Democrats Ask 'What's Next?' After Republican Congressional Victories

Democrats seethed, second-guessed and sought to regroup Wednesday after a disappointing special election defeat in Georgia, with the party's campaign chief in the House of Representatives outlining alternative paths to taking power, and some lawmakers questioning anew the leadership and political strategy of Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic minority leader. But after yet another disappointment for Democrats, it may be time for soul-searching and finger pointing.

Democrats came close but still lost two other contested special elections earlier this year for Republican-held seats in conservative Kansas and Montana, and the outcomes in Georgia and SC could put a crimp in the party's fundraising and candidate recruitment. At that time, Democrats held 233 seats to the Republicans' 202.

Wingfield addressed the caveat that many were citing along the numbers he posted - the 2016 election was during a presidential election year, and 2017 was a special election which meant the former race had natural publicity already.

The Georgia loss sparked a quick reaction from Democrats.

"In special elections, because they pop up unexpectedly, often parties are at the mercy of whoever pops up", he said before turning to the Georgia 6th District race.

The president was on the mind of Democrats gathering for their weekly conference meeting Wednesday morning - but frustrated members made it clear they would find their own way forward after the disappointing losses.

Meanwhile, the knives seem to be out for Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who was demonised by the GOP side in the Georgia race. Republicans. One such ad warned that Ossoff would be a "rubber stamp for Pelosi's agenda".

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In South Carolina, an attorney in Charleston who is a Democratic political newcomer, Joe Cunningham, announced on Wednesday that he would seek the House seat now held by Republican Mark Sanford, but said that if elected he would not back Pelosi as the Democratic leader. Norman won the smaller northwestern part of the district, 59%-40%, which includes Cherokee County next to the GOP stronghold of Spartanburg.

And in a third tweet, the president gloated over those wins and other recent Republican wins, saying "the special elections are over and those that want to MAKE AMERICAN GREAT AGAIN are 5 and 0!"

Democrats must look beyond anti-Trump rhetoric if they hope to do better in the 2018 midterms. "She fits the stereotype of exactly what swing voters can't stand about the Democratic Party".

Instead of enjoying a congressional district flip, Democrats found themselves with bowed heads and stooped shoulders.

Trump's collapse in November - he beat Hillary Clinton by just 1.5 percentage points in a district that Mitt Romney had carried by 24 points four years earlier - was the sole reason national Democrats saw the race as potentially competitive.

She also noted last week's shooting of Republican Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and said politics has become too embittered. I think, with a lot of local work, we can take back the House in 2018.

Spending on the Georgia race reached at least $57 million, almost twice the previous record, according to the Center for Responsive Politics watchdog group.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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