Special election losses leave Democrats divided, searching

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A month ago Yglesias was celebrating the loss of the democrat in the Montana special congressional election by declaring his loss to really mean a win for democrats.

As Democrats pick up the pieces ahead of next year's midterms, they're largely in agreement that the party needs a sharper economic message and stronger candidates.

Now, sure, there can be a real question about the message Ossoff delivered during the race. Though, like in the 2016 election, there are a multitude of reasons for the loss, one issue continues to stick out like a sore thumb: Nancy Pelosi. Republican stalwart Newt Gingrich lorded over this district for 20 years.

Nobody forced Ossoff to dismiss single payer, or held a gun to his head and made him use dog-whistle language about "both parties in Washington" wasting taxpayer dollars.

Republican Ralph Norman defeated Archie Parnell in Tuesday's special election for South Carolina's 5th congressional district, and in Georgia, Republican Karen Handel defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff in the most expensive House race in history. "That's just the bottom line".

"It should be a wake-up call for Democrats". "Business as usual isn't working", he tweeted. But numerous districts that Democrats will be competing in are not quite as red as this one was. News wrote this morning, "Democrats have to admit they have a Pelosi problem".

"We've seen a huge uptick in recruitment this cycle", DCCC spokesman Tyler Law told RCP. And, with that, we'd also get knee-jerk reactions from some folks looking for an easy-to-grasp narrative.

Special elections can be over interpreted.

The apparent effectiveness of that messaging suggested to some that the 77-year-old Californian could be a liability for Democrats as they aim to regain their majority. "That's a problem going forward, and it's going to be a challenge in House races particularly". That's not say they are off the hook. GOP leaders believe failure is not an option but know that, even if successful in passing health care this year, they could be saddled with a bill that is highly unpopular, at least if current polling proves correct. Democrats generally oppose the Republicans' plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Obama's signature legislative achievement.

"It's a good start". "All we do is win, win, win".

For all the money spent and the endless pre-election analysis about the meaning of it all, the special congressional election in Georgia's 6th District produced a status quo result. Stivers noted that his committee has outraised its Democratic counterpart in four of the past five months.

"I think we'll see if it works", NRCC Chairman Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) said.

In the Ossoff race, even though the 30-year-old documentary filmmaker and former congressional staffer ended up running a more centrist and not Trump-centric campaign, Republicans were able to zero in on the more than $23 million in donations Ossoff raised, largely from liberal enclaves like California and NY, and make an easy connection to Pelosi. "Again, it's part of the broader national brand that average people don't feel connected to the Democratic Party".

In a written statement the California Democrat didn't directly respond to the criticism, but stressed that now was the time for Democrats to come together.

Just to be clear, I'm not saying that as a general principle Democrats should stop worrying about policy.

"The President clearly wants a bill that has heart in it", Spicer said.

"She personally told me she was rock solid" with the president, said Webb, 70. The results showed Nancy Pelosi with 30% favorable rating and a 50% unfavorable rating. And she remains the party's most prodigious fundraiser, bringing in $567.9 million for the party since she joined leadership in 2002.

"Democrats also have to be extremely anxious that increased polarization and multi-way primaries will result in extreme, far-left nominees that have no chance of winning moderate districts", the GOP House source added. "It felt too rigged".

Not only that, Democrats have gone 0-4 in special elections in the Trump era so far. He predicted crowded, messy Democratic primaries in the most competitive seats.