Politico: “Republicans and Democrats were already telegraphing strategy for a two-month runoff even before voters in Georgia’s 6th District had finished casting ballots on Tuesday, when Ossoff garnered 48 percent of the all-party primary vote. Last Friday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee posted research materials on Handel and another top Republican contender online, highlighting preferred attack lines for outside groups that could dive into the fray.”
“And Republicans look set to reprise their TV ads casting Ossoff as a bad fit for the usually conservative-leaning district: National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Steve Stivers linked Ossoff to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and “Hollywood stars” in his late-night statement about the race, while the Congressional Leadership Fund mentioned ‘Hillary’ and ‘liberal.’”
A Republican tells Playbook: “Everyone is in ‘disbelief!’ that Trump has made GA-06, otherwise a safe R district, competitive. Well, it cuts both ways – he also won PA, MI, and WI in the presidential – first R since Reagan. It’s time to finally realize the old rules don’t apply. Trump is an unorthodox candidate and president and he’s going to make previously safe seats (both R and D) competitive in the mid-terms because he changes the old dynamic.”
When Bob Gray (R) realized he did not make the run off in Georgia’s 6th congressional district special election, he implored his supporters to “rally behind” Karen Handel (R), who spent much of the campaign distancing herself from President Trump, the Washington Post reports.
“No one cheered; there was no applause for party unity. And why should there be? For at least some of Gray’s most hardcore supporters, they had supported him specifically because of his love for Trump.”
First Read: “Looking ahead to the June 20 runoff in GA-6, it’s going to be very competitive. Just compare Ossoff’s percentage (48.1%) with the combined percentage of the Top 4 GOP candidates (48.2%). Or compare the total percentage for all Democrats (48.9%), versus the percentage for all 11 Republicans in the field (51%). Still, with Ossoff getting 48% last night, you might give him the very slight edge heading into the runoff.”
“And so Democrats need a win here; anything less will be a disappointment for them. Also, the race will be a good early test of what is worse — President Trump or House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi? Because Georgians are going to see a lot of TV ads in the next two months tying the nominees to both of these national politicians.”
Harry Enten: “Polls conducted before Tuesday suggested that Handel and Ossoff were running in a near tie in a potential runoff. In an average of five polls conducted since mid-March, Ossoff held a scant 0.4-point lead over Handel. A formula created by my colleague Nate Silver based off previous runoff elections also points to a tight runoff.”
Florida state Sen. Frank Artiles (R) dropped the n-word to a pair of African-American colleagues in private conversation Monday night — after calling one of them a “fucking asshole,” a “bitch” and a “girl,” the Miami Herald reports. Artiles later apologized: “In an exchange with a colleague of mine in the Senate, I unfortunately let my temper get the best of me. There is no excuse for the exchange that occurred and I have apologized to my Senate colleagues and regret the incident profusely.”
I appreciate the apology but your resignation is still required, Mr. Artiles. You can’t change who you are, and that is a bigot, and thus you must be precluded from public service for life.
What could go wrong?
“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,” USA Today reports.
“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 new Texas Lyceum poll finds Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) edging Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in a potential 2018 Senate matchup, 35% to 31%. In a matchup between Cruz and Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), the two are tied at 30%.
John Stoehr of US News: “How can the Democrats appeal to the white working class without surrendering the hard-fought gains among women and minorities over two decades? This is how. Trump’s base is increasingly wedged. The Democrats need to wedge it further. They don’t have to return to their former days as the working man’s party. But they do need exploit what is going to become a baneful wedge issue.
There is overlap, obviously, but there are serious differences between hardcore racists who support the president no matter what and the working-class white voters who are seeking tangible results from a candidate who promised far more than he could possible deliver. Using a combination of policy proposals, like “Medicare for all,” and messaging, like “health care is a right,” the Democrats can drive the wedge down more deeply, picking off white working-class voters here and there as they rebuild their winning coalition.
The Democrats are already on their way to this end. They have proposed an alternative infrastructure bill, one that would truly empower the working class of all races. They have the policy. Now comes the right message and, more importantly, finding the right messenger.”
Ruy Teixeira with 7 reasons why today’s left should be optimistic: “The election of Donald Trump was a major shock to the left. It was not supposed to happen. It was not even supposed to be possible for it to happen. Many shuffle about their daily tasks suffused in gloom and pessimism. With Trump in the White House, and the Republicans in control of Congress and most states, surely little of the progressive agenda will remain in a few years. His brand of xenophobia and authoritarianism is on the ascent; the future looks bleak both for the country and a world torn by rising populism and threatened by climate change. But despite recent setbacks, there are many excellent reasons for the left to be optimistic. The future is brighter — much brighter — than they think.”