Republicans refuse to give up their 6th district congressional seat in Georgia, which has gone Republican since 1979, as Republican candidate Karen Handel beats the Democrat, Jon Ossoff. Although Handel won, she only beat Ossoff by single digits after Republicans won the district by a 23 point difference in the previous election. This race was so contested that it became the most expensive house race in history.
It’s no secret that Democrats really wanted to win this seat, but Ossoff getting as close as he did to winning was an incredible milestone. However, losing is losing. Not only did Ossoff lose, but Democrats lost their best chance at flipping a Republican seat until mid elections in 2018.
Republicans kept their seats in the Kansas race and in the South Carolina race. Although Democrats lost these races, they were able to show the country that the tides are changing. The Republican, Ralph Norman, won the seat in South Carolina that was previously Republican held, but the victory was not as successful as they would have hoped.
Instead of winning by a large margin, Democrats only lost South Carolina by 4 percent. The same occurred in Kansas, where Democrats found a 14 point swing in their favor. Unfortunately, the swing wasn’t large enough to win the Republican District.
Ossoff’s loss in Georgia should be a grand awakening for Democrats across the country. If Democrats want to win seats in 2018, they have to recognize that it is necessary to get as many people out to vote as possible. Democrat voters must be aware that Republicans aren’t always voting for their current party, but for the party they remember.
If Democrats wish to beat the memory of a party, they must come out in remarkable numbers. Democrats must do what Ossoff attempted to do, but win. If Republicans can find a safe balance between not accepting President Trump but also getting his base to vote for them, they will maintain control of the government.
The special election revealed many things about what’s currently happening in the country. We saw Republican districts become more blue than they were in the previous election. Donald Trump’s message to the public after the 2016 election seems to be hurting Republican votes, but not yet hurting them enough in Republican states to have seat changing effect.