Ossoff obtained the most amount of votes during the special election held in April, but failed to win the election by majority, forcing a runoff against Handel. Their best chance was arguably in Georgia's 6th Congressional District, a suburban one near Atlanta where Donald Trump barely edged out Hillary Clinton past year.
"Last night, Karen Handel won it by 4 points, so she doubled his victory margin", King said. "This race proved that Democrats have a real shot at taking back the House in 2018". In Kansas in April, in Montana last month and in Georgia and SC on Tuesday, Democratic candidates outperformed their party's past showings, but still fell short where it counts: Republicans won.
JOE CROWLEY: We're disappointed.
Republicans can also now breathe a sigh of relief with the knowledge that they can still win in the kind of affluent, educated districts that often favor Democrats - even with a president who has divided voters in their own party. The ads were successful; Democrats lost all four races.
The Democrats expended vast amounts of money, celebrity, and political capital in support of Jon Ossoff, an attractive young candidate running in a district filled with high-income, highly educated voters.
Lawmakers are also bemoaning a weak Democratic bench of candidates nationally, and demanding a better strategy for success and a new and stronger economic message that differentiates them more clearly from the Republicans. "I don't think people in the beltway are realizing just how toxic the Democratic Party brand is in so many parts of the country". That's not a winner's mentality. "Personally I think it's time for a new generation of leadership in the party".
"The rationale for getting new leadership is that we're losing", Rice said. Moulton is a 38-year-old Iraq war veteran elected to Congress in 2014. "I certainly hope the Democrats do not force Nancy P out". You're responsible for everything your platoon does or fails to do. "If we don't, then I think it's incumbent upon her and all of us to reassess who our leadership should be".
And the losses may help the party clarify its message, which is lost somewhere between the liberal leanings of Bernie Sanders and the cautious middle-of-the-roaders like Ossoff. "It doesn't benefit our candidates to be tied to her". And all the focus on whether Nancy Pelosi should stay or go as House minority leader seems largely beside the point.
Congressman Bill Pascrell of New Jersey says, "A loss is a loss is a loss, and there's no excuses".