US Democrats aim to 'Make Trump Furious' in Georgia election

Bruno Cirelli
Aprile 20, 2017

Republican Karen Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, finished a distant second, qualifying for the June 20 runoff.

An Ossoff victory, which almost came to pass despite the long Republican tradition in the district, would have sent even marginally vulnerable House Republicans into a panic that the unpopularity of President Donald Trump could bring them down next November.

But Ossoff, a documentary filmmaker and former congressional aide, told energized supporters before all the returns were in that he and Democrats "shattered expectations" with their performance.

Ossoff, who had predicted an outright victory, nonetheless said the outcome was a win.

A 30-year-old political novice, Ossoff is running as the lone Democrat against a field of 17 Republicans for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives vacated when Trump named Tom Price to be secretary of health and human services. Coming out of the 2016 elections, the Republican Party took control of the Senate and White House while maintaining a majority in the House of Representatives.

Georgia's 6th district is in the relatively affluent and conservative suburbs of Atlanta.

Under normal circumstances a Republican win would be in little doubt. But Trump's approval rating lags at around 40 percent in a Gallup tracking poll - a record low for an incoming president.

Democrats had already been aiming to nationalize the race against Trump, campaigning on a slogan of "Make Trump Furious".

Ossoff's candidacy and failure to secure the seat in the first round of voting, despite holding an $8.3 million war-chest, is the quintessential example of why the Democrats' strategy of resisting Trump at every step is imprudent and that the more effective way to win in a solidly Republican district is with a positive agenda of change.

Trump was heavily invested in the race and in a tweet claimed victory, although Ossoff could still win in the runoff.

"Despite major outside money, FAKE media support and eleven Republican candidate, BIG "R" win with runoff in Georgia", he tweeted late Tuesday. "Glad to be of help!"

Handel has treated Trump gingerly throughout, rarely mentioning him unless she's asked and even then cautioning she isn't a "rubber stamp" for anyone.

"These liberal Democrats failed to inspire voters", McDaniel said in a RNC statement.

The district, although still Republican-leaning, has been trending more Democratic in recent years, and provides Democrats with their best shot this year of picking up one of the 24 seats they'll need to reclaim the House.

"The reason is clear: voters are rejecting Trump and his policies". Those in the race are split among Trump supporters and candidates trying to hold the president at arm's length.

That distinguished her from other Republican contenders she left to squabble over who is more loyal to Trump. Republicans are bidding to prevent a major upset in a conservative Georgia congressional district Tuesday where Democrats stoked by opposition t.

Ossoff is an untested candidate. With election day 2018 being more than 18 months away, it may be a while until the Democratic Party is able to clench victory.

Last week, a Democrat challenging for an open congressional seat in a deep-red district in Kansas fell short of an upset.

The Democrat lost that race by seven percentage points, but the party sought to spin the result as a positive, pointing out that Trump won the district in November by 27 points.

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