It was a personal and party success achieved despite him.
Ellison said the Georgia 6th was not as competitive as 64 other House seats that Democrats could win in 2018 to wrest control away from Republicans, adding, "They're the ones who better be anxious". Ryan made it clear after his failed bid to oust Pelosi in the fall that he wasn't planning to challenge her again and was just supporting the effort.
And while Democrats were mourning in Georgia on Tuesday night, they nearly stole a House seat in SC where Archie Parnell came within about 2,800 votes and 3 percentage points of defeating Republican Ralph Norman.
The Georgia race claimed national headlines of late. Thus did Democrats sharply cut the Republicans' 2016 margins in Kansas and Montana districts earlier this year. The rural areas that they snatched from the GOP were retaken and this territory is now firmly Trump country.
The Democrats had portrayed each of the races as a referendum on Trump's scandal-plagued presidency.
Whit Ayres, a Republican consultant and Handel strategist, underscored her success in turning the contest into a normal partisan choice.
And after she predicted incorrectly that Democrats were poised to take back the House past year, some of Pelosi's colleagues feel that this time around, she needs to deliver. Ayres put the matter diplomatically: "The president structured the broader environment but didn't determine the outcome of this particular race". "She's less popular than Donald Trump in my district". Now, with Obama and Reid gone, Republicans have occasionally tried latching Democratic senators to Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren, with mixed results.
However, Fallon did see a lost opportunity. Georgia and the GOP go hand-in-hand like California and Democrats.
Handel also turned Ossoff's residency about two miles outside the district into a cultural argument that his heart was actually 2,100 miles away, in San Francisco.
Democratic candidate for 6th congressional district Jon Ossoff, left, concedes to Republican Karen Handel while joined by his fiancee Alisha Kramer at his election night party in Atlanta, Tuesday, June 20, 2017.
"As long as Leader Pelosi is perceived as the leader of the House Democratic Caucus", Vela said, "Republicans are going to continue to spend millions and millions of dollars in those swing districts to convince those swing voters, those independent voters - those Republican voters who might go our way - not to vote for our Democratic candidate because of Leader Pelosi".
Everybody uses special elections to ratify whatever they thought before a single vote was counted.
Six months into a Trump presidency they still think they can somehow undo, Democrats still don't realize that their problem is their old and exhausted message and their old and exhausted messengers.
"This was a pretty good fight. exciting to be a part of", Porter said of the Ossoff race. (R-Ga.). In essence, she isn't a political newcomer and the fact that Democrats actually believed they could flip a district that has gone Republican for almost four decades purely because of Trump's actions shows how out of touch their strategy is.
So Donna Hayes, the former Manatee County GOP chair who chaired Trump's presidential campaign in the county, recently convened the first meeting of a new "Manatee Trump Club".