In the weeks leading up to the hotly focused runoff election for the House seat in the Georgia 6th District one thing became apparent. No matter what the result would be in the deeply conservative sector Democrats would claim some type of victory. Anything less than an embarrassing landslide would be deemed an unqualified success, measured with the most qualifying of metrics.
Once the results came in it was quickly apparent the past month of polling data showing a strong lead for Jon Ossoff were manufactured to create a demand. Handel “surged” in the days before the election, and as the results came in it was evident quickly it was no contest.
Just don’t listen to Democrat pundits.
One of the first to forward this narrative was Representative Cheri Bustos (D), from Illinois. She came on CNN to desperately put a spin on the result, looking disconsolate the whole time. She vainly tried to sell the notion how in the last election the GOP won by 20 points. “Tonight they “only” won by 5 points”, she detailed, indicating this was a significant message against the President, as well as a signifier for the upcoming midterm elections.
Except, it wasn’t. The biggest influence on the election result was the wildly inflated spending taking place. Ossoff, aided by a flood of money coming from out of Georgia, spent a record $22.5 million. This flush campaign chest meant that his campaign resembled a military operation, and with it he enjoyed a wildly imbalanced advantage over Handel in many crucial categories:
Ossoff: $11.2 million
Handel: $1.3 million
Ossoff: 170 members
Handel: 14 members
Ossoff: 1.7 million
Yet despite this war-room advantage Ossoff proved to be at times a comically inept candidate. Anyone even vaguely familiar with the GA6 race is aware of the issue that Ossoff does not even live in the 6th District. His claims of living “blocks away” due to his girlfriend’s schooling was shown to be a farce. As the Free Beacon pointed out, Ossoff’s residence was actually closer to the 4th District, than the one he was running in. When the campaign learned this residency issue was impacting voters Ossoff went after Handel as something of an outsider herself, and he promptly stepped on a rake.
Jon charged that Handel was a D.C. operative, a farcical contention on many levels. As Handel pointed out during the debate, she had lived in the Georgia area longer than Ossoff had been alive. Then there is the small matter of Ossoff’s own history. He attended Georgetown University. Following that he served on the staff of a Georgia Representative Hank Johnson for five years. That makes for nearly a decade spent in the city he deemed indicative of outsider status. Quite a stark level of unawareness.
Throughout the night other pundits hinted that it would have been a better result with a stronger candidate. To suggest Ossoff was a “weak” candidate implies he was the wrong man. The tone many carried last night was Ossoff was something of a plant, and if they had only put the proper candidate out it would have been victory. This attempt to explain away the loss does not hold up
Ossoff was not a staged selection by the DNC. The initial election was a blanket primary, with a wide open field, and Ossoff was the overwhelming choice of the voters. The Democrat voters selected him in that district, so to blame the loss on his weakness undermines the argument the district is somehow in play for Democrats.
The candidate of choice was granted everything needed to cruise to an easy victory: national backing, a 10/1 spending ratio, twelve times the campaign staffing, and copious media exposure on the news nets. Despite that advantage it remained a foregone conclusion. If the people cannot choose their leadership correctly then there goes your claim of a supposed groundswell revolution.