Opinion: A win, or a loss, in the 6th would be the biggest for …

After months of TV ads, debates and speechifying, the 6th District race is almost over. (Branden Camp / Special)

I’m back from four days in Philadelphia, where I heard exactly zero talk about the 6th District. (Hey, it’s not like I was in San Francisco.)

Of course, there’ll be a lot of it over the next 24 hours-plus. Starting right here.

I was on a panel last week at an event the AJC had for subscribers, and I made this statement: There’s only one side for which a win in this election would be huge, and there’s only one side for which it would be crushing. It’s the same side.

And it’s not the Republicans.

Here’s my thinking, starting with the GOP: If Karen Handel wins, she simply met the expectation for a Republican in that district. Yes, the drama sparked by all that money going to Jon Ossoff means it would be a particularly satisfying/sweet/relieving victory. But a win is a win, and the GOP was expected to win.

A loss would be disappointing, but the intensity of that disappointment would be curbed in large part by the very unique circumstances. It’s the most expensive congressional race ever, with money flooding in from out of state for a seat that ultimately will be just one of 435 in the U.S. House. I feel safe saying we will never see another $50 million ($60 million?) race in this district again. With that comes the surge of staffers and volunteers who have helped Ossoff blanket the district on the ground in an unprecedented manner that also likely can’t be matched in the future. Finally there’s all the media attention this race, which has been essentially the only game in town for much of the campaign. If Handel loses, Republicans will be able to look to next year with perfectly reasonable hopes of retaking the seat (though any Republicans not voting for Handel with the calculation that they can find a candidate more to their liking and unseat Ossoff next November just might be playing with fire).

Now to the Democrats: A win for Ossoff would undoubtedly be a huge win for his party. Democrats have been buoyed by the backlash to President Trump, but so far they haven’t managed to win any elections because of it. The elusiveness of a victory in 2017, particularly given the enormous sums they’ve spent to try to secure it, would make a win in the 6th all the more sweet.

But what goes up must come down, and so it goes with political hopes. Democrats have been sky-high with the prospect of a win in the 6th. That emotion won’t simply level out with a loss. I would expect Democrats’ morale to plunge with a loss as much as it would soar with a win. Which is to say a loss tonight would be crushing. They’ve spent probably $30 million or more at this point for a congressional seat, the equivalent of two or three races in the Senate — where the margin they must overcome next year to put a greater legislative check on Trump is so much slimmer. I would expect a good bit of recrimination on their side if all that money, energy and what I’ll call “emotional capital” is all for naught. It matters not how close a loss it is: Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

With all that said, I wouldn’t dream of making a prediction. The polls suggest a tight one, and all those aforementioned special circumstances mean I’m not sure anyone truly knows what to expect. But if you plan to watch the returns until the end, I suggest putting on a pot of coffee.

Reader Comments 0

171 comments
Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Leftist are whining this morning that "civility doesn't work" and runnng as a moderate was a bad idea. OK, try the usual liberal fascist nonsense in GA06 and see how that works. Ossoff never would have been close had he run as a baby-killing, wrong-pronoun-prosecuting Democrat.

Leanna_
Leanna_

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stogiefogey
stogiefogey

Tuesday's election highlights what a huge liability Nancy Pelosi is for the Dems and what a powerful weapon just mentioning her name is for the GOP.

The House Dems re-electing her minority leader was an epic gaffe on par with their presidential candidate referring to prospective voters as "deplorables".

TGT88
TGT88

Libs can't decide why Ossoff lost:


It's not a safe Republican district, it's trending Dem. Clinton nearly won it. Ossoff's campaign was embarrassing.---https://twitter.com/matthewstoller/status/877343468246388736?ref_src=twsrc^tfw&ref_url=http://fivethirtyeight.com/live-blog/georgia-south-carolina-special-elections/


Ossoff lost over nonsense: 

Ossoff, like so many losing Democratic candidates over the years, was brought down fundamentally by arguments grounded in identity politics. ---https://www.vox.com/2017/6/20/15839452/georgia-special-election-results-ossoff-handel 


All I know is that democrats continued their unprecedented (http://www.trevorgrantthomas.com/2016/11/across-america-gop-dominates.html ) political losing streak. As Rich Lowry pointed out in November, Obama's chief legacy is the total collapse of the modern Democrat Party. Nothing happened tonight to reverse that. 

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

Well, it looks like I was wrong, she should win by 5 points and not the 4 that I called. I guess that's why this isn't my profession. 


Consider this. The M media, just a few days ago, hello Landmark, was calling it a 7 point tossoff win. Think about that for just a second.


How much of a sucker are you? Are you proud of being a sap? Do you enjoy being misinformed? Do you not understand that EVERYTHING they tell you is a lie?


I guess that if you are happy with it, who am I to complain?

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

And they called it at 9:35, not the 9:30 that I predicted. I guess I should give up this political prognostication thing, eh?


lol (Happy Warrior)

breckenridge
breckenridge

North Korea has to answer for the killing of a young American just because he tore a campaign poster off a wall.  I believe a strategic assassination by the CIA at some point is the correct course of action.

breckenridge
breckenridge

@Starik @breckenridge 


They beat him in the head until his brains were mush and he went into a coma.  The only reason they sent him home was so he would not die in North Korea. They knew he was near the end.

Payback is mandatory.

Starik
Starik

@breckenridge @Starik There's no evidence of a beating. As Gotalife suggests over on Bookman, he may have attempted suicide by hanging... but nobody knows and the family has blocked an autopsy.

JFMcNamara
JFMcNamara

No, payback is really not mandatory. He went to North Korea and purposely broke the law. He idiodically read a confession that said he did it for money which I've not seen the family deny. He made a series of completely stupid moves that put him in the situation he was in.

It's sad he is dead, but I doubt it was on purpose. NK just wants ransom, and regularly returns our idiots unharmed for money.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

All polling places in Georgia close at 7 p.m. Every voting machine in Georgia has the votes cast on it recorded within it's own hard drive. At 7 p.m. you connect to that voting machine and download the results. Then you report them to the statewide election commission. Votes are then tallied statewide.


Why are Dekalb and Fulton always the last ones to accomplish this simple task? Is it a stupidity thing or are they waiting to see how many fake votes they need to give to their candidate?


Let us answer this question, once and for all.


(I am not voting for ignorance.)

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

My only problem with this evening is that Karen now works for Paul and the rest of the cowards that compose our Republican "majority" in Congress. Fat lot of good this does.


Fubar.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

Will DeKalb county be the difference? Hope we can do better than that.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

The liberals tossoffed another 50 million to ensure an astounding defeat, what's not to like about this?

breckenridge
breckenridge

@AndyManUSA#45 

No, that is not correct.  A total of $50 million was spent between the backers of both candidates, not $50 million by one or the other.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@breckenridge @AndyManUSA#45 Well, you were making sense but now you have reverted. What point are you trying to get across? The kalifornia fascists spent bigly trying to buy this election and they got stomped, again. Are you searching for some redemption, something you can cling to?

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

DeKalb county has Ossoff up way ahead. No surprise there.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

Running neck and neck as predicted for now.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@SGTGrit Handels lead steadily increases and will throughout the evening. You could call the election right now and would not be wrong in the morning. I've seen this too many times.


America is just not that into democrats anymore.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@SGTGrit @AndyManUSA#45 Anything can happen but I know the 6th District. It is full of good people that know right from wrong. They love their country and do not wish to do it harm like so many of these modern day democrats do. Every day is a new day to attack and divide us for the democrats and most of Americans are sick of it.

breckenridge
breckenridge

The real winners in this election were the local television stations.  More money was spent on this House race than any other in history, about $50 million. 

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

Evidently, Handel, is up 2 pts. likely many said would be her winning margin. If that holds we may be going to bed earlier.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@SGTGrit The trick is knowing how many Election Day voters (who voted heavily R in April) shifted to early voters (who were heavily D in April). I haven't heard a solid theory as to how many we might be talking about.

breckenridge
breckenridge

@SGTGrit 

Handel is part of the Establishment, and you hate the Establishment. You seem to have forgotten that.

Go figure.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

Very close as we speak...probably will stay that way until morning.

DennisBrown
DennisBrown

AJC said democrats had a 6-7 poll lead a few days ago...trying to build momentum fot votes for democrats before the election!!!

Crooks!!!

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@DennisBrown The same trick they and the national media play with President Trump's approval numbers. 


Wake up, America.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

Just as an aside, the monkey libs waste big $$$$ and mucho government business time to investigate President Trump's collusion with Russia to "steal the election" and President Trump shoots down the jet fighters of Russia's ally, syria. 


The monkey liberals can't be more ignorant, it isn't even possible.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@AndyManUSA#45 Is anyone else using "monkey libs"? Is only one person using "orange clown"? That's all I said -- that there are more of them, and thus it'll be harder to police.

Thomas Jay Anderson
Thomas Jay Anderson

@AndyManUSA#45 Nice comment. I'm sure Kyle is proud to have people like you on "his" side. Your attitudes seem to be typical of Trump/Handel supporters. Regardless of the outcome tonight, we will impeach that clown in the WH within the year. Collusion, money laundering, obstruction of justice, fraud -- maybe if you are a CEO, you can get away with this stuff, if you pay the big money to the lawyers and buy your justice. That isn't going to work with Mueller and the Dream Team. The Chump Trump is going down. 

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@AndyManUSA#45 I didn't know "monkey libs" was going to be a permanent catch-phrase of yours, but it's time to drop it.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@Kyle_Wingfield @AndyManUSA#45


Mr. Wingfield:


I've made it perfectly clear what my reference to monkey liberals mean. You wind up the toy and it bangs the cymbals ceaselessly and endlessly. It almost seems to me like the clown that so many use to reference our new President, the orange clown you have no problem with, at all. Out of respect for you and your liberal readership, I drop the monkey lib reference. Out of respect for me, I expect that it be made perfectly clear that our President is not an orange clown, or any other sort of clown. Is that too much to ask for?


<iframe width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_73NU6OlNuw?ecver=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@Thomas Jay Anderson @AndyManUSA#45 We still wait for the evidence of the crimes you accuse the "Trump Chump" of committing. Who knows how much longer we will have to wait, it seems like decades at this point. Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth, we have evidence of collusion, money laundering, obstruction of justice, fraud against the clintons but, lucky for you, there are two sets of rules in America these days, one for democrats and another for everyone else.


Not for much longer.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@Kyle_Wingfield @AndyManUSA#45 That it is one against many. They started it. I replied in my own special way. It worked, didn't it? I felt offended by the "orange clown" reference, although I didn't cry to you like a big baby, like they did. 

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@Starik @AndyManUSA#45 @Kyle_Wingfield Dude, I type most of my comments with a big smile on my face (I am the Happy Warrior.) A lot of you would do well to understand that. I am right, you are wrong. America is better off doing what I say.


It's been proven time and time again.


My life under President Trump? Trying to find time to do all the work that has been placed upon me. I never had that problem under obama.

JFMcNamara
JFMcNamara

@AndyManUSA#45 @Kyle_Wingfield You are completely missing the point.  Everyone here can be mean and vicious.   You can call people monkey liberal and liberals can come up with something equally offensive to call you.  Where do we go at that point?  There is no longer real discussion.  It simply becomes who can be meanest and offend each other the worst.


I'm pretty sure that is not what Kyle wants, and I'm pretty sure that's not what our country needs.


I, for one, miss political correctness.   At least we had a minimum standard of decency.  Saying whatever you want is not working....It has just made everyone really, really angry. 

JFMcNamara
JFMcNamara

@AndyManUSA#45 @JFMcNamara @Kyle_Wingfield I don't recall ever calling the President an Orange clown.  


I will bet when Kyle asks whoever does it  to stop doing, they will.


Also, weren't you at one point named LilBarryBailout?  Wasn't that an offensive moniker for the President?  Why was that okay and Orange Clown is not?  


It was because of that name Kyle made making fun of public figures acceptable.  Now you are offended by it. I thought libs were the whiners...

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@JFMcNamara @AndyManUSA#45 @Kyle_Wingfield Wrong again. I never went by that moniker, in fact, I always felt that the guy using it was a black Conservative. He just came across that way. I did, however, post comments under the moniker of obozo, but that seem to be universally accepted. orange clown only seems to be used by the monkeys that post on this blog. 


Again, I offer the olive branch. When will you take it?

JFMcNamara
JFMcNamara

@AndyManUSA#45 @JFMcNamara @Kyle_Wingfield Orange clown is pretty well used.  Google it.


You haven't offered any olive branch.  You gave me an ultimatum which doesn't matter.  You can stop using the term, or likely be banned from here.


I guess you were Ireportyouwhine.  Republicans seem to change their names a lot to change their history.  Its hard to keep up.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@JFMcNamara @AndyManUSA#45 @Kyle_Wingfield I went by IReportYouWhine for over a decade. I swapped up to obozo or ackmed only for an occasional sarcastic comment. You are seeing black helicopters where none exist. 


I agree, Republicans these days are total cowards, save one or two. One is me. You call my President an orange clown, I call you a monkey lib. The rest of the Republicans flee like wildebeasts before a lion, I am not like the rest of the Republicans.


Deal with it.