know and when did he know it, about his people listening in on Gen Flynn and who decided to leak the info?  Was Obama aware that his stooges were planning to bring down Flynn?  Was their a FISA warrant?  Who should go to jail for violating cyber security laws by leaking classified information? 


Scooter Libby went to jail for lying about a time line, when he didn't leak anything.

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

President Obama isnt in office..This is is Flynn's fault for lying

Uncle-Billy
Uncle-Billy

All during the campaign Trump praised Putin. Then it turns out that his campaign was in regular contact with the Russian Ambassador to the USA. Now General Flynn was asked to resign because he talked with the Ambassador about sanctions because of Russia's annexation of Crimea and invasion of eastern Ukraine. Now even Republican Senators want to know all about the communications with the Russians. Who knew, what they knew and when they knew it. I have seen nothing like it since the Watergate investigations. The news is as exciting to watch as it was in 1973 and 1974.

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@AndyManUSA#45 @Uncle-Billy

How do you like the fact that a Navy SEAL was offered a top intelligence post and basically said to President Twit "go eff yourself, idiot"?

Separately, how is the fascist-led takeover of the Deep Throat government that Obama is leading from 'exile' coming along?  You said it would happen next week - is it still on track?

DeepStateDawg
DeepStateDawg

Kyle! You're a journalist... as you can see from the posts below, we're all extremely interested in your take on Dear Leader's press conference yesterday. 


I'm particularly interested in the whole "the leaks are real but the news is fake" part. How is news about something that is real actually fake? Personally, I don't get it. Maybe i'm in the bubble. 


Where is a good solid example of this "fake news" he keeps talking about? anyway. I mean, I know about the whole Birth Certificate and Pizzagate things, but I'm not sure that's what Dear Leader is talking about. 


I think he's just talking about things he doesn't like. 


Break it down for us!

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@RidgecrestDawg Example - Leaked telephone conversation with Mexico's leader, which was real, get's spun up by the fake news media as a shooting war between the two countries.


Think, man.

DeepStateDawg
DeepStateDawg

@AndyManUSA#45 @RidgecrestDawg I'm not sure I saw the story about there being a war. It was reported as us sending troops down there to deal with drug dealers, which is fairly plausible given the situation and his rhetoric. 


Google tells me that was both heavily covered y widely corrected. 


What else?

DeepStateDawg
DeepStateDawg

@RafeHollister @RidgecrestDawg @AndyManUSA#45 Whether or not Flynn did anything illegal is a topic of legitimate debate. That's not fake news, it's an extremely serious matter involving a US Citizen undermining US foreign policy independently of any official authorization. 


I'm not dialed into anything about Priebus, but have seen some headlines about whether or not he's in over his head. That's basic political coverage, not fake news. 


Whether or not Trump has financial ties to Russia is a topic of legitimate debate. He has a proven pattern of responding to them in a manner that is very unusual, especially in comparison to how he treats other "adversaries". I suppose releasing his tax returns would clear that subject up, but until then speculating on that theory and/or covering angles on it is not fake news. 


Here's what I think of when I think about fake news: The Birther Movement. That went on for years w/o any real evidence that it was true. In fact, both Trump and Rience owe their current positions largely in part to keeping that falsehood in the media for so long. 


Do you have anything like that? 

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@RidgecrestDawg @AndyManUSA#45 That Flynn did something illegal by talking to his Russian counterpart.  The WH counsel and the FBI have both looked at the transcript and said nothing illegal, yet the fake news folks keep harping on illegality.  Or that Priebus was going to be replaced, based on nothing, or that Trump has financial ties to Russia, which he denies, and no one has provided any evidence of.  Just a few of many.

bastetsmom
bastetsmom

@RafeHollister @RidgecrestDawg @AndyManUSA#45 There is only one President at a time.  Flynn talked with the Russian Ambassador while Obama was still President.  Then Flynn himself admitted he lied about the contents of the conversation.  Besides, since Trump won't release those tax returns and we know that no bank would lend him a dime after his bankruptcies, and also that his own son said they saw a lot of money pouring in from Russia...there are a lot of dots to connect there.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

Bookman's, latest piece is a classic example of the lefts fake news. He's trying and probably succeeding in convincing his gullible followers that insurance carriers are pulling out of ObamaCare due to uncertainty. No they're pulling out due to certainty because they've been watching the ACA's failure before Trump was even elected. Left wing liberal's heads are exploding. Trump, did an outstanding job yesterday of once again letting the far-left MSM know whose now in charge.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

John McCain is an American hero


I dont agree with his politics but the fact remains. He withstood torture on a level we cannot even imagine. He could have easily shot a propaganda video and made things nice for himself. He refused.


What was Donald Trump up to while this was going on ? He was counting his inheritance and getting deferments. 


My father served with men who had served with McCain. Other men who had been at the Hanoi Hilton. You didn't disrespect those guys. Whether you agree or not politically you just didn't.

breckenridge
breckenridge

Trump knows he will accomplish, probably his number one goal, is the destruction of the Deep State media.

Oh....THAT Deep State media, right.  

Now tell me........is it just Obama running the Deep State thing? Or is George W Bush involved too?

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@breckenridge Bush was, and maybe even still is, involved. I made, and freely admit to making, a major mistake in supporting him. This is the difference between me and you, crackpot, I have not been a member of the Republican party for years. I can and will admit to my mistakes.


I am an American now.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

One of the keys to deriving happiness from your life is to know that what you believe in is right. If you are on the side of good, good will come to you. It is why Ronald Reagan was always so happy, he was acting on behalf of the good and the righteous. And it is why he succeeded in getting most of what he wanted, the confidence of knowing the he was right. That is why he was always so happy and humorous. 


It is also why liberals are always so angry, they have to argue on behalf of evil and what is wrong and it permeates their very existence. 


I saw a lot of this phenomena today.  President Trump knows that he is right and he is good. And, like Reagan, President Trump is confident in what he will accomplish. You can see it, almost taste it. It is infectious. And I guarantee you this; one of the things that President Trump knows he will accomplish, probably his number one goal, is the destruction of the Deep State media. He is probably thinking about it right now, as we speak. I saw a man on a mission, totally dedicated to the task. It has become an obvious goal of his.


If you can't beat him, you'd better join him, just sayin....

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@RufusATL @AndyManUSA#45  Agreed. Shooting your wad over Mike Flynn, ignorance. You just gave Trump the atomic bomb over a bit player that no one even cares about. Your inbred savagery has already ruined you.


And we appreciate it.

RufusATL
RufusATL

After watching today's newscast, some sound advice for der fuhrer: " Do not pick a fight with a man who buys ink by the barrel."  His telling some reporters to "shut up" begs the question of how long it will be before we are commanded to Sieg Heil!

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

The braying of the Democrat numbskulls will continue but their voices will become more distant with each shovel of dirt as they dig their hole deeper each day in America.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

Okay, Trump did indeed kick butt and took names at his press conference today. The presses irrelevancy is growing among the publics perception with each passing day and that is not a good thing for the country. However, they've brought it on themselves. 

breckenridge
breckenridge

@SGTGrit @breckenridge 

You're brand of conservatism - uneducated rural white low income born-again extremism - is not real conservatism at all.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

RUSH: Trump is the guy calling them out. I’ve never seen anything like this today. I have never seen it. We have wanted Republican presidents all of my life to deal with these people this way, and the only thing we ever got was Spiro Agnew. We’ve not seen anything like this, and Trump did it with an air of confidence and self-assuredness. He was not nervous at all. He was having fun with them. He was toying with them. It’s like if you got a cat. You know how you get these little laser pointers and you have a little kitten or a cat and the cat goes nuts chasing the light? It will run into a wall.


That’s what I was watching here today. It was just… It was fantastic, and the American people are gonna eat this up.


Ditto. 


Just what the doctor ordered.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@Eye wonder @AndyManUSA#45 Peoples, do yourself a service, carve out an hour and 17 minutes of your life and watch this, you will not regret it.


I have honestly never been so proud.

JFMcNamara
JFMcNamara

@AndyManUSA#45 I understand why you like him.  He is loud, obnoxious and incoherent.   You think speaking loud or forcefully is winning.  Birds of a feather.


Problem is, Trump is an empty shell.  He is a loser.  He has done one thing, the immigration ban, and it blew up in his face.  No tax reform, no Obamacare replacement,  no infrastructure spending.  He had to fire (ask to resign) his national security advisor.  Sean Spicer is a disaster.  


He is such a poor leader, Congress is paralyzed because he might tweet something contradictory.   His cabinet members are basically ignoring him on policy.


He did what he does well.  He was combative and entertaining.  There isn't anything beyond that.  Its why he is holding a rally (or playing golf) instead of actually passing laws that help the people at those rallies.  He is a do nothing silver spoon bankruptcy filing loser, and his Presidency is showing that.



AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

You can't make this stuff up -


breckenridge 6 hours ago


Last evening I looked up this Deep State thing since I'd never heard the term before. The first thing that popped up was a Breitbart article on the topic.  It's nothing but conspiracy nonsense for the whackos out there who are unbalanced.


Caius 6 hours ago


Re US intelligence services: they can do their jobs without the President, he cannot do his job without them.


And it probably still hasn't penetrated the empty space between their ears.

Heezback
Heezback

WHOA...I was just kidding

Heezback
Heezback

NEWSFLASH---BREAKING NOW


CNN reports that Russian embassy relocating to Roswell.

Anonymous real estate source verifies Putin is in town and looking for a compound in Roswell...requires multiple high-speed internet feeds in basement...direct line to D.C....submarine docking port on Chattahoochee...


DEVELOPING---STAY TUNED 

breckenridge
breckenridge

"I think, somehow, the Lord’s plan is being put in place for America and these people are not only revolting against Trump, they’re revolting against what God’s plan is for America. These other people have been trying to destroy America. These left-wingers and so-called progressives are trying to destroy the country that we love and take away the freedoms they love." Pat Robertson, 2-15-2016

If you're revolting against Trump then you're revolting against God's plan? Yes, this is exactly what one would expect from a worthless white trash southern social conservative, one of the leaders of the movement made up individuals so intellectually lacking that they think getting dunked in the river and claiming to have a personal savior is some sort of a free ticket to a happy-happy afterlife.  One would think that such stupidity would have vanished by now but it will take one more generation.

lighteredknot
lighteredknot

@breckenridge Psalms 14:1  " The fool hath said in his heart, there is no GOD".   Take it as you chose, and you have your entitled opinion.  Others have their opinion.   Innately many have said what you just emitted, but God is still God and you will one day ascertain that. A good start would be. perhaps, Pascale's  Book  "The Wager".   To thine own self be true.    For the record;  I am under no illusions,  that Trump can turn   The fiscally and morally bankrupt America around. Fact is., I believe the opposite.

breckenridge
breckenridge

@lighteredknot @breckenridge 

Oh no, you completely misunderstand.  My opposition is not to Christianity; in fact Jesus was one of the great philosophers of all time.  But the social conservative movement is not based on Christianity, nor is it a religious movement.  It's strictly a political movement for low IQ losers, albeit an illegitimate movement.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

You nailed it Kyle, the Dems will be  celebrating like 1999 when they have a candidate run strong in the initial election, and blame Russia or racism when the GOP candidate blows them away in the runoff.


Not sure why either side would put that much interest in this race.  It seems the leadership of the GOP in Congress can't seem to do much of anything, including getting out of their own way.  The Dems are dead in the water, no matter what happens with this position.


Same story different year.  The GOP have been totally ineffective in accomplishing anything to help Pres Trump with his agenda.  They repealed Obamacare with no problem when they had a President, who would protect it at all costs.  The House voted to repeal it six or seven times and had no problem finding the votes.  Totally worthless representation.  I'm guessing they think Trump should do it all, his presidential duties and organize and manage the Congress.  They are no help so far.  Might help if they didn't recess every other week for Groundhog day or national pizza day, and met more than 3 days a week. 

breckenridge
breckenridge

@RafeHollister 

But of course Trump is a racist piece of diseased garbage. And the Russians did try to intervene in the election.  


DeepStateDawg
DeepStateDawg

@RafeHollister Well, one thing you're missing re Obamacare repeal, is that talk is cheap. All those votes to repeal when they knew it would be vetoed were so much grandstanding. 


Now that they own it, much different story.