by Henry Oliner
The Democrats are 0 for 4 in recent state elections, losing in Montana, Kansas, South Carolina, and Georgia. They bet big on Georgia’s sixth district and had hope they could win, proving that Trump’s victory was a vaporous mirage.
Jon Ossoff outraised Karen Handel in campaign funds by 5 to 1, but outside conservative groups spent 2.5 times as much as liberal outside groups. The total amount balanced out, but the sixth was a conservative district. The Democrats saw that Trump barely won the district last November and therefore thought it was vulnerable. This race exceeded the previous record for spending on a Congressional race by 20 million dollars.
The first lesson is that demographics are hard to overcome with any amount of spending. The reality is that Trump and the Republicans are not totally aligned. They are more like overlapping Venn Diagrams. Local representatives are not exact proxies for Trump.
The second lesson, which they failed to learn the first time, is that the polls were useless. A month before the election Ossoff showed a lead of five points; last night he lost by five points. The polls predicted a dead heat the day before. The polls are either conducted in a self-confirming bubble, intentionally misleading, or just blatantly incompetent. In any case they are useless. Perhaps the early lead for Ossoff only helped Handel to get out her support.
The critical lesson is that Trump’s victory was not the fluke that Democrats contend. One cannot reasonably believe that Ossoff lost due to fake news, gerrymandering, Russian conspiracy, or FBI meddling. Ossoff tried to distance himself from the far left and presented himself as a centrist, but the Democrats are not receptive to centrism.
Ossoff did not lose to Handel; he lost to the images of Nancy Pelosi, Elizabeth Warren, Maxine Waters, the rudeness of Kamala Harris, the pathetic whining of Hillary Clinton, the obscenities of Kathy Griffin, Steve Colbert, and Tom Perez, and the illiberal and intolerant rioters at UCLA and Middlebury.
The resistance is playing a losing game. The Democrats are only 40% of the voters and 60% support the resistance. That is 24% of the voters whose violent tone and obstructionist strategy alienates a larger pool. Ossoff also lost to James Hodgkinson who took only a small leap from ‘punching a nazi’ to ‘shooting a republican’. He also lost to the press who strained credulity while Scalise was in critical condition to draw a very weak moral equivalency.
Ossoff showed that the excuses and conspiracy theories do not adequately explain Hillary’s loss. There was a rejection of the Democrat’s ideology of illiberal political correctness, identity politics, and uncontrollable contempt for the middle-class voters. There is a clear rejection of the elite, and the Hollywood crowd that funded Ossoff keep auditioning for the role of the elite the voters are rejecting.
If the Democrats refuse to accept this reality they will lose further seats in the House and the Senate.
Ossoff did not prove that Trump is great or even good; but he proved that Trump is still seen as better than the alternative.