The following was originally written as a post-election day Tweetstorm at my account, @willcollier, after Karen Handel defeated Jon Ossoff in the June 2017 congressional run-off. It got a lot of attention, more than anything I've written about politics since 2004 when Steve Green and I, writing at VodkaPundit, had our dust-up with the late Steve Lovelady. As several people have asked for a version that isn't 40 separate Tweets long, here it is, edited a bit for clarity and to remove Twitter-isms.
Thanks to everyone for reading.
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So it’s time for some post-runoff Gaming Theory, from an actual resident of GA06.
If you lived in the 6th, you were bombarded by fliers, signs, ads, door-knockers, and most of all, phone calls. At least once a day (and usually more than once), the phone would ring from an out-of-state area code.
First it was robocalls, then the last couple of weeks, call centers. They weren’t targeted. They were calling everybody, every day. And they wouldn’t take “Go to Hell” for an answer—trust me on this one.
Now, imagine for a moment that the roles in the ’16 election were reversed, and Hillary had nominated a Bay Area Democrat for her cabinet. California would have called a special election.
Imagine millions of dollars and tons of vicious social media rhetoric flowing out of Georgia to the Republican candidate for that race. How do you think Californians would have reacted to that?
Self-awareness not being a notable Leftie trait at the best of times, the Left coast is already declaring GA06 a mass Klan meeting.
That’ll go over just as well here in 18 months, dudes. You should definitely keep that up.
One big factor that was missed by the national press: the sheer annoyance of the race. Not only did this special and the runoff extend the godawful 2016 election for another 8 months in a district where neither major nominee was remotely popular, the ridiculous amount of money that poured into the Ossoff campaign from out of state resulted in wall-to-wall ads.
You could not turn on the radio or TV without hearing/seeing a campaign commercial, and Ossoff’s fans seemed determined to cover every square inch of Georgia with “Jon Ossoff” signs. The state will probably have to dig a new landfill to get rid of them.
That strategy made sense in the jungle primary: put this nice-looking kid out there, use the money to flood the zone and slip him through the crowded ballot on name recognition.
That was a smart strategy. It very nearly worked—in April.
Back then, Ossoff never uttered the word “Democrat,” nor did it appear in his ads. But yesterday, there were only two names and two parties on the ballot.
Karen Handel might as well have her name next to “Generic Republican” in the dictionary. Ossoff, thanks to the media blitz on both sides, might as well have had “Nancy Pelosi” on his ballot.
Trump is not popular here, and I doubt he ever will be. Dan MacLaughlin, aka @baseballcrank does an admirable job of tallying that reality
But “unpopular” is not the same as “toxic.” Leftie media types started griping yesterday about the GOP putting Pelosi in anti-Ossoff ads. There’s good reason for that: she’s toxic everywhere except hard-Left enclaves.
GA06 is a lot of things, but hard Left isn’t one. Pelosi, her caucus and its nutball fan club are about as disliked as Notre Dame football around here.
When Ossoff couldn’t hide in the crowd of the primary, the crowd he really was hanging with—Hollywood and Pelosi—was instantly toxic in Cobb and north Fulton; somewhat less so in more Democratic Dekalb, but the damage was done.
I’ll add another factor that the national media wants to ignore: the post- election temper tantrums on the Left. Once again, Trump isn’t popular in this district. But you know what’s a lot less popular?
Riots. Morons in black masks with clubs. Kids who’ve never thought about paying a mortgage telling you you’re a terrible person because you wouldn’t vote for a corrupt old liar in a pantsuit. Those things are really, really unpopular. And the Left’s bratty insistence that it deserves a do-over after it lost an eminently winnable election Isn’t getting any traction in middle America.
Today’s run of the usual suspects saying Ossoff lost because he didn’t go full Bolshevik are right up the same alley. And they’ll result in similar reactions in later elections, especially those that aren’t bolstered by $30 million in now-wasted activist money that simply filled coffers of Democratic consultants and advertisers and broadcasters.
But all they really succeeded in doing was pissing off the people they needed to get votes from. Bad strategy, bad politics.
And so, Jon Ossoff, we who actually live in GA06 say to you, your loopy fans, and most of all your phone centers: