We generally don’t pay a whole lot of attention to the overhyped pregame coverage of special elections, and the Georgia 6th congressional race was no exception. But you didn’t have to be a political junkie to know the narrative, driven overwhelmingly by Democrats and their buds in the media — this election was a referendum on Donald Trump.
That storyline was especially widespread in the early part of a campaign that pitted Republican Karen Handel against Democrat Jon Ossoff. Talk was Trump had only won this district by about a point, and Ossoff was being deluged with celebrity support along with tons of money. Jon offered a fresh, young face for a party drowning in seemingly perpetually cranky leaders, who are well into their 70’s.
As candidate Ossoff’s 7 point polling lead began shrinking, the Left’s emphasis on this match became decidedly more muted, even to the point of significantly dialing back the “referendum on Trump” mantra. Maybe left-wing expectations were being lowered because internal polling showed Democrats something wickedly ironic was about to happen. This special election was likely more a referendum on Nancy Pelosi than Donald Trump.
While the endless run-up to the “latest most important off season election” generally proves to be a monotonous bore, the post game coverage, especially if the outcome is an upset, can be illuminating. Tuesday night it was really enlightening, because in many cases, Minority Leader Pelosi’s name was mentioned more frequently than the name of our current president.
And Nancy was not mentioned fondly, even in the usually friendly left wing precincts. It seems the GOP strategy was to link Ossoff to Pelosi every chance they could, and it obviously worked; big time. Handel won by almost 6 points, which easily exceeded The Donald’s margin over Hillary in that district.
Surprised? Maybe we shouldn’t be. Leaving aside the comparative optics of an energetic generally upbeat president vs. an oft-times scowling, scolding adversary, there is polling cementing Nan’s unpopularity. She comes in at 29%, double digits below our Commander in Chief.
In short Ms. Pelosi was a weight the Republicans successfully hung around the neck of Jon Ossoff. It will very likely remain a template for the GOP in the 2018, unless the Dems somehow find a way to dump “leader” Pelosi.
Wouldn’t it be absolutely hilarious if desperate Democrats ditch the increasingly politically toxic Nancy Pelosi on President Donald Trump’s watch?