Democrats were desperate for a win at the ballot box against President Trump, but they failed to get one Tuesday night in Georgia.
The Democratic candidate in a special election didn’t get enough votes to capture a Republican congressional seat.
That district had been held by former Congressman Tom Price who is now the secretary of Health and Human Services.
Now the race is headed for a runoff, and Republicans will be favored to win.
Both parties see the race as a test, an early indicator of what lies ahead in the 2018 congressional mid-term elections so Democrats have been trying to make it a referendum on the president.
Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff told voters in a TV ad, “When President Trump embarrasses our country or acts recklessly, I’ll hold him accountable.”
Ossoff was up against 11 Republican candidates Tuesday night but failed to get the necessary 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff election.
That pits him against the other top vote-getter, Karen Handel, in June. Ossoff is a former congressional staffer and Handel is a former Georgia secretary of state.
She’s also a former executive for the Susan G. Komen Foundation that fights breast cancer, and she took political heat in 2012 for a decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood.
“This was a premeditated, orchestrated attack on a breast cancer organization,” Handel said.
She told CBN News that Komen was looking for neutral ground, and noticed that Planned Parenthood didn’t perform mammograms, but merely referred them out.
Last night, Handel told a Georgia crowd that she’ll fight for their values, including those on health care. And she clearly tied her opponent to the national Democratic Party.
“It’s a choice between the views and values of a proven, independent and conservative leader who has delivered for the people of this district and this state or a Democrat who Nancy Pelosi hopes is going to deliver for her,” Handel said.
Ossoff will no doubt try to capitalize on anti-Trump energy among Democrats while appealing to moderate Republicans in the conservative district.
“Let’s show what people power is all about,” Ossoff said.
But the president himself is clearly up for the fight, tweeting overnight about a “big R win” and saying “glad to be of help.”