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Monday, June 19, 2017

So How Special Will The Georgia Special Election Be?

I just read a piece from the Daily Beast about the special election in the sixth district in Georgia.  The author is telling us in advance that any victory by the Democrat will spell doom for the GOP and President Trump.  While this is both premature and ridiculous, it still didn't stop the author from doing all she could to slant the piece beyond that.  For example, she tells us that this is the most expensive race for a House seat in history, but she neglects to say that the Democrat has outspent the Republican by about two and a half times.  Both sides got their message out, but the level of overkill by the Democrat is important.  In fact, if the Democrat loses after an avalanche of spending like that, it is the Democrats who ought to be worried that they will never win again. 

More important than all the rest, however, is the misleading discussion of the importance of this race to Trump.  Last November, the President won this district by one percent over Hillary Clinton.  That hardly makes it a surprise that the race would be close now.  We already knew that these are voters who don't buy into the Trump message and persona.  On top of that, the Republican candidate does not have the advantage of running against someone as disliked as Hillary Clinton.  Nevertheless, if the Democrats finally win one of these special elections, we will surely hear about it for weeks or months even though it really won't mean much.

Of course, the early voting statistics seem to favor the Republican, a fact which the Daily Beast chose to ignore.  If Karen Handel, the GOP candidate, wins the election, we will quickly be told that this is just a Republican district and the results are meaningless.  After that, the media will never mention it again.

The real truth is that special elections don't really mean much.  So far in 2017 through all the races across the nation in special elections, there has been a net of one state legislative seat that switched parties.  It's hardly a noticeable move.

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