The election will not significantly change the balance of power in Washington, where Republicans control the White House and both chambers of Congress. Democrats on Tuesday also lost a special election in neighboring SC, where Republican Ralph Norman easily prevailed over Democrat Archie Parnell in a seat formerly held by Republican Mick Mulvaney, who is now Trump's budget director.
Democratic Party divisions were on glaring display Wednesday as a special election loss in a wildly expensive Georgia House race left bitter lawmakers turning their anger on their own leaders.
It's also a victory because it was viewed as a sort of "referendum" on the president by many voters since numbers on his popularity have been going up and down over the past few months, with polls showing figures as low as 30 percent and as high as 50 percent. The district was seen as within reach to Democrats because Trump won there last November by only 1 percentage point.
Democrats came close but still lost two other contested special elections earlier this year for Republican-held seats in conservative Kansas and Montana, and the outcomes in Georgia and SC could put a crimp in the party's fundraising and candidate recruitment. Yes, Democrats need to win a net of 24 seats to take back Congress, and 47 districts held by Republicans are less conservative than Georgia 6.
Special elections aren't necessarily good predictors of the following year's congressional elections.
No one knows whether the Democrats will change their approach following this embarrassing defeat in Georgia. We need to learn from that.
"In special elections, because they pop up unexpectedly, often parties are at the mercy of whoever pops up", he said before turning to the Georgia 6th District race.
Pelosi allies have pushed back at the blame game, and pointed to the improvement Democrats had in other special elections in Kansas, Montana and SC as evidence that their efforts to harness the resistance against Trump was working.
"Nancy Pelosi was a great speaker, she was a great leader, but her time has come and gone".
Attack ads flooded the airwaves of the Atlanta suburbs. In Kansas in April, in Montana last month and in Georgia and SC on Tuesday, Democratic candidates outperformed their party's past showings, but still fell short where it counts: Republicans won.
Having Pelosi as the face of the party "makes it a heck of a lot harder" to win House seats, said Rep. Tim Ryan, the Ohio Democrat who challenged Pelosi for the House minority leader post after the 2016 election.
"She was able to use the president's support", said Robinson.
Under the circumstances, that sounds feasible, and Democrats have been staging protest rallies in those seven districts, often packing "town halls" to denounce Obamacare repeal efforts.
And Democrats have a target-rich environment for next year's midterms, starting with 23 Republican-held districts where Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won a majority of the vote.
"Defeating Republicans in districts that they have traditionally held requires doing something drastically different than establishment Democrats have done before - specifically, running on a bold progressive vision and investing heavily in direct voter contact to expand the electorate", he said. I'm excited to have her as a partner in the House of Representatives, and I look forward to working with her as we tackle our country's most pressing problems.