Dem dream of Trump repudiation lives on despite failure to win Tom Price’s old seat in Congress

Democrat fantasies of revenge for the loss of the presidency took another blow yesterday.  The much hyped $8-million campaign to win the reliably conservative suburban Atlanta seat in Congress formerly held by Tom Price, now HHS secretary, failed to deliver a majority of votes to Jon Ossoff, the sole Democrat running against 11 Republicans in the special election.  As a result, a runoff election will be held June, with Karen Handel, the frontrunner on the GOP side with just under 20% of the vote, in a one-on-one battle facing the Dems' champion, Ossoff.

Yet Democrats still claim victory:

In a statement early Wednesday, Ossoff acknowledged that he had fallen short.

"This is already a remarkable victory," he said. "We defied the odds, shattered expectations, and now are ready to fight on and win in June."

The GOP side, which collectively garnered a majority of the votes, was split between supporters and opponents of President Trump:

Several GOP candidates – Dan Moody, Bob Gray, Bruce LeVell, Amy Kremer – embraced Trump and cast themselves as his would-be allies in Washington. Others were supportive but not always enthusiastic, such as Handel and Judson Hill. One Republican, David Abroms, opposed the president. Most of the leading candidates bounced between those poles depending on the day or the latest controversy.

This places Handel as a unifier for the GOP side, able to reach out to all factions, a good sign for driving turnout in June.  Desperate for a victory, the Democrats are likely to continue major fundraising for Ossoff.

Yet Ossoff has some issues of his own that could depress turnout for him, especially among female voters:

"I've been living with my girlfriend, Alisha, for 12 years now down by Emory University where she's a full-time medical student," Ossoff said. "As soon as she concludes her medical training, I'll be 10 minutes back up the street in the district where I grew up."

CNN's Alisyn Camerota, intrigued, then asked, "So when are you going to marry her?"

"Well, I don't want to give anything away," Ossoff said. "I'll give you a call when I have something to announce."

So he loves his girlfriend enough to move out of the district to be with her but not enough to marry her.  What's going on there?  In my experience, men who string along their girlfriends for years, enjoying all the benefits of marriage with none of the obligations, are exploiters, retaining the possibility of moving on to greener and younger pastures as the years take their toll.

Ossoff could, of course, announce his engagement at any time, and if the issue becomes more prominent, he may well do so.

Ossoff claims national security expertise because of his experience as a congressional staffer.  The inimitable Ace, as usual, sums it up pithily.

His resume includes working for Hank "Guam Could Tip Over" Johnson and lying about his credentials so you can understand why he's gathered such passionate support from Vile Lunatics.

But for now, despite all the money and emotion invested, Democrats have failed to obtain the revenge they so badly wanted.  The fantasy of voters repudiating the president they revile remains a dream, not a reality.

Ossoff's ability to raise money and better than normal showing in a conservative district are certain to help the Democrats recruit candidates elsewhere in the country to run against incumbent Republicans at all levels.  The GOP needs to get its act together, unify around its president, and start passing legislation that reforms taxes and improves health care insurance.

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