The loss of the special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District is extremely disappointing and you're probably feeling a little down, I know I was this morning. In its wake will live the political spinmeisters. You may choose to watch, listen or read the postmortems or you may choose to tune it all out. Either way do not lose sight that despite the loss, WE ARE TURNING THE TIDE.
As the Washington Post Jonathan Capehart wrote, "People, please. Enough of the overwrought hand-wringing. Enough of the shortsighted Sturm und Drang that bogs the left down in endless navel-gazing and finger-pointing that blinds it to incremental gains it achieved. If the overall goal is to win back the House then, for the love of God, Democrats must stop the endless search for the silver bullet or quick fix and develop an appreciation of the long game." A Democrat wasn't suppose to win. It's a red district in a red state. So take encouragement in the fact that Ossoff came close.
In the last four special congressional elections (KS, MT, GA, SC) Democrats outperformed 2016 by an average of 9.7 points and closed their margins with the GOP by an average of nearly 18 points. More than 25 percent of those who voted in the Georgia primary were voters that had never voted in a mid-term election and they heavily favored Democrats. We are closing very large gaps and we’re doing it quickly. If the turnout patterns shown last night and over the last four elections continues — and they are likely to as every special election this year has seen much better Democratic performance than Republican-- Democrats can take back the House next year. It all depends on turnout.
In our own backyard, we are electing a new governor on November 7. We have an opportunity to elect a true and pragmatic progressive in Phil Murphy and then flip several NJ house seats in 2018. This means Getting Out the Vote and engaging those 18-34 year-olds, who think it doesn't matter if they vote or not. Not only does it matter, their vote will decide elections over the next two years.
For BlueWavers and Next Wavers, let's not lose faith or momentum or, God forbid, our sense of humor. We will see victories in New Jersey and Virginia. So, take heart on this beautiful day.