Fiz­zler in Kansas, sur­viv­ing hopes in Geor­gia

Democrats were count­ing on two spe­cial elec­tions to wound Trump

The Washington Times Daily - - EDITORIAL -

Con­gres­sional Democrats were count­ing on two spe­cial elec­tions this month to pro­vide the smelling salts to re­vive their dispir­ited ranks. The first, on Tues­day in Kansas, fiz­zled. Now all hope is fo­cused on a re­li­ably red district in the sub­urbs of At­lanta.

Ron Estes, the state trea­surer of Kansas, held on to the seat va­cated when Rep. Mike Pom­peo re­signed to be­come the di­rec­tor of the Cen­tral In­tel­li­gence Agency.

Democrats have tried to spin that as a “moral” vic­tory since Pres­i­dent Trump won the district by 27 points in Novem­ber, Mr. Pom­peo won it by 31, and Mr. Estes won it by 6 points. But moral vic­to­ries have never put any­one in Congress, and the rel­a­tively close mar­gin was prob­a­bly less re­flec­tive of voter dis­sat­is­fac­tion with Pres­i­dent Trump and more the con­se­quences of a fierce frat­ri­cide be­tween con­ser­va­tives and con­ser­va­tives-lite among Kansas Repub­li­cans.

Now all eyes are fo­cused on the race in Geor­gia, where the Democrats are count­ing on Trump Derange­ment Syn­drome to win the day. The party is in­vest­ing heav­ily in a can­di­date named Jon Os­soff. He boasts that he has raised mil­lions but the At­lanta Jour­nalCon­sti­tu­tion re­ports that 95 per­cent of the money has come from out-of-state con­trib­u­tors. That usu­ally spells trou­ble.

Mr. Os­soff, 30, is one of five Democrats run­ning in a jun­gle pri­mary on April 18, and the party has united be­hind him in the race to win the seat va­cated by Rep. Tom Price to be­come sec­re­tary of health and hu­man ser­vices in the new ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Eleven Repub­li­cans and two in­de­pen­dents are run­ning, too, and if, as ex­pected, no one wins a ma­jor­ity the two top fin­ish­ers, whether Repub­li­can or Demo­crat, will set­tle things in a run-off on June 20.

The district is staunchly Repub­li­can; Newt Gin­grich once held the seat. Jon Os­soff has no choice but to run as one of a species thought ex­tinct in the South, a “mod­er­ate Demo­crat.” But Mr. Os­soff was once a staff aide of Rep. Hank John­son Jr., who is so lib­eral that he gets 100 per­cent ap­proval from Planned Par­ent­hood Ac­tion Fund, NARAL Pro-Choice Amer­ica, the Brady Cam­paign to elim­i­nate guns in pri­vate hands, and the Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union. Jon Os­soff was care­fully men­tored by Hank John­son.

Mr. Os­soff is count­ing on the low turnout typ­i­cal of spe­cial elec­tions and an en­er­gized Demo­cratic base, if there is one. Don­ald Trump edged Hil­lary Clin­ton by just 2 per­cent­age points, but the Repub­li­can in­cum­bent won by 23 points, and Trump Derange­ment Syn­drome may not be gift the Democrats are count­ing on, ei­ther. A re­cent Politico-Morn­ing Con­sult poll of 1,995 reg­is­tered vot­ers, con­ducted at the be­gin­ning of the month, shows the pres­i­dent’s job ap­proval-dis­ap­proval rat­ing al­most evenly split at 46 per­cent ap­prove, 48 per­cent dis­ap­prove.

Such a poll is no great shakes for any pres­i­dent, but con­gres­sional elec­tions usu­ally turn on lo­cal is­sues, and there’s no ac­tual ev­i­dence of a great ex­plo­sion of anger and op­po­si­tion to Repub­li­can con­gress­men that Democrats and the lib­eral me­dia in­sist they see.

Democrats were count­ing on win­ning in both Kansas and Geor­gia as the thun­der-and-light­ning needed to fa­tally wound the new gov­ern­ment and pro­vide the mo­men­tum to seize Congress next year. The thun­der has faded, as thun­der al­ways does, leav­ing ev­ery­thing to light­ning, which can be lethal, but rarely strikes where ex­pected.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.