What are the implications of Republican Karen Handel’s solid win (53-47 as of this writing) over Democratic darling Jon Ossoff in the Georgia Sixth District Special Election?

Democrats came into election day with high hopes, with Ossoff leading in almost every poll, tens of millions of dollars flowing in from around the country, and celebrities urging an anti-Trump vote.

Yet the Republican won the District by a larger margin than Trump did in the presidential election.

This loss comes after losses in special elections in Montana and Kansas, and another in South Carolina tonight. In all of these cases, Democrats tried to make the election a referendum about Trump.

In all of these loses, the Democratic meme is that the Democrat lost, but not by as much as expected.

I don’t think Democrats will learn any lessons from these losses. In fact, they probably will learn the wrong lessons.

As I often do on election nights when Democratic disappointment is likely to be highest, I watched MSNBC. First I watched Rachel Maddow, then Lawrence O’Donnell.

The MSNBC coverage was nothing short of delusional. The “a loss is really a win” approach was pervasive. Hope sprang eternal.

Maddow in particular continued to spin Trump Russia conspiracy theories. O’Donnell went on and on about how the Republican healthcare bill would be the doom of Republicans. A phrase used frequently on O’Donnell’s show was that this was an “ominous win” for Republicans because the margin was lower than when Tom Price won — ignoring that the Republican outperformed Trump’s win.



CNN was not quite as bad, at least they had on Larry Sabato to make a wake up call for Democrats. But even on CNN, most of the commentary was playing that same “a loss is really a win” theme.

I don’t think Democrats understand that their *Resistance* strategy is not working. But they are so emotionally invested in it, they can’t see their way out.

[Featured image source: Daniel Scroggins on Twitter: “The moment CNN projected #Handel to win. The looks on their faces are priceless!”]


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