After Georgia, Republicans celebrating, Dems searching

Yet not all Democrats are pinning the blame on Pelosi, whom Politico described as "the Democrat that Republicans most love to hate".

The Democrat National Committee, which pinned its hopes and many millions of dollars on flipping a Republican-majority district, was silent as of early Wednesday morning.

But Handel's win is expected to energize Republican lawmakers in Washington as they seek to push forward with their repeal of Barack Obama's health care plan as well as tax law overhauls.

Georgia Republican Karen Handel won the most expensive congressional race in history on Tuesday, avoiding a Democratic upset in a race that was widely seen as a referendum on President Donald Trump. "All the Fake News, all the money spent = 0", he said.

The outcome "better be a wake-up call for Democrats - business as usual isn't working", Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., said over Twitter.

Trump said in a Twitter comment, "Well, the Special Elections are over and those that want to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN are 5 and O!"

But not only did Republican Karen Handel survive any anti-Trump sentiment among voters - she actually outperformed him in the district.

Ron Estes held off Democrat James Thompson in Kansas to fill the seat that was left by Mike Pompeo, now C.I.A. director. Pundits labeled it a harbinger for the 2018 midterms, arguing a win by 30-year-old Democrat Jon Ossoff could signal a "blue wave" next November.

The victories could boost Republicans' confidence as they struggle to advance health and tax legislation that has been bogged down by infighting and investigations into whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation in last year's presidential election.

After a deeply disappointing loss in Georgia's special election, Democrats are hoping that Jon Ossoff's narrow defeat in a staunchly conservative district is the harbinger of a shifting tide. He earned 48 percent compared to former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel's 52 percent showing in the race.

Trump also gloated about the win.

"What happened on that ballfield was a bad tragedy and we need to all continue to lift up Steve and the others who were injured that day", Handel said. Republicans have held that seat since Newt Gingrich won it in 1978, although Mr. Trump barely won the district by 1.5 percent in 2016.

But Republican Ron Estes defeated Democrat James Thompson by just 7 points in April's election, which is the closest Democrats have been to winning the seat since 1996. But taking a step back, there's a silver lining for the party that's come up short: if Democrats can seriously compete in red districts in red states like these, they can seriously compete nearly anywhere.

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