Liberals React to Special Election Losses

Jon Ossoff / Getty Images
June 21, 2017

Liberal activists and reporters showed their frustration and anger on social media after losing two more special congressional elections on Tuesday night.

Republicans prevailed in special elections in Georgia's sixth congressional district and South Carolina's fifth congressional district. In South Carolina, Republican Ralph Norman defeated Democrat Archie Parnell. Norman won by garnering 51.1 percent of the vote to his opponent's 47.9 percent, a 3.2 percent margin of victory. In Georgia, Republican Karen Handel defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff. Handel outperformed polls and beat Ossoff by 3.8 percentage points—51.9 percent to 48.1 percent—in the most expensive House race in history.

The Democratic Party appeared to be energized by grassroots activists with their numerous marches against President Donald Trump. But the energized base has yet to translate into electoral victories for Democratic candidates. Democrats have now lost four special congressional elections in Montana, Kansas, South Carolina, and Georgia since the 2016 presidential race.

The Georgia election was a top target for Democrats, who spent over $30 million hoping that Ossoff would pull off an upset. Before Tuesday night, polls showed a close race. When precincts began reporting the results, Democrats became discouraged. Hollywood celebrity and Ossoff supporter Alyssa Milano did not stop believing until the end, though.

Other liberal activists and Democratic Party officials took to social media to express their frustration at the lack of victories.

Some liberals tried to explain how losing the election was really a victory for Democrats. Failed Missouri Senate candidate Jason Kander insisted that the momentum is with Democrats and that Republicans are losing.

There were a few others who agreed with Kander's optimistic outlook.

Former Hillary Clinton adviser Neena Tanden took one important lesson from Ossoff's loss.

Vox writer Matthew Yglesias questioned whether Democrats should consider removing House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) from leadership.

Former Barack Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer and Mike Casca, communications director for New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and former Bernie Sanders campaign worker, argued on Twitter about the future of the Democratic Party.

Democrats were not the only ones who seemed unhappy with the results. People on Twitter noticed the sour faces of reporters on CNN.