Georgia’s 6th: What Does It Mean for Trump and the GOP?

 

The short answer: nothing!

Graphic: The New York Times.

As you probably know, Georgia’s 6th Congressional District was previously held by Tom Price, who is now the Secretary of Health and Human Services, which is why the seat was subject to a jungle primary between Democrat Jon Ossoff and 11 Republicans.

Price won the district by double digits in November while Trump barely defeated Clinton. The seat has been held by a Republican since the Carter presidency, so how unusual is it that Jon Ossoff won 48% of the vote?

With headlines like “Jon Ossoff Surpasses Rivals in Georgia House Race, but Still Faces a Runoff,” Democrat Jon Ossoff has a real shot at Georgia election upset,” and “Ossoff falls just short in Georgia special election as GOP gets wake up call,” you’d think pretty darn unusual.

I contend that there’s nothing unusual here and while the GOP may have to worry about 2018, it’s not because of this election.

1) The total Republican vote would have defeated Ossoff.

Ossoff only won 48% of the vote. The total numbers of votes cast for Democrats in the jungle primary: 94451. Republican votes: 97997. Now that the election is moving to a one-on-one match-up between Ossoff and the top Republican vote getter, Ossoff is the one that faces the uphill climb, not GOP contender Karen Handel.

2) Ossoff raised over $8,000,000, but only $415,000 came from inside the district, a figure close to his top Republican challengers.

The media loves to quote the $8,000,000 raised by Ossoff as a sign of impending GOP doom. However, 95% of that $8 million came from outside of Georgia’s 6th. When you add in the amount of outside Republican money dedicated to anti-Ossoff ads rather than to a dedicated GOP candidate (remember that there were 11), the amount is pretty close.

3) Comparing Price’s election results to Ossoff’s is irrelevant.

Price was an incumbent with good name recognition. He raised $2.1 million. His opponent raised $0 and had no campaign website. Obviously Ossoff, a young and charismatic Democrat who out-raised his Democrat predecessor by $8.3 million outperformed him against a Republican party divided amongst 11 candidates. There is no correlation between Price’s election results and Ossoff’s.

4) When compared to Hillary vs. Trump, Ossoff is in trouble.

Price may have won his seat by double digits, but Trump only won the 6th district by less than 2 points. Ossoff’s 48% is barely better than Hillary’s results. When facing off against a single Republican, we have every reason to suspect that Ossoff will lose.


This special election turned out exactly how one would have expected it to, despite the headlines desperately searching for a liberal victory against President Trump. The real message will be sent after the runoff election. However, this message is relatively insignificant either way.

If Ossoff wins, it simply means he won a district that wasn’t too fond of Trump in the first place. If Karen Handel wins, it means the district hasn’t changed their minds much since November. Either way, this is not the election to watch to try to predict the 2018 midterms.

What do you think of this analysis? Should this election have us worried?

Published in Elections
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Members have made 37 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of Skyler Member

    I’m sorry, but that just looks like some weird map of Texas drawn by someone on LSD.

    • #1
    • April 19, 2017 at 7:56 pm
    • Like10 likes
  2. Profile photo of RightAngles Member

    I agree with your analysis, and Ossoff is a little Pajama Boy twerp.

    • #2
    • April 19, 2017 at 8:12 pm
    • Like14 likes
  3. Profile photo of JcTPatriot Thatcher

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    I agree with your analysis, and Ossoff is a little Pajama Boy twerp.

    I agree, and I agree. Only zombies programmed to go down and pull the ‘D’ lever would vote for this terrible candidate.

    • #3
    • April 19, 2017 at 8:51 pm
    • Like5 likes
  4. Profile photo of Eustace C. Scrubb Member

    It could mean this: Dems will continue to waste money and resources.

    • #4
    • April 19, 2017 at 9:00 pm
    • Like9 likes
  5. Profile photo of Matt Balzer Member

    Eustace C. Scrubb (View Comment):
    It could mean this: Dems will continue to waste money and resources.

    Yeah, but what about the election?

    • #5
    • April 19, 2017 at 10:06 pm
    • Like4 likes
  6. Profile photo of JcTPatriot Thatcher

    Good write-up, Kyle. Nice work.

    America would be crazy to try to take anything from this runoff election, either way it goes. But, since we know the MSM has gone insane since November 8th, we can rest assured that if this Demopunk wins the runoff, it will be the top story for a long time as “proof” that Trump is fading and “the people are taking back their country.”

    I predict that even some people on Ricochet will also use it to prop up their reasoning for hating our President.

    • #6
    • April 19, 2017 at 10:18 pm
    • Like12 likes
  7. Profile photo of Mike LaRoche Thatcher

    JcTPatriot (View Comment):
    Good write-up, Kyle. Nice work.

    America would be crazy to try to take anything from this runoff election, either way it goes. But, since we know the MSM has gone insane since November 8th, we can rest assured that if this Demopunk wins the runoff, it will be the top story for a long time as “proof” that Trump is fading and “the people are taking back their country.”

    I predict that even some people on Ricochet will also use it to prop up their reasoning for hating our President.

    Indeed.

    • #7
    • April 19, 2017 at 10:45 pm
    • Like5 likes
  8. Profile photo of Kozak Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    I agree with your analysis, and Ossoff is a little Pajama Boy twerp.

    I hope they piss another 8 million away on The runoff.

    • #8
    • April 20, 2017 at 2:21 am
    • Like10 likes
  9. Profile photo of I Walton Member

    Just reform taxes very soon without worrying about the deficit and keep repealing and simplifying regulations, including health care regulations, something every week and we won’t have to worry about elections for a long while. The rest is unknowable so the analysis above is reasonable.

    • #9
    • April 20, 2017 at 3:28 am
    • Like5 likes
  10. Profile photo of Manny Member

    Good analysis. And with the anti Trump media wave, including the NeverTrumpers on the right, that has been non stop since the election you would think that Ossoff would have done even better. It’s not surprising he got what he did. I expect him to lose in the run off.

    • #10
    • April 20, 2017 at 4:53 am
    • Like1 like
  11. Profile photo of Manny Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    I agree with your analysis, and Ossoff is a little Pajama Boy twerp.

    LOL, he does fit that description. He’s like a caucasian version of Obama.

    • #11
    • April 20, 2017 at 5:03 am
    • Like3 likes
  12. Profile photo of KC Mulville Member

    What that tells me is that name recognition means everything.

    I presume those numbers will move to equilibrium before the runoff.

    • #12
    • April 20, 2017 at 5:19 am
    • Like1 like
  13. Profile photo of Umbra Fractus Coolidge

    The lesson the GOP should learn is don’t run 11 candidates.

    • #13
    • April 20, 2017 at 5:50 am
    • Like9 likes
  14. Profile photo of Susan Quinn Contributor

    Well done, Kyle. You’ve summed up the situation well. The Reps just have to be sure they don’t become complacent. And hopefully, as @umbrafractus says, they won’t run bunches of candidates!

    • #14
    • April 20, 2017 at 6:50 am
    • Like2 likes
  15. Profile photo of Quinn the Eskimo Member

    Kyle Kirker: Should this election have us worried?

    The nature of proper preventative action is that nothing in retrospect looks like a big deal. Outside GOP PACs taking on Ossoff while Republicans spent most of their time going after each other probably helped.

    It’s also worth remembering that in 2012, Romney got 60.8 to Obama’s 37.5 in this district. The point isn’t to oversell this, but I wouldn’t be complacent. Neither about this district or the midterms.

    • #15
    • April 20, 2017 at 8:03 am
    • Like3 likes
  16. Profile photo of Quake Voter Thatcher

    Wish I could share the dismissive optimism here, but we should be very worried.

    The Democratic candidate isn’t Sam Nunn, Jr. A 30-year-old unaccomplished pajama boy bankrolled by DailyKos nearly took half the vote against a set of well-known Republican candidates in Newt Gingrich’s district. What Me Not Worry?

    This wasn’t a presidential approval poll. Nearly half the voters actually registered votes for this DailyKos puppet. Sure, Trump won the district by 2 percentage points. Price has won by an average of 35%. Trump, after a few years governing as a Reagan Republican, could win this district by 15 points in 2020. Won’t happen in Obamacare is in place in 2018 and tax reform degenerates into a corporate income tax cut.

    Everyone in the string is noting the millennial fecklessness of Ossoff. Why is this encouraging? What if a local tough-on-crime Democratic DA had run?

    When number in districts like GA6 are this tight, you gotta believe that centrist mayors and state senators and district attorneys and successful businessmen are going to give a strong second look at running against their GOP incumbents.

    Yeah, I am very worried.

    • #16
    • April 20, 2017 at 8:14 am
    • Like1 like
  17. Profile photo of Kyle Kirker Coolidge
    Kyle Kirker Post author

    @quinntheeskimo : I think we have plenty to worry about. 20-something House seats in districts that Clinton won, energized Dems, the nature of midterms, etc. But this Ossoff election doesn’t tell us anything other than they barely liked Trump before, and they barely like Trump now.

    • #17
    • April 20, 2017 at 8:16 am
    • LikeLike
  18. Profile photo of JcTPatriot Thatcher

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Well done, Kyle. You’ve summed up the situation well. The Reps just have to be sure they don’t become complacent. And hopefully, as umbrafractus says, they won’t run bunches of candidates!

    I have said it elsewhere and I will say it again: “They” don’t run a bunch of candidates. We are not the Democrats, hand-choosing from a smoky backroom the “correct” candidate and telling everyone else to go home. We are the true Open Tent and if 11 people want to run, it happens.

    Susan, I would ask you to please tell me what you feel the GOP should do so “they” don’t run a bunch of candidates? Payoffs? Threats? Assassination?

    • #18
    • April 20, 2017 at 8:18 am
    • Like3 likes
  19. Profile photo of Quinn the Eskimo Member

    Kyle Kirker (View Comment):
    @quinntheeskimo : I think we have plenty to worry about. 20-something House seats in districts that Clinton won, energized Dems, the nature of midterms, etc. But this Ossoff election doesn’t tell us anything other than they barely liked Trump before, and they barely like Trump now.

    I think the amount of outside money raised is telling. This isn’t a race that tips any balance, but Democrats were willing to pour ridiculous resources into it. To me, it foreshadows the efforts we should expect to see in other races between now and the end of 2018. If they are willing to blow money on this one, what kind of resources might they bring to bear on closer races?

    • #19
    • April 20, 2017 at 8:26 am
    • Like2 likes
  20. Profile photo of Kyle Kirker Coolidge
    Kyle Kirker Post author

    @quinntheeskimo : a similar amount of money was spent on the GOP side when you account for NRCC, PACs, etc. Is it that telling? Typically there’s 435 House races going on. Here, there were only 2: Kansas and Georgia. I think there was so much money and focus simply because there was nothing else to do (electorally).

    • #20
    • April 20, 2017 at 8:30 am
    • Like2 likes
  21. Profile photo of Kyle Kirker Coolidge
    Kyle Kirker Post author

    JcTPatriot (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Well done, Kyle. You’ve summed up the situation well. The Reps just have to be sure they don’t become complacent. And hopefully, as umbrafractus says, they won’t run bunches of candidates!

    I have said it elsewhere and I will say it again: “They” don’t run a bunch of candidates. We are not the Democrats, hand-choosing from a smoky backroom the “correct” candidate and telling everyone else to go home. We are the true Open Tent and if 11 people want to run, it happens.

    Susan, I would ask you to please tell me what you feel the GOP should do so “they” don’t run a bunch of candidates? Payoffs? Threats? Assassination?

    Very good point. I’m sure the “they” she means is the candidates themselves thinking about the greater good and dropping out when it’s clear they don’t have a shot. It’d be interesting to know if the local GOP’s endorsed a candidate to try to force some candidates out. That would’ve been helpful.

    • #21
    • April 20, 2017 at 8:32 am
    • Like2 likes
  22. Profile photo of Quake Voter Thatcher

    Manny (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    I agree with your analysis, and Ossoff is a little Pajama Boy twerp.

    LOL, he does fit that description. He’s like a caucasian version of Obama.

    Is this supposed to be comforting regarding the electoral danger this represents? Obama came within 100,000 votes of unalterably transforming this country. If not for the Platonic form of the Political Shrew we’d all be exercising the Benedict Option.

    • #22
    • April 20, 2017 at 8:38 am
    • LikeLike
  23. Profile photo of Paul Dougherty Member

    This worries me. Not because I know Georgia’s 6th but because I like to think I know Democrats. When you think of Ossoff and Democrats think of Beatles and teenage girls. That is the level of energy they bring to an extra off time Election Day. Another new element to this is the Handel effect. I contend that conservatives and Republicans failed to grasp the importance the Komen Foundation fiasco was to the left. It was the key incident that birthed the whole “War on Women” strategy. I imagine they will approach this election runoff with the keen focus akin to knowing an asteroid headed to Earth. Will the Conservatives in the district have half the enthusiasm?

    • #23
    • April 20, 2017 at 8:47 am
    • Like1 like
  24. Profile photo of JcTPatriot Thatcher

    Kyle Kirker (View Comment):

    JcTPatriot (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Well done, Kyle. You’ve summed up the situation well. The Reps just have to be sure they don’t become complacent. And hopefully, as umbrafractus says, they won’t run bunches of candidates!

    I have said it elsewhere and I will say it again: “They” don’t run a bunch of candidates. We are not the Democrats, hand-choosing from a smoky backroom the “correct” candidate and telling everyone else to go home. We are the true Open Tent and if 11 people want to run, it happens.

    Susan, I would ask you to please tell me what you feel the GOP should do so “they” don’t run a bunch of candidates? Payoffs? Threats? Assassination?

    Very good point. I’m sure the “they” she means is the candidates themselves thinking about the greater good and dropping out when it’s clear they don’t have a shot. It’d be interesting to know if the local GOP’s endorsed a candidate to try to force some candidates out. That would’ve been helpful.

    I’ve thought about it a little, and I suppose one thing the GOP can do is make sure that all of them are in the GOP. How long have they been registered to vote? Did they vote in the last local, state, and national elections? Did they vote in the GOP primary? If they did not, are they a Donkey plant? If there is even a suspicion of this, they can talk to the candidate, and if they are not satisfied, they can publically disavow the candidate.

    So Susan, I apologize. I guess there is something “they” can do, after all.

    • #24
    • April 20, 2017 at 8:48 am
    • Like2 likes
  25. Profile photo of The Cloaked Gaijin Member

    Kyle Kirker:

    I don’t know who won, but that’s got to be the worst drawing of Texas ever. It looks like team red won Houston or Galveston, team yellow won the panhandle, and that team smurf won everything else.

    • #25
    • April 20, 2017 at 8:51 am
    • LikeLike
  26. Profile photo of Stina Member

    Umbra Fractus (View Comment):
    The lesson the GOP should learn is don’t run 11 candidates.

    You’d think they wouldn’t need to be told twice…

    Although this was 6 less than the national, so maybe this IS learning.

    • #26
    • April 20, 2017 at 9:54 am
    • Like3 likes
  27. Profile photo of Umbra Fractus Coolidge

    Stina (View Comment):

    Umbra Fractus (View Comment):
    The lesson the GOP should learn is don’t run 11 candidates.

    You’d think they wouldn’t need to be told twice…

    Although this was 6 less than the national, so maybe this IS learning.

    Baby steps. 😉

    • #27
    • April 20, 2017 at 10:01 am
    • Like2 likes
  28. Profile photo of Susan Quinn Contributor

    JcTPatriot (View Comment):
    Susan, I would ask you to please tell me what you feel the GOP should do so “they” don’t run a bunch of candidates? Payoffs? Threats? Assassination?

    Point taken, JCT. I wasn’t implying a real “they.” I retract my suggestion.

    • #28
    • April 20, 2017 at 11:11 am
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  29. Profile photo of Susan Quinn Contributor

    Kyle Kirker (View Comment):
    Very good point. I’m sure the “they” she means is the candidates themselves thinking about the greater good and dropping out when it’s clear they don’t have a shot. It’d be interesting to know if the local GOP’s endorsed a candidate to try to force some candidates out. That would’ve been helpful.

    @jctpatriot, Kyle has said it better than I did it. Thanks @kyle .

    • #29
    • April 20, 2017 at 11:13 am
    • LikeLike
  30. Profile photo of Susan Quinn Contributor

    JcTPatriot (View Comment):
    So Susan, I apologize. I guess there is something “they” can do, after all.

    Gosh, I was going to get all in a snit! 😉 No worries.

    • #30
    • April 20, 2017 at 11:15 am
    • LikeLike
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