Jon Ossoff raised $22 million or more trying to win the runoff in the sixth Congressional district in suburban Atlanta in what was the most expensive U.S. House election in history.
Ossoff raked in a lot of cash from President Donald Trump foes in Hollywood and Silicon Valley and was the recipient of many celebrity endorsements in his bid to capture the Republican-leaning district that the president only won in November by about 1 percent over Hillary Clinton.
The Democratic Party backing first-time candidate Ossoff, as well as the media, portrayed the election as a national referendum on President Trump and his policies. Leading up to Election Day, the media reported on polling data that either had Democrat Ossoff significantly ahead of Republican Karen Handel or the race was too close to call. On June 14, polling guru Nate Silver claimed that Jon Ossoff had a 70 percent chance of winning.
After the votes were counted on Tuesday, however, Handel won by about 3 percent in the seat vacated by Dr. Tom Price, who had joined the Trump administration as Health and Human Services Secretary. Handel is the former chair of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners as well as Georgia’s secretary of state from 2007 to 2010. The GOP has now won all four special House elections (Kansas, Montana, Georgia, and South Carolina) after incumbents took jobs with Trump.
This is what "unbiased journalism" looks like. pic.twitter.com/A04EhK1tZP
— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) June 21, 2017
Handel, who has previously fallen short in primaries for governor and senator, is the first Republican woman to be elected to the U.S. Congress from Georgia.
In something of a victory lap, Trump held a rally Wednesday night in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, during which he claimed that the media would have blamed him for Handel’s loss, the Hill detailed. Even though she wasn’t necessarily a major Trump supporter, the Handel win is seen by political pundits across the spectrum as a boost for the president’s legislative agenda.
During the campaign, Ossoff faced criticism for not living in GA06 (thus unable to vote for himself) as well as being linked to unpopular House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who would again become speaker if the Democrats manage to win a majority in 2018. In the aftermath of the Ossoff loss, quite a few Democrats have reached the conclusion that they need more of a message than just positioning themselves as anti-Trump or continuing to bang on about Russia, the Washington Post and other news outlets have reported.
Jon Ossoff spent over seven times more than Handel, and still lost resoundingly.
— /pol/ News Forever (@polNewsForever) June 21, 2017
On Monday, despite the size of his war chest, Ossoff spoke on NPR to bemoan the influence of money in politics and to call for campaign finance reform, the Washington Examiner reported.
According to Instapundit writer Charles Glasser, Ossoff’s money could have done more good if allocated outside of politics.
“NAPKIN MATH: Ossoff raised $23.6 million to make a symbolic run against President Trump, most of it from Marin County, California and Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. Running the numbers, Democrats might have been better off considering that same amount would have bought 855,072 school lunches (at $2.76 each); 236,000 elementary school textbooks (at $100 each) or even 956 Priuses (at $24,685 each). Max Weber said that the purpose of a bureaucracy is to maintain or expand its own power. Who cares about children, education or the environment when there’s power to be grabbed? Either that, or Democrats just aren’t very good with numbers.”
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) June 21, 2017
According to PJ Media, one of the takeaways from the Ossoff-Handel contest is that money by itself doesn’t win elections, given that the candidate who hauled in and spent the most of it still lost.
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) June 21, 2017
You were right. #winning
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) June 21, 2017
Do you think that the campaign expenditures by Jon Ossoff in the Georgia special election were well spent?
[Featured Image by David Goldman/AP Images]