In Georgia, Handel reaches out to Democrats and thanks Trump

Spending enough money to scald a wet mule (to borrow a phrase from Haley Barbour) to hold on to a district that Tom Price (Trump's HHS secretary) and Newt Gingrich held is not a sign of Republican health. "Obstruction doesn't work!" Trump tweeted Wednesday morning, less than 12 hours after the GOP held onto a Georgia House district.

Handel's handy victory over Democrat Jon Ossoff follows GOP special election wins in Kansas, Montana and SC.

Republicans, Trump said, are now 5-0. Unaffiliated, or "no party" voters as they are known in Iowa, make up 36 percent of the electorate, compared with 33 percent who register Republican and 31 percent registered as Democrat.

The result comes as relief for Republicans who had grown concerned about whether their party, buffeted by the scandals that have plagued the Republican president, could hold the seat in Georgia's sixth district, which became the most expensive congressional race in USA history.

Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, defeated Ossoff 52 percent to 48 percent in the most expensive House race in US history.

Ossoff becomes the latest Democrat to run a widely complemented campaign in a Republican-leaning state, yet still lose. Now Ryan can tell Republicans that they can push ahead with President Trump's agenda and not only survive, but prevail in 2018. Unaffiliated voters make up the largest percentage of the electorate in the Midwest state that backed Trump in 2016 after lifting Democrat Barack Obama to the White House in party caucuses and two straight elections.

The Georgia special election reveals a lot about candidate recruitment, mobilization, and the strength of national parties.

"The fact that all these races were close should have any member of the GOP who won by less than 15 points absolutely terrified", he said. He also took a shot at Democrats, noting that all the money spent and "fake news" didn't pay off.

But while Republicans were facing a sobering reminder of their president's poor approval ratings, Handel steadied the ship in a district that only narrowly backed Trump in last November's vote.

Trump predicted Handel's win as early as April 17, when he said that a runoff will lead to a win. Instead, the party and its supporters poured millions of dollars into a race that produced no results.

“What happened on that ballfield was a bad tragedy and we need to all continue to lift up Steve and the others who were injured that day, ” Handel said. More voters cast ballots in the Sixth District in this race than in the 2014 midterm elections, though that race featured governor, lieutenant governor, and US senator races at the top of the ticket.

In the week prior to the election, Handel highlighted her experience in the private sector and in public service as a way she can help 6th district residents.

The reality is that Republicans won the seat in name, but Norman is a hardline conservative and a vote in the House that will align with the Freedom Caucus - which has been causing trouble for Republican leadership on every major agenda item.

For many, who spent much of their free time over the past six months volunteering for Ossoff's campaign, it was the finale of their first experience being outspoken and politically involved in a community that's known for being deeply Republican.

Trump supporters reveled in their victory on Twitter.

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