Jon Ossoff lost last night.
However, while the talking heads are acting like Karen Handel is the second coming of the GOP, there are a few things to keep in mind.
We didn't lose that seat. One can't lose what one doesn't have. Georgia 6th has been in Republican hands since 1979
. I could talk about gerrymandering, secret money, and voter suppression -- all of which occur in Georgia. I'll save that for others to opine upon. I want to talk about the bright side of things. Jon Ossoff is 30 years old and this was his first political campaign
. He gained national stature. He interned for Representative Jon Lewis and worked for Representative Hank Johnson. He's not going away unless he chooses to. The GOP didn't really win last night.
You'll have to forgive me, but I call bullshit on every article that says this election should be a wake-up call for the Democratic Party. It is remarkable that he came withing spitting distance to winning that seat. There is reason to feel disappointed but there is also a great reason to not give up hope.
We have nothing to be ashamed of. Karen Handel's win is not a huge victory. Most of these special elections ending with a 5 point margin or so should worry the GOP more than the Dems -- especially in a seat like Georgia 6.
Remember, this election was a runoff due to no candidate getting 50% of the vote on April 18
. On that day, Ossoff got 48.12% of the vote. Handel received 19.77% among 18 people on the ballot. of those, 5 were Democrats, 2 were independent and the rest Republican.
Less than 2 percentage points would have ended the race. In the April election, 192,569 people voted. Last night, 259,488* people voted. Getting out and voting matters. The latest result?
Jon Ossoff: 48.1%
That is nothing to be ashamed of. The Ossoff race brought thousands of people onto the voter rolls and into the political process. We keep those people mobilized and bring others into the party -- we will win. It's the long game. That how the GOP does it and it is time for us to play it. Now is not the time to give up.
We came closer than we ever should have in a district no one ever thought would be flipped. I am looking forward to 2018.
(*Current totals may change)