News Worms
News Worms

Special election losses leave Democrats divided, searching

Democrats seethed, second-guessed and sought to regroup Wednesday after a disappointing special election defeat in Georgia, with the party's campaign chief in the House of Representatives outlining alternative paths to taking power, and some lawmakers questioning anew the leadership and political strategy of Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic minority leader.

The final tally is still being calculated but the election blew past spending records to become the most expensive House race in USA history.

With Price out of Congress, a special election was held in Georgia's 6th district to fill the vacancy. She was the main focus of numerous Republicans' ads against Ossoff. "We need a genuinely new message, a serious jobs plan that reaches all Americans, and a bigger tent".

"Democrats would do much better as a party if they got together with Republicans on Healthcare, Tax Cuts, Security", Trump said on Wednesday morning in a tweet after the election.

Senator Chris Murphy of CT told MSNBC that Democrats needed to focus on economic growth and "get back to being a big tent party".

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) on the "bad brand" that the Democrats give off, pointing to Jon Ossoff's loss in Georgia where Republicans were successful in pinning the Dem candidate to Nancy Pelosi. Ossoff, he said, could have run much more forcefully against the House Republican health care bill, particularly its unpopular provisions that would undercut protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

GEOFF BENNETT, BYLINE: Democrats have racked up defeats in Kansas, Montana and, as of last night, SC and Georgia.

"It's time for change, and personally I think it's time for a new generation of leadership in the party", U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Salem) told reporters on Capitol Hill yesterday, though he stopped short of explicitly calling for Pelosi's ouster.

What's more, there is already renewed pressure for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to step aside. "Time to move forward and win again", he said in a Twitter post.

RYAN: We all have a lot of anger towards what Donald Trump is doing, but we've had four special elections, and Donald Trump, 4, Democrats, 0.

With the Georgia victory, Republicans showed that they could still win in the kind of affluent, educated districts where Democrats have made gains and Trump's populist agenda was sometimes a tough sell.

But despite the string of losses in special elections, some Democrats said there were reasons to be encouraged. But to win in 2018, Democrats will have to flip GOP-held House districts to their side.

Handel won about 52 percent of the vote to quell the upstart phenomenon of Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old Democrat who raised more than $23 million and became a symbol of opposition to Trump.

So far they've failed in every attempt.

"I don't think when people vote, they vote based on leadership in Washington", said Rep. Eliot Engel, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

"I've said from the very beginning that this race was and remained about the people of the 6th District", said Handel.

Spending on the Georgia race reached at least $57 million, almost twice the previous record, according to the Center for Responsive Politics watchdog group.


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