Doesn't try hard enough.

It's the day after the special election in GA-06, so of course the usual suspects are Monday morning quarterbacking about how Jon Ossoff's narrow loss IN AN R+20 DISTRICT means Democrats can't win anything ever again. Yep, this wasn't just a special congressional election. It was the BELLWETHER of the ZEITGEIST, which means Democrats should probably just give up forever. If a brand new young candidate with a cute butt can't beat a well-funded asshole lady Republican in a district full of rich Republicans, then shouldn't the Democratic Party just go ahead and disband?

Fox News focus group idiot Frank Luntz, who, as he regretfully does so often, is having thoughts:

Golly, that's a good analysis, or the opposite of that!

First off, some numbers: Jon Ossoff raised $23.6 million for his campaign, whereas Karen Handel only raised $4.5 million. But party committees and super PACs chipped in $18.2 million for Handel, whereas their Democratic counterparts only kicked in $7.6 million for Ossoff. Yes, Ossoff spent lots of money, but so did pro-Handel forces, in a district where Republican Tom Price WON BY 20 FUCKING POINTS IN NOVEMBER. So sure, Ossoff spent a few million more to ultimately get beat in a deep red district by a dickhead GOP lady who loves voter suppression. Big effing deal.

But wait, Luntz had another good point, or the opposite of that! With all those millions of moneys, Ossoff got LESS VOTES than the Democrat running on November 8, which happened to be the day of the presidential election. WHOA IF TRUE! Here are the final numbers, via Politico:

In November, Tom Price won 191,732 votes, whereas his Democratic competitor Rodney Stooksbury won 119,536 votes. So Luntz is right that Ossoff got fewer votes than the Democrat in November. WHAT A LOSER! Karen Handel appears to be an even yooger loser though, as she took 63,639 FEWER VOTES than Tom Price. Maybe Karen Handel should just delete her account if the Republican in November got fully 50% more votes than she did!

Unless ...

Unless there's a difference between special Congressional elections and enormous presidential elections. Is there a difference in turn-out between those two scenarios? Oh there is, and that's something you know even if you're just an aborted badger fetus with two brain cells to rub together and a passing knowledge of American electoral politics? Cool. Aborted badger fetus wins this round, and as usual Frank Luntz loses.

Another way to look at this would be that, in a special election with muuuuuuch lower turn-out, Jon Ossoff managed to get almost as many people to vote for him as the Democrat got in 2016, whereas Karen Handel pretty much shit the bed and ate it. Democrats showed the fuck up, IN THE OFF SEASON, whereas Republicans were too busy braiding their grundle fur to waddle to the polls. Imagine what the results would have looked like if this hadn't been an R+20 district! Imagine how many Democrats might show up in a much larger mid-term election, like say in 2018!

A lot of TV analysts want to make the GA-06 results JUST a referendum on Donald Trump, which is partially right. We have a pathetic loser president whose approval rating is swimming in shit river at 36%. And that's after just five months of #winning! Imagine how low that'll go as Trump deteriorates into madness, at the mercy of the Russia investigation and his own incompetence. That's motivating a lot of people to get to the polls, and it'll continue.

But at the same time, people vote for Congress a bit differently from how they vote for the president. In our gerrymandered-as-fuck country, people will often give 65-70% of the vote to their career congresspeople out of habit, simply because they're known commodities. Often the opposing party won't bother running anybody worth two fucks, and they certainly won't spend money on it. What if there were viable, well-funded Democratic alternatives in 2018?

ABC chief political analyst Matthew Dowd is tweeting weird things about how if Democrats really want to beat Trump, they shouldn't even run for office (GOOD JOB, SIR!), but he seems to be one of those people who gets an erection over being an "independent voter," if his Twitter bio is any indication. MSNBC white board dork Steve Kornacki spent Tuesday night waxing concern-troll over how if Jon Ossoff couldn't pull this off in an R+20 district, then Democrats might need to murder their hopes of winning districts where the incumbent Republican won in 2016 by ... MUCH FEWER THAN 20 POINTS? No really he was saying this, unless we were hallucinating dumb idiot comments on MSNBC, which is entirely possible.

Does that even make mathematical sense? No, it does not.

As we explained this morning, in this year's special Congressional elections, all of which were in DEEP red Republican districts, all the Democratic candidates lost, but they narrowed their losing margins BIGLY. A 15-16 point swing in GA-06, a 20 point swing in South Carolina's 5th, a 23 point swing in the Kansas special election for maybe dirty CIA Director Mike Pompeo's old seat. Even Montana swung 10 points toward the Democratic candidate. Weak and sad!

The website has identified 64 swing districts in the 2018 mid-term elections, based on math. (Sign up at their site! They will show you how to help flip the House of Representatives, even if you don't live in one of those 64 districts!) That's not accounting for surprising challenges that might come up in districts that aren't known swingers. For the record, Democrats need to pick up 24 seats for a majority.

We did a little research, just to find out how many districts there are where the Republican won by fewer than 10 points in November. Imagine what might have happened if Jon Ossoff or Rob Quist was running in a special election in one of these places, or if there was a badass Democratic challenger in November 2018. Here are the districts, the incumbent Republicans, and how many they won by:

  • AL-02: Martha Roby.(+8.3%)
  • CA-10: Jeff Denham (+2.9%)
  • CA-25: Steve Knight (+6.2%)
  • CA-49: Darrell Issa (+0.6%)
  • CO-06: Mike Coffman (+8.3%)
  • FL-27: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (+9.8%). Ros-Lehtinen is not seeking re-election.
  • IA-01: Rod Blum (+7.6%)
  • ME-02: Bruce Poliquin (+9.6%)
  • MN-02: John Kline (+1.8%)
  • NE-02: Don Bacon (+1.2%)
  • NY-19: John Faso (+8.5%)
  • NY-22: Claudia Tenney (+5.5%)
  • PA-08: Brian Fitzpatrick (+8.8%)
  • TX-23: Will Hurd (+1.3%)
  • VA-10: Barbara Comstock (+5.8%)

Those are just some good places to start. Where can you get involved NOW? Personally, we will be devoting time and resources to beating Martha Roby in AL-02, because her redneck ass has been annoying the shitfire out of us since she asked Hillary Clinton during the Benghazi hearings if she was home alone THE WHOLE NIGHT of the attacks. Hillary laughed at the obvious lesbian Huma sexxx joke in that question, and Roby scolded her, saying, "I don't find it funny. At all!" UM YES IT WAS, DICKHEAD.

So let's get fired up and ready to go like a common Obama, OK? Do it for America, and also do it just to make Frank Luntz look like a fuck-up, because that's what he is.

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[New York Times /]

Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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