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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Off-Year Developments

In a special election to succeed Tom Price in Georgia's 6th CD, Democrat Jon Ossoff won 48.3 percent, just short of the 50 percent necessary to avoid a June runoff with second-place Karen Handel. James Hohmann at the Washington Post:
Ossoff shouldn’t have come as close as he did. He is a 30-year-old documentary filmmaker and former congressional staffer who has never run for office before and doesn’t even live in the district. Republicans, from Newt Gingrich to Johnny Isakson, have easily held the Sixth District since the 1970s. Price just won reelection with 62 percent before giving up his seat. “This is already a remarkable victory,” Ossoff said in a statement sent at 1:35 a.m. “We defied the odds, shattered expectations, and now are ready to fight on and win in June.”
National Republicans had to pour in millions just to keep Ossoff under 50 percent. The super PAC aligned with Speaker Paul Ryan spent more than $3 million on a rescue mission. After seeing polling on March 24th that showed Ossoff at 42 percent and rising, the group deployed an organizer to Atlanta the next day. He oversaw a full-time paid field team of 100 that has knocked on doors seven days a week since. "If we had waited another couple of weeks, it would have been too late," said Corry Bliss, executive director of Congressional Leadership Fund, told the Washington Examiner’s David Drucker.
Fredricka Schouten at USA Today:
Many vulnerable Senate Democrats saw their campaign donations soar during the first three months of the year, as they raced to demonstrate early financial strength ahead of the 2018 battle for the Senate.
The 10 Democratic incumbents up for re-election in states carried by President Trump collectively raised nearly $19 million between Jan. 1 and March 31, more than twice what they collected during the comparable period of their last Senate campaigns, a USA TODAY tally of newly released figures shows.
There will be no shortage of money on the Republican side, either.
The National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $7 million in March alone, its highest monthly haul in a non-election year, party officials said. And new Federal Election Commission filings show that several House Republicans considering bids against vulnerable Senate Democrats have assembled massive war chests in the first three months of the year.
Nathan Gonzales, who tracks Senate races as editor of the non-partisan Inside Elections newsletter, said the surge in fundraising underscores the power of incumbents to raise money and the energy of liberal donors in the Trump era.
“If you are a Democrat and you are not raising a lot of money right now, there’s something wrong with you,” Gonzales said, noting the record sums flowing into a Georgia House race to back Democrat Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old political novice competing in a Tuesday special election.