Pelosi And Schumer Are Good For GOP

Democratic candidate for 6th congressional district Jon Ossoff concedes to Republican Karen Handel at his election night party in Atlanta Tuesday

Republicans say Karen Handel's victory in Georgia's 6th Congressional District proves the GOP is still the dominant party in Georgia.

The political number crunchers have produced a variety of analyses of the results in the recent special elections in Kansas, Montana, Georgia and SC in an attempt to quantify the two parties' strength in the Trump era.

The top three House Democrats are now Pelosi, who is 77; Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer, who is 78; and South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, who is 76.

Yet each time, Republicans beat back the advances.

"They're definitely licking their wounds", Kerwin Swint, professor and chair of the political science department at Georgia's Kennesaw State University, told AFP.

Georgia's 6th shares numerous same characteristics as the districts that Democrats believe will pave their way to a House majority in 2018.

"Democrats should not focus their campaigns about him, they should be about jobs", he added. Yet in Ossoff, the party had hoped that they had found a new way to defeat the Republicans with a "message of peace and civility".

And while Democrats were mourning in Georgia on Tuesday night, they nearly stole a House seat in SC where Archie Parnell came within about 2,800 votes and 3 percentage points of defeating Republican Ralph Norman.

Rep. Tim Ryan, who previously challenged Pelosi for the leadership position, said "It's not necessarily her fault".

One special election 18 months before the national midterms is just a data point, of course; extrapolating national trends from such a unique race as Georgia's is unsound.

Ryan was asked on CNN whether Pelosi is more toxic in today's discourse than President Donald Trump is.

During her weekly press briefing on Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that Republican attacks on her are really about attacking her district encompassing the city of San Francisco.

Once again, the famous talking heads of what has become the We're-Not-Trump Party find themselves sipping for solace at political wakes and solemnly sitting southern-fried Shiva.

Why, for instance, are Democrats not offering their own blueprint for how healthcare needs to be tweaked and what could be done within the Obamacare framework to bring down insurance premiums? The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) raised over $170 million in 2016, with major contributions from the campaigns of Republicans Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy as well as donations from Koch Industries, Charles Schwab, and Bain Capital. By calling for her to step down, they are doing the Republican Party's bidding.

"When you take a look at the last four election cycles, all that money has been for naught", he said, citing Democratic losses in 2012, 2014, and 2016, as well as the four special election losses.

Right on cue, Republican groups made it known that Pelosi will continue to be "front and center" in campaigns against Democrats around the country.

But as Democrats are eager to point out, there are many more districts _ anywhere from 71 to 94, depending on how it's calculated _ that are more competitive than Georgia's 6th District. "It doesn't work when you lose the US Senate, US House, the White House. But she certainly is one of the reasons".

In many ways, that was precisely the approach of the Republicans for much of the Obama administration, and given that both chambers of Congress are now in Republican hands, that party can claim that its strategy worked.

It has had a frosty reception.

These 14 seats - plus the four more that Trump carried by less than 5 percent - are obvious Democratic targets, and the result in Georgia suggests that Democrats could be competitive in many of them.

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