Following Georgia’s 6th District Special Election Democrats Have Their Work Cut Out For Them…


It was the most expensive U.S. House race in history. The two campaigns, along with outside organizations, spent more than $50 million on the election.[4] Although Handel held the advantage with outside groups spending money on the race, the Democratic effort to flip this congressional seat, which has been held by a Republican since 1979, began early. Ossoff raised $8.3 million in the first quarter of 2017, where recent Democratic candidates raised no more than $45,000 in the general election. In April and May, Ossoff raised an additional $15 million.[5] Handel raised $4 million, relying on national political figures like President Donald Trump in May and Vice President Mike Pence in June to helm fundraisers.[6] Although Handel’s fundraising paled in comparison to Ossoff’s, she outraised recent Republican candidates by more than $2 million.

Tom Perez, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, said that his party’s investment in the race was part of a larger effort to improve party infrastructure across the country. “We’re investing heavily here in the Georgia six race, but I’m traveling across the country. We’re building strong parties everywhere. That’s what we have to do because that’s where we fell short in the past. We allowed our basic infrastructure to, you know, to atrophy and we have to build strong parties,” he said.[7] This spending was driven primarily by out-of-state contributions, which Handel and conservative outside organizations highlighted in critical campaign ads.

This special election was one of the first chances since 2016 for the Democratic Party to put a small dent in the Republican House majority. When asked about the importance of the race, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R), who represented the district for two decades, told Ballotpedia, “I do think Republicans have to pay attention, and I think it would be a big mistake to allow this district to go to Ossoff, partly because of the psychology nationally, and partly because once a relatively talented person gets in office, it’s really hard to get rid of them.”

Under normal circumstances, Georgia’s 6th District would have been seen as a safe Republican district, as the Democratic Party had not held the seat since before Gingrich’s first election in 1978. However, Trump’s narrow win by a margin of 1.5 percent over Hillary Clinton in the district in the 2016 presidential race signified that the district could be competitive. Comparatively, Mitt Romney (R) won the district by a margin of 23.3 percent in 2012, and John McCain (R) defeated Barack Obama (D) by 18 percent in 2008.[8][9] Republicans suggested that Ossoff’s failure to win in the district, despite an infusion of cash, was evidence that there would be wave left in 2018 against the Trump administration and its policies.

Ossoff was a first-time candidate, having previously worked on the Hill as a legislative aide to Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) for five years and as a documentary producer. While he positioned himself as a counteragent to Trump with a focus on small business growth, affordable healthcare, preserving Medicare and Medicaid, and national security, he was also characterized as more of a centrist than a progressive by New York Magazine, The Washington Post, National Review, and The New York Times.[10] Handel, who served as the Georgia Secretary of State from 2007 to 2010, supported the Trump administration’s position on healthcare and the withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, although she rarely mentioned his name on the stump.[11] She instead focused on promoting conservative principles and economic issues like improving the tax code for small businesses.

There is slight disagreement but what liberals and progressives need to effectively define a substantive agenda for America and enunciate it clearly for the American people. A pro growth economic agenda and a realistic foreign policy agenda is what Americans want. And, they want to know precisely why it will be good for America and how democrats will accomplish it.

An expanding middle class has ceased to exist under republicans rule and it is very likely that it will continue to shrink, irrespective of what the BLOTUS might say. It is true that as the globe has shrunk, the result of globalisation, American economic power has declined and this has hit the middle and lower class the hardest. The reality is America will never again be the only game in town as it was following WW II, the rest of the world has essentially caught up. America simply must become willing to share economic power with other nations of the world. Whether we like it or not.

Trump and republicans capitalized on the economic fear many Americans are feeling and channeled the fear at immigration, among other things. Trump and republicans lied and continue to lie. Democrats need to come clean with the American people and be forthright and truthful about what is really happening. Simply running against personality, whether an individual or party is not going to accomplish a damn thing, except more of the same.

The ball is in the democrats court. With 16 monthsto mid term elections they better get to work.

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Les Carpenter

Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) and Corrective Exercise Specialist working with those over 50 years of age. Currently work at Prime Fitness located in The Enfield Senior Center, Enfield CT. Semi retired and enjoying life in the semi fast lane with my lovely bride and super grandchildren!

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