A victory for Donald Trump and Brian Mast in Georgia

Evan Vucci  AP

Evan Vucci AP

Republican lawmakers who have tough reelection races in 2018 will see Handel's victory as proof that they can thread the needle when it comes to Trump.

The race, which pits 30-year-old Democrat and political neophyte Jon Ossoff against Republican and Georgia's former secretary of state Karen Handel, is the most expensive House race in USA history. "But this is the beginning of something much bigger than us", Ossoff told supporters.

"As we sit here, they're running caricatures of me in Georgia", Pelosi said. What exactly it is, and whether they can fix it, will be debated in the weeks and months ahead. "We need to finish the drill on health care, ' Handel said during her victory speech" in Brookhaven, Ga.

"I know it's not the outcome we wanted or hoped for".

As Todd noted, Republicans have successfully used Pelosi as a foil in previous House campaigns, and one of Karen Handel's closing arguments before her victory over Jon Ossoff is that voters don't want "Nancy Pelosi's guy coming in to try to buy this seat". "Proud of the grassroots team we built, proud of how hard we fought and proud of how close we came to winning a district that's been held by Republicans for almost 40 years".

"Certainly, one thing I learned as a Marine is my job description was very simple: You're responsible for everything your platoon does or fails to do", Moulton said.

She's already under fire for losing the House in 2010 and for failing to make gains in this year's special elections.

Tuesday's highly-anticipated runoff was the most expensive House campaign in history, with a price tag of more than $50 million. "This race proves Republicans have no reason to be defensive as a result of Obamacare's demise, it shows Republicans have nothing to hide from in the age of Trump and it signifies that nothing about the current faux-scandal-ridden environment has produced a downdraft for Republicans". "Democrats from coast to coast threw everything they had at this race, and Karen would not be defeated", House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement. "Time to move forward and win again". "I think that in certain areas, like in some of these special election districts, it doesn't benefit our candidates to be tied to her".

"This was a pretty good fight. exciting to be a part of", Porter said of the Ossoff race.

Of course, Handel's benefited from outside money, too; it just hasn't flowed through her campaign, which has raised less than a quarter of Ossoff's haul. To pull this off Handel had to keep her distance from Trump.

Handel has handled Trump gingerly. She rarely mentioned the administration, despite holding a closed-door fundraiser with the president earlier this spring.

Handel, 55, embraces her experience as a statewide and local elected official.

The loss also renewed the focus on Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who was demonized by the GOP side in the Georgia race. A super PAC backed by Ryan spent $7 million alone; the national GOP's House campaign arm added $4.5 million.

- GOP leaders on Capitol Hill are relieved that Handel's win will avert a collective freak-out of the rank-and-file. But nothing that happened should make Republicans feel secure about their hold on the House of Representatives.

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    In Georgia, Handel reaches out to Democrats and thanks Trump

    High-profile endorsements for the candidates were also abundant: President Donald Trump voiced his support for Handel. Ossoff initially campaigned on a promise to "make Trump furious" but more recently backed off that approach.

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