Yesterday’s Special Election Proves Democrats Haven’t Learned Anything from 2016

Fighting President Trump and Congressional Republicans at every turn, the liberal main stream media and Democrats both looked to this year’s special elections with the vain hope that they would boost their support and validate their obstructionist efforts.

That hope however has been blown to smithereens as yesterday in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, making history as the most expensive Congressional race in the country, Republican candidate Karen Handel won the election, dashing any last Democrat hopes of eating away at Congressional Republicans’ majority before the 2018 midterm elections.

Republicans are rejoicing while Democrats are predictably dejected, this being the fourth special election this year in which Democrats were unable to change the GOP’s hold on vacated Congressional seats – first in Kansas, then in Montana, now in South Carolina and Georgia. These races were not swing districts and happened where Republicans had ample voter registration advantages, and in areas that historically vote Republican. In essence, Democrats never stood a chance unless Trump was as widely unpopular as they and some of CNN’s polls claim.

Now, as Democrats lick their wounds, they will likely be trying to contemplate just what went wrong and how they can better prepare for the 2018 midterms. Historically, the party in power loses seats in the first round of midterms but things aren’t exactly looking that way for Democrats in 2018. According to the Cook Report, there are only six races currently that are considered a “toss-up” for the Republicans while 19 seats “lean Republican” although these numbers are guaranteed to shift as election season gets closer. Because the Republicans now have 241 seats in the House of Representatives (taking into account the recent special elections), Democrats must win every single toss-up seat and “leaning Republican” district while losing none of their own to gain the majority in 2018. And even then, if they pull off that miracle, they will only have a margin of two votes for their majority.

But that is favorable compared to the Democrats’ chances in the Senate. A majority of the Senate’s seats up for election next year will be Democrat and a good portion of those seats are in states that Trump won in 2016. If Republicans perform just as well as Trump did in those states, it is possible for Republicans in the Senate to boost their majority even higher to sixty seats, meaning they will now be able to override any Democrat filibusters.

However, Democrats face an even greater threat than electoral hurdles and that is their own ignorance. Their behavior and campaigning during yesterday’s special election in Georgia showed that they learned absolutely nothing from their 2016 defeat. The Democrats went on a spending spree to make their dreams come true in Georgia as Ossoff raised more than $8 million in comparison to Handel’s $2.1 million. However, only 14% of Jon Ossoff’s campaign donations actually came from within the state of Georgia, with the largest amounts of his donors coming from the Democratic states of California, Massachusetts, and New York. Meanwhile his Republican opponent, Karen Handel, received 86% of her contributions from fellow Georgians.

Scores of Hollywood elites also buzzed in to announce their support for Ossoff. His list of supports included Rosie O’Donnell, Jane Fonda, Samuel Jackson, John Luguizamo, Alyssa Milano, Sarah Silverman, and even the now-infamous Kathy Griffin. Despite all this support and money, Ossoff still lost. On a quick side note, Handel did receive enormous support from the GOP’s army of super-PACs and from President Trump himself, but if Democrats can’t beat them now, they certainly don’t stand much of a chance of beating them in 2018.

I am surprised that liberals didn’t know better and you would’ve thought they would have learned by now that liberal Hollywood endorsements and money aren’t good strategies for a successful campaign. Hillary had a massive army of Hollywood supporters that look like they were drafted from the Oscars and she crushed Trump at the campaign spending game, yet she was defeated. But instead of realizing the mistakes their party made and trying to look for better strategies, Democrats went on a blame shifting spree, targeting “widespread misogyny”, the Russians, the FBI, the Republicans, and everyone or thing that they could other than themselves and their own failed strategies.

So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that liberals tried the same strategy for Ossoff and their other candidates they have tried running against Republicans. Who wants to guess they may try the same in 2018 and 2020? What Democrats have failed to realize is that simply being the “anti-Trump” party isn’t enough. Trump may not be a very popular person these days but the Democrats have no allure themselves. And in 2018, Republicans candidates may successfully put some distance between them and Trump, eliminating the Democrats main attack opportunity against them.

On Twitter, a jubilant Trump suggested that the cause for the Democrats’ defeat was their obstructionism. And to an extent, he is correct. When the Republicans opposed the Democratic controlled White House under Obama, they offered distinct proposals including eliminating Obamacare and deregulating Washington. Democrats meanwhile have criticized Republicans at every move but have yet to offer any coherent policy proposal of their own, and those that do like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth are so far left they will only satisfy a progressive fringe of the electorate.

If Democrats want to start winning again (not that I really want them to), they better actually get a plan because right now, being the party of whiners and Trump-haters isn’t going to get them anywhere.

Follow Publius Tacitus on Twitter at @PCTacitus


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