Triumph in Georgia: Jon Ossoff Landslide Reinforces Resistance to Trump
President Donald Trump slammed "failing" Democrats for falling short of securing a congressional seat in the most high-profile special election yet of Trump's presidency. If Ossoff had won at least 50%, he would have secured the seat outright.
With the slogan "Make Trump Furious", Ossoff aims to galvanize opposition to a president struggling with an approval rating that has not topped 50 percent since he took office on January 20, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling.
In a further bad sign of Trump's unpopularity in the district, the ultra-wealthy Republican who closely aligned himself with the president, Bob Gray, performed below his polling average leading into the election.
Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton past year, and Republicans have controlled the White House and both chambers of Congress since January.
DuBose Porter, chairman of the Georgia Democratic Party, said the 6th District offers the flawless setting for state and national Democrats to prove their momentum heading into 2018.
Trump in the final days of the campaign appeared to perceive the damage an Ossoff win would do to a presidency scoring historically low approval ratings and with an agenda that has been stymied by the courts and Congress.
Republicans in the race are split among Trump supporters and candidates trying to hold the president at arm's length. "Glad to be of help!" he wrote late on Tuesday.
"We're the underdog in this", said Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said on MSNBC on Monday.
Spicer later during Wednesday's press conference revisited the issue, insisting it is a "loss" because Democrats announced they wanted to win. "Onward to victory", Ossoff, a documentary filmmaker and former congressional aide who campaigned on the idea he would be a check against Trump, said Wednesday on Twitter.
Republicans, including the president, wanted to ensure Democrats wouldn't be able to use the election as a referendum on the Trump administration.
"There is no doubt that this is already a victory for the ages", said Ossoff. Although Mitt Romneywon Georgia the district with 61 percent of the vote to Barack Obama's 37 percent in 2012, Trump carried the district only by 1.5 percentage points over his rival Hillary Clinton. Or just a minor setback for Republicans, who can still hold the seat in the June runoff?
Ossoff benefited from a large Republican field of 11 candidates, some of whom emphasized their loyalty to Trump while others kept their distance.
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