White House paints Handel win as Trump triumph

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"I think that she's a tremendous leader of our caucus, with the kind of strategic talent and experience that we really need to succeed in the minority and particularly when we don't control the House or Senate", said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. They need a political reformation, one that offers more than mere antimatter to Trump. Just because the media didn't cover his message or understand it, doesn't mean he didn't have one.

This is because of the astonishing amount of money spent on the race.

In Georgia's 6th Congressional District, Democrats spent over $20 million with millions more pouring in from outside groups.

- Long special elections: There were more than two months between the primary in April and the runoff on Tuesday, a period during which residents of the 6th District were inundated with ads and mailers and pretty clearly grew exhausted of the $50-plus million spent on their member of Congress. That nearly $60 million total represents almost $100 for every man, woman and child who lives in the district.

Ossoff is a documentary filmmaker as well as a former congressional staffer.

What's interesting is what all this money and activity did, and didn't do. The Republican campaign establishment, however, helped make up the difference.

Consider the results of the first round of voting. By 12:17 AM, the gap narrowed to Handel at 51.87% to Ossoff's 48.13%, where it appears the final count has rested. That strategy succeeded because her district is a suburban enclave that still prefers the older-fashioned (i.e. circa five years ago) fiscally conservative creed to Trump's barnstorming populism. This high level of information translated into very high turnout.

"You know you can sit here and we'll talk about Russian Federation all day long today on Capitol Hill and in Washington". That time, 52,000 people voted in the first round, and 40,000 in the second round, out of about 450,000 registered voters. With 129,570 registered voters, it is the middle-sized county in the district.

Handel insisted for months that voters' choice had little to do with Trump. He also slammed congressional Democrats as "obstructionists" and repeated his line that "if we got the single greatest health care plan in the history of the world, we would not get one Democratic vote".

Republicans just got a big argument for sticking with President Donald Trump and pushing forward with dismantling former President Barack Obama's health law.

It is this race, in the cultural/demographic realm, that ultimately determines the politics of tomorrow.

How the party and its candidates should proceed from here sure sounds like the existential conversation Republicans were having with themselves in the age of Obama. To pull this off Handel had to keep her distance from Trump.

There are, though, reasons to believe Pelosi poses a unique political problem for Democrats.

So while Pelosi took heat from some party colleagues after Democrat Jon Ossoff lost his bid for a Georgia House seat, and found herself grilled hard by reporters at her weekly press conference Thursday, she will survive. "It's not enough to dislike Trump".

For Republicans, winning never gets monotonous.

And then the rank and file nominated Donald Trump - and he won. In Georgia's 6th District, that smug, self-righteous sense of superiority played about as well as one might expect. But he rarely talked about the president toward the end of the contest because he needed to win over moderate Republicans and didn't want to motivate low-propensity Trump voters to turn out against him.

More immediately, Handel's victory might give a small boost to Trump's legislative agenda in Congress. Democrats may say the race should not have been that close, but the reality is spending that much money to drive out 100 percent of Democrats plus some anti-Trump Republicans cost them $30 million they now can not spend elsewhere.

When President Trump, for example, announced US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord - a voluntary agreement that promised only to reduce the average global temperature by just 0.05°C by 2100 - Pelosi accused the president of "dishonoring" God and questioned whether his grandchildren will even be able to breathe air.