Republicans have won four special House elections since Trump took office - Handel's victory and a SC race Tuesday; a Montana victory last month and one in Kansas in April.
Democrats also lost a special election in neighboring SC on Tuesday, where Republican Ralph Norman easily prevailed over Democrat Archie Parnell in a seat formerly held by Republican Mick Mulvaney, who is now serving as Trump's budget director.
Handel, 55, fended off Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old Democrat and political newcomer who emerged from obscurity to raise $25 million from progressives across the country eager to express their anger at Trump.
Just before midnight, Trump took a victory lap, invoking his campaign slogan in a tweet that declared "those that want to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN are 5 and O!" "All the Fake News, all the money spent (equals) 0". In a district that has seen decades of Republican representatives, hopes were high among Democrats that Ossoff, a former congressional aide, could pull off an upset.
Democratic Party divisions are on stark display after a disappointing special election loss in a hard-fought Georgia congressional race.
Price won the district last November by 23 points, and Ossoff's much closer margin serves as a "silver lining", Democratic congresswoman Cheri Bustos said.
Last night Republicans won two special House elections in Georgia and in SC. They could go to donors and say, "We bought a seat in a Republican district with a hipster dufus candidate, who got trolled into getting engaged".
Republican Karen Handel won Georgia's closely watched Congressional election. Politico reported that some Democrats diagnosed the problem as the party's tendency to "try to nationalize every race", while others said that Washington needs to realize not everyone is so concerned about the Trump-Russia investigation.
Democrats' hopes in this election were built on months of polling that showed Ossoff in the lead or at least neck and neck with Handel. In all four states, Democrats bolstered their historical performance in districts that they lost by big double-digit margins past year. "Handel's win will bring fresh attention to a beleaguered Democratic Party that has suffered a string of defeats in special elections this year despite an angry and engaged base of voters who dislike Trump".