GOP: Special Election Victories Boost Trump's Legislative Agenda

Angie Massey
June 24, 2017

But what works in Vegas doesn't count for much in elections, where winning is the game.

But the GOP's ideal 4-0 contested special-election record in 2017 now gives Capitol Hill Republicans some cover to pass their ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill, a major tax-reform package and other legislative priorities. But on Tuesday night, there was no need to stretch the truth - no need to put a better face on what was already a big special election win for the Republican Party.

The Georgia contest was the most expensive House race in history, and the GOP dusted off the same playbook it has used effectively since the Republican wave of 2010: Hammering Democratic candidates with a relentlessly anti-Pelosi message that drives out the conservative base. They pointed out that there are 70 more House seats that are more competitive than the one in the Atlanta suburbs that the GOP retained on Tuesday.

Mediaite previously noted Trump's suggestion that it was Barack Obama's fault for not stopping Russian Federation from interfering with the 2016 election.

In 2010, it was Pelosi and then-President Barack Obama. "His vote held, so this is a deserved victory lap". That was an ominous sign because in the first-round primary back on April 18, Ossoff had dominated the early absentee tally with more than 60% of that vote.

Handel insisted for months that voters' choice had little to do with Trump.

On policy, Handel mostly echoes the GOP line. The battle came down to the Fulton County portion of the district, where nearly half of the electorate resided. Overall, roughly 260,000 were cast in this race, dwarfing the 210,000 who voted in the 2014 midterm election. Republican Ralph Norman beat Democrat Archie Parnell by around 3 percentage points in SC, closer than expected and a warning sign to the GOP not to take any seat for granted.

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Pelosi is frequently the subject of Republican attack ads, framing her as a coastal elite who is out of touch with middle America. Democratic leaders in the House are taking heat after the party's disappointing special-election defeat in Georgia.

Parnell won the southern portion of the district 57%-42%, which includes Fairfield, Lee and Sumter Counties with relatively high numbers of African-American voters.

Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., said Democrats are not as good on delivering a winning message to voters as they should be.

House Democratic leaders are taking some comfort in coming in a close second for a seat that's always been firmly in GOP hands. Veteran GOP ad-maker Brad Todd says that's because the San Francisco congresswoman is the personification of the liberal values they can't stomach.

"Obviously, I wasn't too confident about it, as the Democrats had this massive fundraising advantage and there was all of this enthusiasm" on the left, said Curbelo, who represents a district that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonSpecial election sweep boosts Trump agenda The Memo: Trump vote proves resilient in Georgia special election win Changing America, part V: The coming millennial boom MORE won previous year.

In a Tuesday night tweet, Trump congratulated Handel, saying "we are all very proud of you!" But the Pelosi attacks on the House side have been consistent for years. While Democrats are bullish about many of their 2018 House prospects, in these four special elections, the Democratic bench was pretty thin compared to the lineup that Republicans fielded. Democrats lose again (0-4). For the at-large Montana seat, the Democratic standard-bearer was country western musician Rob Quist, who was also making his political debut at age 69.

If energized Democrats had claimed either of those long-held GOP seats, they could have argued that even traditionally red seats are in play in 2018 and Republicans who back Trump's agenda do so at their own peril.

The apparent effectiveness of that messaging suggested to some that the 77-year-old Californian could be a liability for Democrats as they aim to regain their majority. But that wasn't a special election; it was a regular one.

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