elections

Opinion: Bickering Democrats — Still Mired in the 20th Century
Time for a new agenda and an end to self-destructive proxy battles

Only Democrats get into a deep funk over the failure of Jon Ossoff — a 30-year-old first-time candidate — to win the Georgia 6th district special election, Walter Shapiro writes. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Only the downtrodden and dispirited Democrats could work themselves into a bout of I’m-on-the-ledge-and-thinking-about-jumping depression over the failure of a 30-year-old first-time candidate to win a House seat in a Georgia district where he didn’t even live.

Equally ludicrous are the recriminations over Democratic tactics in Georgia-6. Last Tuesday’s special election in the upscale Atlanta suburbs might be a bellwether if it were typical for both sides to spend $50 million on a single House race. At that rate of spending, the 2018 House races would cost about $21 billion.

Meet the Man Behind the Ossoff Campaign — He’s Just Getting Started
Keenan Pontoni’s a rising star in a party desperate for fresh blood

Keenan Pontoni, campaign manager for Democrat Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s 6th District, conducts one final tele-town hall session in his Sandy Springs office on the final day of the runoff campaign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — Just 45 minutes after polls closed Tuesday in Georgia’s 6th District, Keenan Pontoni knew Jon Ossoff was in trouble.

The Democratic candidate’s advantage in early voting didn’t look like it was going to be enough to make up for Republican turnout on Election Day.

United Utah Party Sues to Get on Ballot to Replace Chaffetz
Party is led by Jim Bennett, son of late Sen. Bob Bennett.

Jim Bennett could have appeared on the ballot as unaffiliated, but he said, “I’m not unfailliated and I don’t want to run and pretend that I am.” (United Utah Party)

Jim Bennett, the son of former Utah Sen. Bob Bennett, has a new political party, and he wants it on the ballot in the Utah special election to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

Bennett is suing the state of Utah to get on the ballot with United Utah Party next to his name, after state officials ruled in May that there wouldn't be time to verify the 2,600 signatures gathered to create the new party before the election.

Pelosi Blows Off Calls to Step Down
‘It's not up to them,’ she says of Democrats calling for new leadership

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dismissed calls on Thursday for her to step down. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Describing herself as “worth the trouble,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Thursday blew off calls from some chamber Democrats for her to step down from leadership in the wake of special election losses this year and a failure to win a House majority in four straight national elections. 

“It’s not up to them,” the California Democrat said of members calling for her to let someone else give it a try, before calling herself a “master legislator.”

Podcast: What We Learned from 2017’s Special Elections
The Big Story, Episode 58

Campaign workers decorate the ballroom with balloons for Jon Ossoff's election night watch party in Atlanta, Ga., on special election day, Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans Are 4-0 Defending Seats, but Could Still Be in Trouble
In each of the contested special elections, Democrats performed better than they had in years

Karen Handel gives her victory speech Tuesday night in Georgia after winning the 6th District special election. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

Wednesday was a day for Republicans to rest easy. After winning the Georgia and South Carolina special elections Tuesday, the party avoided losing any congressional seats vacated by members who entered President Donald Trump’s administration.

But it’s not all good news for the GOP (or bad news for Democrats). In each of the four races where Republicans were defending seats — Kansas’ 4th, Montana’s at large seat, South Carolina’s 5th and Georgia’s 6th — Democrats did better than they had in any of those districts’ congressional elections since at least 2010.

Navajo Candidate Drops Out of Race Against Hatch
James Singer said he couldn’t raise the kind of money it would take to unseat seven-term Republican

James Singer is the first Utah Navajo to run for the Senate. (James Courage Singer for Senate via Facebook)

James Singer, the Democrat who launched a bid to unseat seven-term Sen. Orrin Hatch in April, has ended his campaign for Senate, citing fundraising as his campaign’s primary shortcoming.

While Singer said it would have been possible to continue his campaign as a “‘principled protest’ rather than a winning campaign,” since he wasn’t able to raise “the millions of dollars needed to challenge an established politician like Orrin Hatch,” he did not want to “waste the time, money, and energy of my friends and supporters in this matter.”

DNC Said No Thanks to Help After Hack
Former Homeland chief says feds could have done more

Jeh Johnson, who formally led the Department of Homeland Security, said in hindsight there was more the federal government could have done to prevent hacking and election interference. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told the House Intelligence Committee Wednesday the Democratic National Committee turned down help from the FBI after its system was hacked — and that he had not known about it for months.

“What are we doing? Are we in there?” Johnson said he asked when he became aware of the intrusion. He said the response he received was that the FBI had spoken to the committee but “they don’t want our help.”

Trump Mocks Democrats After Election Losses
‘Obstruction Doesn't Work,’ president says after Republican wins in Georgia, South Carolina

Supporters of Democrat Jon Ossoff get the news Tuesday night at his campaign headquarters that the Georgia 6th District special election is called for his GOP rival Karen Handel. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats should learn from their latest two House race defeats and work with Republicans to pass health care and tax overhaul legislation, a celebratory President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.

Republicans were victorious Tuesday in special elections in Georgia and South Carolina, with voters sending Karen Handel and Ralph Norman to the House of Representatives. By doing so, Georgians and South Carolinians handed Trump personal victories — and the president responded by declaring himself undefeated in congressional races since taking office.

11 Things I Think I Think After the Special Elections
Lessons from the Georgia and South Carolina races

Jon Ossoff supporters at the Georgia Democrat’s election night watch party are stunned as CNN calls the state’s 6th District race for Republican Karen Handel on Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

One of the best parts about covering elections is that there is a final result. What seems like an endless stream of campaigning and ads and analysis finally comes to an end every time with vote tallies to digest until the next round.

President Donald Trump and the Republicans continue to play with electoral fire, but the GOP pulled off two more special election victories; this time in Georgia’s 6th District and South Carolina’s 5th District. As with the previous results in Kansas and Montana, there are enough tidbits in each result to formulate whatever conclusion helps you sleep better at night.