Opinion: Will Georgia Democrats, GOP see an ‘Ossoff effect’ in 2018?

Jon Ossoff meets with Rep. Stacey Abrams and other leading Democrats during a visit to the state Capitol, March 30. Does his election tell us anything about their chances in 2018? (AJC Photo / Hyosub Shin)

Thirty days may be an eternity in politics, but it looks like the (mercifully) just-ended special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District could hold some clues that extend into 2018. Let’s see if we can find some lasting lessons from Republican Karen Handel’s victory over Democrat Jon Ossoff.

Democrats finally put money into Georgia but left with nothing to show for it. Every four years we hear the same thing: National Democrats are going to spend some money to put Georgia into play. It never happens. But after Hillary Clinton performed surprisingly well against Donald Trump in some parts of metro Atlanta last fall, including a shockingly narrow, 1.5-point loss in the 6th, liberals from coast to coast put some $30 million toward Ossoff’s cause.

The result: a 3.8-point loss to Handel. Statewide elections loom next year, and Stacey Abrams, the presumptive front-runner in the Democratic primary for governor, has a national profile. But with Democrats hoping to retake the U.S. House or Senate, will they be reluctant to send checks to the site of their recent, bitter disappointment?

Democrats’ slightly improved showing in 2016 might represent a ceiling, not a trend. Presidential elections draw more voters than special elections — although turnout in the 6th on Tuesday hit a silly 58 percent — but the following comparison is still staggering:

In November, a virtually invisible Democrat named Rodney Stooksbury spent zero dollars and won 124,917 votes against Tom Price. This week, the widely celebrated Ossoff spent $30 million (including PACs) and won 124,893 votes against Handel.

Yes, turnout was higher last November. But it seems the drop-off, and thus the room to grow, was all on the GOP’s side. Ossoff’s campaign might have found every Democrat there is in the district; as his pollster, John Anzalone, told Politico: “At the end of the day with 260,000 people voting, we just ran out of Democrats and independents.” If that’s also true more widely in Georgia, Democrats will have a very hard time breaking through next year. Unless …

Bad news from Washington hurts the Georgia GOP. All the negativity about President Trump and the GOP-led Congress made a lot of smart people think Ossoff could win a previously deep-red seat. But the run-off took place just five months after Trump’s inauguration, and it may be that was simply too soon for people to throw in the towel on him. Sixteen and a half months from now, that may no longer be true. That’s why …

Republicans in Congress can help themselves, in Georgia and beyond, by pulling it together and passing some meaningful legislation. A lot of GOP congressmen might have run for the hills had their party lost a seemingly safe seat in Georgia, but Handel’s win takes that excuse away from them.

The Senate is working toward a vote on its version of health reform as soon as next week. Tax reform still awaits. Pass those, add the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch (and, rumor has it, possibly a second new justice with an opening that could come soon), and Republicans will have some real accomplishments to campaign on next year.

That would help Georgia Republicans. But if Washington bogs down, the reverse will be true, too.

Reader Comments 0

538 comments
Doomy
Doomy

This is interesting. Apparently, hate crimes happen elsewhere as well. 


http://www.msn.com/en-us/music/celebrity/susan-boyle-assaulted-harassed-by-gang-of-15-youths/ar-BBDaZNO?li=BBnbfcL&ocid=SL5IDHP


Ladies like her could probably us a gun in England. 


"Susan isn't the only target. The group has reportedly harassed other locals of the area where Susan was born.

One person said the gang shouted racist remarks her way before 

it got physical.

"While I was waiting at the bus they lobbed a glass bottle at my head. Luckily, it missed - it would have been painful if it had hit me. I've called the police 15 times. I've had to speak to victim support, I've had to call helplines because I've felt suicidal," Susan's neighbor said. "They're known to the community. They set the children's park on fire, they put fireworks through somebody's door, they threw eggs at a [small] girl's window."

"They pick on the most vulnerable people," the source said. "If there is more than one person they won't do it - because they are too scared. It's old people, children, mentally ill people. It's really disgusting." 

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

All Cons should be up in arms about the health care insurance overhaul.

Obamacare created a new entitlement---supplements and expanding Medicaid.

If Repub had any balls they would do away with both which is what Cons wanted all these years.

But instead, the Repubs have buckled and when they pass a bill that includes supplements they put us one step closer to single payer. 

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@AvgGeorgian @JohnnyReb

Medicare

I don't like the Senate or House plans....

I'm against any supplements to individuals to pay for healthcare insurance.

When the Repubs pass the bill with supplements, they are putting one foot in the socialist medicine grave.

Doomy
Doomy

@JohnnyReb


That's what woulda happened the last time he started his tough guy talk- except that he promptly disappeared from the blog when I told him exactly when and where I would meet him that night to find out just how tough a guy he really thought he was. 


He's your typical trash talking internet bully who is really just a  sniveling coward when you call him out. And everybody on the blog that night saw it. 

breckenridge
breckenridge

If Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare are successful, one of the biggest winners would be the wealthy.

The Senate bill  differs in key ways from the House-passed version. But proposals eliminate the taxes imposed on high-income Americans to help pay for an expansion of health benefits under the Affordable Care Act.

Somebody needs to get a clue. I'm not going to mention any names, but here's a hint:


J - H N N Y   R - B

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@breckenridge

Yes, it is difficult to take candy from babies.

Ignoring and ear plugs are sometimes necessary.

Obama bestowed an unsustainable entitlement.

Repubs are trying to inject some sanity.

What about 20 Trillion in debt with no plan to repay do you not understand?

And, let me guess....

you can't make the connection between tax cuts and growing the economy to repay the debt. 

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@JohnnyReb @breckenridge

Do you still believe in trickle down?

Tax cuts for the rich don't stimulate the economy - they just sock away more money instead of spending it.


If you want to stimulate the economy with tax cuts you give it to the working class who have to spend it.


Have you read for even 30 minutes about trickle down?

Doomy
Doomy

@AvgGeorgian @JohnnyReb @breckenridge


"Do you still believe in trickle down?"


Sloganeering doesn't make a valid argument. 


Furthermore, anyone can plainly see that nations with lower marginal tax rates tend to have higher growth rates than nations burdened by heavy taxation. Also, don't you find it a bit ironic that the most heavy taxation nations in the world also just happen to be nations that carry a high debt load? In other words heavy taxation doesn't necessarily lead to reduction of debt and it certainly doesn't lead to prosperous rates of growth. 

Doomy
Doomy

@AvgGeorgian @JohnnyReb @breckenridge


"If you want to stimulate the economy with tax cuts you give it to the working class who have to spend it."


That's called toddler economics. You completely ignored the all important component of capital in the economy. Its the big I for investment that you see in lots of economics equations. More capital  means more growth and spending , which is represented by the C for consumption in economics models, can only carry you so far. 

Doomy
Doomy

"so they went past all the "liberal activist judges" to get to the "Republican activist judges"?"


Um. No. What the scotus did was reaffirm the fact that the executive branch makes policy regarding immigration- not judges from the highly politicized 9th circus court of appeals. 


"The problem was that the President himself said that it was discriminatory by religion.   That's pretty much the opposite of the countries founding principles.  I thought Constitutionalists would agree with that."


Sorry. You have no argument, sir and your lie about the ban being only on Muslims is silly beyond belief. The ban was not based on religion. If it was then all Muslims would have been banned. Yet 85% of the world's Muslims were not covered by the ban including Muslims from the 3 or 4 largest Muslim nations.  Furthermore, many Christians and other religious minorities from these 7 nations were affected by the ban. 


Word is that moderate Anthony Kennedy is ready to retire. You can bet your sweet a$$ that we are going to stick it to you with another strict constructionist in there to interpret as opposed to a willy nilly moderate. With another 1 or 2 strict constructionists we're going to ram it down your throat for years to come. 

breckenridge
breckenridge

@Doomy 

Right? You can stop hiding under your bed with your prayer beads and your whack stack.

Doomy
Doomy

@breckenridge @Doomy


As you well know I don't hide from anyone. Your assertion that people are all scaredy cat just because we choose not import terrorists is silly even for you. 

Doomy
Doomy

@breckenridge @Doomy


And Delta is ready when you are to head back to that shyte hole up in Illinois Mr. internet tough guy. 

Doomy
Doomy

@breckenridge @Doomy


Delta can get you there in 3 minutes? WOW. I had no idea Delta could get you there in 3 minutes. 


If you're suggesting something else I think we both know better. 10 seconds would be all it would take me you sniveling coward. 

Doomy
Doomy

@AndyManUSA#45 @breckenridge @Doomy


He sure crapped his pants the last time he started his tough guy talk. Ended up getting us both booted from next door as a matter of fact. I shoulda just ignored the trash talking coward after he refused to meet me the first two times. The boy is nothing but a trash talking little sniveling coward hiding behind his keyboard. 

Doomy
Doomy

@AndyManUSA#45 @Doomy @breckenridge


Who knows what this nut is referring to. Probably just another of his usual empty threats that he's made for years behind his keyboard. I probably just should have ignored his foolishness. 

Doomy
Doomy

@McGarnagle @Doomy @breckenridge


Whether we like the ban or not this is clearly the purview of the executive branch. It would be just as bad if President Obama had enacted the temporary ban and a court usurped his authority. And its really not that big a deal. Its temporary and just gives the administration time to review policies regarding these states. 

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@Doomy @McGarnagle @breckenridge


They need time to review policies regarding these states. If they were reviewing at the start of presidency. Then they would have everything they need. I foresee them extending the order for "more time to review"

Doomy
Doomy

@McGarnagle @Doomy @breckenridge


Intelligence gathering is a fluid and ever changing science and there need not be a time limit on how long it takes to review procedure on these particular states. The same people who think a Russian collusion investigation that has produced nothing in a year of investigation all of a sudden want a time limit on reviewing immigration from terrorist states? Come on, man. 

breckenridge
breckenridge

9-11 Terrorists By Nationality:


Ahmed al Ghamdi, Saudi Arabia
Hamza al Ghamdi, Saudi Arabia
Saeed al Ghamdi, Saudi Arabia
Hani Hanjour, Saudi Arabia
Nawaf al Hazmi, Saudi Arabia
Salem al Hazmi, Saudi Arabia
Ahmad al Haznawi, Saudi Arabia
Ahmed al Nami, Saudi Arabia
Khalid al Mihdhar, Saudi Arabia
Majed Moqed, Saudi Arabia
Abdul Aziz al Omari, Saudi Arabia
Mohand al Shehri, Saudi Arabia
Wail al Shehri, Saudi Arabia
Waleed al Shehri, Saudi Arabia
Satam al Suqami, Saudi Arabia 

Mohamed Atta, Egypt

Ziad Jarrah, Lebanon

Fayez Banihammad, United Arab Emirates 
Marwan al Shehhi, United Arab Emirates

Any travel ban that does not include Saudis is completely meaningless.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@breckenridge 

Again you demonstrate the Left's propaganda machine has its hooks so deep you are not capable of independent thought.

The reason for the ban, which was to be temporary, was/is to stop the immigration from countries where the government there is incapable of providing information to sufficiently vett the potential immigrant.

Saudi Arabia is capable of providing the info, so no ban.

breckenridge
breckenridge

@AvgGeorgian @breckenridge 

Figures. And then he was over there in the Kingdom of Saud and, as the mental midget Sarah Palin put it, he was "palling around with terrorists."

breckenridge
breckenridge

Repubs need a scolding about their communication on the health care bill.

They know beforehand the MSM will lead the Dim charge to spin the bill into a terrible thing.


Is spinning the reason 5 republican Senators will not support the bill in it's current form? Hmm gee that's a tough one - if you're an idiot.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@breckenridge

You would have nothing on anything if you did not repeat the Dim talking points.

The 5 senators have their reasons for opposing the bill.

One does not like the Medicaid cuts - he's the one you like.

Rand does not think the bill goes far enough as far as repealing ACA.

So trying to lump them together in attempts to make a point, as you did, is inaccurate.

breckenridge
breckenridge

“President Trump is working right out of the Heritage playbook,” said Al Hartman, a Houston real-estate executive, referring to the conservative Washington think tank. “God gave us one more chance by allowing him to be in office.”

God hates your guts Al.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

 WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is letting the Trump administration enforce its 90-day ban on travelers from six mostly Muslim countries, overturning lower court orders that blocked it.


Deal with it.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@AndyManUSA#45

This was a given from the start and only hampered by liberal activist judges legislating from the bench.

The law is very clear giving presidents the authority.

LibProgs try to give potential immigrants constitutional rights before they set foot in America.

That simply is not true.

They get the constitutional protections once here, not before.

And the president has the authority to control the immigration all the way from completely stopping it to selective entry.

This has been another example of the Left's lunacy.

Imagine how much we could get accomplished if not having to deal with the nut cases?

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@AndyManUSA#45


Seems they will hear the full case in the fall and allowed a limit version of the order. So seems they kick the can down the road. Eh.

JFMcNamara
JFMcNamara

@JohnnyReb @AndyManUSA#45 so they went past all the "liberal activist judges" to get to the "Republican activist judges"?


The problem was that the President himself said that it was discriminatory by religion.   That's pretty much the opposite of the countries founding principles.  I thought Constitutionalists would agree with that. 


First Ammendment:


"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances"

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@JFMcNamara @JohnnyReb @AndyManUSA#45

Two points.....

Courts who do their jobs properly interpret the written law or executive order, not campaign rhetoric.

And, you are trying to give constitutional rights to a person/people who are not citizens and have not stepped foot into the USA.  They get those privileges after being here but until then the president has control without the constitutional restrictions.

JFMcNamara
JFMcNamara

The Constitution is the basis for our entire system of laws and it was clear at the time it applied to immigrants it was written. Americans do not, and never have been, allowed to discriminate against immigrants of different religions because that was the primary reason for coming here.

Secondly, you are implying that yhe President can decide immigration policy unilaterally. That's not how its supposed to work.