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Member since: Fri Sep 26, 2003, 10:31 PM
Number of posts: 5,346

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Democrats Seethe After Georgia Loss: Our Brand Is Worse Than Trump


"Democrats scrambled to regroup on Wednesday after a disappointing special election defeat in Georgia, with lawmakers, activists and labor leaders speaking out in public and private to demand a more forceful economic message heading into the 2018 elections.

But the overarching theme among Democrats was a sense of sharp urgency about crafting a positive agenda around kitchen-table issues. Congressional Democrats have already been meeting in private to shape a core list of economic policies, but their work did not reach any conclusive point during a long season of special elections.
By fiercely contesting a congressional race in the conservative Atlanta suburbs, Democrats had hoped to make an emphatic statement about the weakness of the Republican Party under President Trump. Their candidate, Jon Ossoff, raised about $25 million, mostly in small donations, and assertively courted right-of-center voters with promises of economic development and fiscal restraint.

That vague message, Democrats said Wednesday, was plainly not powerful enough to counter an onslaught of Republican advertising that cast Mr. Ossoff as a puppet of liberal national Democrats, led by Ms. Pelosi. While Mr. Ossoff made inroads by exploiting Mr. Trump’s unpopularity and a backlash against health care legislation approved in the House, Democrats said they would have to do more to actually win."

This article basically states that Ossoff's showing has set off alarm bells among Democratic leaders in DC. Ossoff only did as well as Hillary in that district which was good, but not enough to win. Also, they acknowledge the power of GOP attacks on Democrats; Rep Pascrell: “It’s pretty difficult to undo the demonization of anyone” Article mentioned that the rich middle class like those in Ossoff's district have been watching their portfolio grow, and are not unhappy. Bottom line is that Democratic leadership in Washington recognizes that there is a problem and are working to find the best way forward.

Why Ossoff Lost: Despite the opposition Trump has galvanized, the Democrats still havent figured

out how to win in the places they’re trying to stage a comeback.
by Molly Ball

"Democrats were counting on Ossoff, the boy wonder of Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District, to deliver the proof that, with Donald Trump in the White House, there was no limit to their political potential. But after a frenzied two-month runoff campaign between Ossoff and his Republican opponent, Karen Handel, the Democrat wound up with about the same proportion of the vote—48 percent—as Hillary Clinton got here in November. If this race was a referendum on Trump, the president won it.

It was a gut punch to Democrats’ confidence, a reality check to the idea that vast swaths of the country were ready to deliver a backlash. And it was the capstone to a losing season in which Democrats failed to capture any of the four Republican-held seats vacated by Trump’s cabinet appointees. Earlier in the same night, a little-watched South Carolina congressional district was also called for the Republican candidate."
"That is a tough pill to swallow for Democrats who have convinced themselves opposing Trump will bring them back from the brink of powerlessness. So far, they have cut into Republicans’ margins, but they have not yet figured out how to win, and moral victories get no votes in Congress. There was a latent fatalism in Ossoff’s parting words: “As darkness has crept across this planet,” he assured them, they “have provided a beacon of hope for people in Georgia and for people around the world.”
"By the end, the scale of the Ossoff campaign was staggering, with dozens of staffers, a sophisticated voter-turnout operation, and six field offices—the sort of effort normally reserved for presidential campaigns. Most of the Ossoff volunteers I met were local residents who had grown up somewhere else, longtime Democrats who had long felt outnumbered. In the end, they were no match for their neighbors’ deeply rooted political allegiances, and they may have become a self-reinforcing feedback loop."

The last sentence holds the key-- even the best run campaign can't undo deep-seated political biases. There are no magic bullets. Even Trump's stupidity may not be enough. For all the money and volunteers (10000), Ossoff did about the same as Hillary in that district. My suspicion is that it will probably take a serious economic down turn to really throw the political tide back to the Democratic Party again.

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