The political number crunchers have produced a variety of analyses of the results in the recent special elections in Kansas, Montana, Georgia and SC in an attempt to quantify the two parties' strength in the Trump era. Democrats had hoped Georgia would provide a breakthrough for a party trying to harvest electoral victories from the grassroots anti-Trump activism seen in marches on Washington and boisterous crowds at town hall meetings around the country.
"Race better be a wake up call for Democrats - business as usual isn't working". According to OpenSecrets.org, the two major outside spenders were the Congressional Leadership Fund, which spent over $6.5 million backing Handel, and the National Republican Congressional Committee, which spent $6.7 million.
Speaking at a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Trump touted the Republican wins in Georgia's sixth and South Carolina's fifth Congressional district on Tuesday night.
Pelosi insists Democrats still have a shot at winning the majority in next year's midterm elections, saying, "The House remains in play now".
Democratic leaders said there are at least 70 other districts that will be easier terrain for them than the one in Georgia after post-census gerrymandering in GOP-led states created so many heavily Republican districts.
Senator Chris Murphy of CT told MSNBC that Democrats needed to focus on economic growth and "get back to being a big tent party".
The outcome also raised questions about the future of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. Ossoff had raised roughly $23 million and spent about $22 million as of the most recently available campaign finance reports. There Republican Ralph Norman easily prevailed over Democrat Archie Parnell for a seat formerly held by Republican Mick Mulvaney, now Trump's budget director.
"The Democratic Party needs new leadership now", Cunningham tweeted.
Representative Karen Handel said she hopes to reach out to her opponent's supporters in an effort to unify the 6th Congressional District.
The win in Georgia also could strengthen the political will of Republicans in Congress evaluating their next steps on a tax package and what opinion polls show is a deeply unpopular replacement of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law.
"And don't forget, this happened in Montana, in Kansas", he added. They haven't figured it out yet.
And as for the Democrats, they, clearly, are doing something wrong.
There have been five special elections for congressional seats since the 2016 presidential election. "Democrats from coast to coast threw everything they had at this race, and Karen would not be defeated", House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement. Republicans have held that seat since Newt Gingrich won it in 1978, although Mr. Trump barely won the district by 1.5 percent in 2016. But it was demoralizing for Democrats, who also lost a special election in neighboring SC.