Opinion: The 6th District race is all about Trump

Brandon Phillips/Special

President Trump came to town last week and raised $750,000 for Karen Handel, the GOP candidate in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. “You’d better win,” Trump told Handel at her fundraiser, a half-joking indication of the high stakes in the race.

Handel in turn was appreciative, in one interview pledging that she backs Trump 100 percent.

“To be able to have the president’s support is a good thing,” Handel said later on Fox News, “especially in a very solid Republican district. With that said, it’s the press and the Ossoff folks and the Democrats who want to make this about the president.”

That last part? It’s not true.

This otherwise obscure off-year congressional race is on pace to become the most expensive House race in American history, and the reason is Trump. The reason that the president attended Handel’s fundraiser and by all accounts is almost obsessed with the race is because he knows that it’s a referendum about him. Democratic newcomer Jon Ossoff came within 1.9 points of winning outright in this “very solid Republican district,” and while Ossoff seems to be growing more confident and sure-footed as a candidate, his showing was solely because of Trump.

Prior to last fall’s election, we saw a lot of rhetoric from GOP leaders about their willingness to act as a check on Trump should he somehow become president. There was talk that they would somehow tame him and teach him how to be a real Republican and hold him to conservative ideology.

That is not how this has played out.

What we’ve seen instead is Trump quickly consolidating power and transforming the Republican Party into his image. It’s The Donald who now defines the party, and memories of the GOP as the party of Ronald Reagan are all but gone. The small-government, free-market ideology that once was the party’s catechism has been replaced by Trump’s big-government, aggressively nationalist approach.

He’s going to tell CEOs what they can and cannot do. He’s going to tell House Speaker Paul Ryan what bills he wants voted on, and when. Conservative media outlets that once looked skeptically upon Trump are now competing to lavish praise on his every move. And some Republican politicians and leaders are now hailing him in glowing, worshipful terms that seem dangerously disconnected to his low poll numbers among Americans in general.

At the NRA convention last week, for example, Sen. David Perdue gave Trump “absolutely an A plus” for his first 100 days in office, gushing that if a higher grade was possible, he’d award that instead. Evangelical leader Jerry Falwell Jr. proclaimed last week that in Trump, evangelical Americans have finally “found their dream president.” More and more, loyalty to the Republican Party is now gauged in terms of personal loyalty to Trump.

Put another way, the party is losing its own identity and losing the ability to separate itself from Trump when the time comes. And believe me, that time will come. You can’t watch the chaos and incompetence in Washington and conclude that this is a stable situation, and a lot of smart people within the party must see that too, even if they cannot yet say it.

That too raises the stakes in this race.  If Handel wins next month, the transition of the GOP toward a cult of personality will be allowed to continue at least a while longer, with growing consequences. Should she lose, it would be seen within the party as a sign that the emperor indeed wears no clothes, and that it is not just safe but necessary for the party to begin backing away.

So yes, it’s all about Trump. Every little bit of it.

Reader Comments 1

1280 comments
Jackson
Jackson

I have known Mark Rountree for years from Landmark, he is one of the best pollsters in the business! This is very good news for Karen Handel. Why do you think Ossoff is slipping in the polls?


Republican Karen Handel has built a slight lead over Democrat Jon Ossoff in a poll released Friday by WSB-TV in Georgia’s nationally-watched 6th District runoff.
The poll, conducted by Landmark Communications, has Handel with a 49-46.5 percent advantage over Ossoff. That’s within the 4 percent margin of error. Another 4.4 percent of voters are undecided.
Landmark Communications pollster Mark Rountree told WSB the findings shows Handel may be consolidating Republicans after bitter feuding between the 11 GOP candidates in the runup to the April 18 vote. It shows roughly 80 percent of Republicans back Handel.
“They’re now getting behind Handel in bigger numbers,” Rountree said of Republicans. “And she has now taken the lead in the race. It’s a small lead, but she has taken a small lead.”
http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2017/05/05/wsb-poll-handel-has-slight-lead-over-ossoff/

Amy Glover Giusto
Amy Glover Giusto

Where's his hand in that photo? Is he grabbing her by the p***y? I should just type it out since that's the disgusting way he speaks.

Cliff Bennett
Cliff Bennett

Every body knows that You are Losing Subscibers and Your bias is The Biggest Reason AJC!!

RantNRave
RantNRave

" President Donald J. Trump is now fixing years and years of Big Gov't mistakes and if anyone wishes to get in the way of this rightful government reconstruction, 'he' needs to be brought up on charges of obstruction. SICK AND TIRED! Amen, Bill "


@BillOrificeWHITE


BTW


WHEN does the winning START?


heeheeheeheehee


https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C7u8KfEU8AAj1Kh.jpg

Peachs
Peachs

Where those jobs!

Bill OrvisWhite
Bill OrvisWhite

Wrong, the 6th district rightful runoff is all about a referendum on the failed Nanny Pelosi mission - which is cobbling together the monies of Inside-the-Swamp rich liberals, Hollyweird and George Soros to install a socialistic puppet to lamely attempt to block the pro-American Trump Agenda. Guess what you naive liberals: this dumb idea is just not going to work. America spoke and rightfully rejected socialism which has failed over and over again in Secular Europe, Canada and in Scandinavia. It is a huge collectivist idea that history has proven to be morally, physically and psychologically wrong. You scared little liberals cannot handle the fact that we are converting ton an Opportunity Society which gives individuals power rather than a huge massive groups that concentrates on race to keep naive people down and out - and guess what: we are winning against this Marxist philosophy! If you liberals do not like the course that America is on, you can go to your safe spaces over at Emory and cry with friends like Chuckie Schumer. Bill here is so dang tired of whiny little liberals who are not getting their way. We tried it your way for years and years going back to FDR (Failed Dang Reject) with 'his' Big Gov't ideas through the very failed War on Poverty down on through Jimmy, Bill and Hussein - the whole Democrat party idea is a massive failure that has wrought pain and misery upon the world's leader. President Donald J. Trump is now fixing years and years of Big Gov't mistakes and if anyone wishes to get in the way of this rightful government reconstruction, 'he' needs to be brought up on charges of obstruction. SICK AND TIRED! Amen, Bill 

skydog12
skydog12

@gotalife


Like saying Tom Brady may have swayed the outcome of the Super Bowl. 

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

Here's some fun - the TrumpCare bill currently before Congress would allow states to make rape a "pre-existing condition."

Kamchak
Kamchak

Excessive force SHEETZ!

gotalife
gotalife

gop are just fixated on leaks to obfuscate from the issue.

Peachs
Peachs

Kill the messager, while your house is burning down..

TetoLeo
TetoLeo

Peaches,

My house is burning down? Alarm system hasn't showed anything and I was there like 15 minutes ago, not even any smoke.

TetoLeo
TetoLeo

gotalife

4 minutes ago

wikileaks is part of this scandal

honested
honested

@TetoLeo 

Wikileaks received information hacked and stolen by the russians.

TetoLeo
TetoLeo

Honested,

Fully aware of that. You see any contradiction between the two comments at the top of this?

honested
honested

@TetoLeo 

Yes.

wikileaks is part of an international criminal conspiracy, not one of 'leaking'.

chump is concerned with people 'leaking' information based on TRUTH that does not cast him in an artificially complimentary light.

See the difference?

TetoLeo
TetoLeo

Honested,

Wikileaks gets there info from leaks, some legal some illegal. The information they leaked about the Clinton campaign was truthful as well. See the similarities?

Peachs
Peachs

The Republicans spend more time worrying about the delivery of real fact, than the information in the envelope!

gotalife
gotalife

wikileaks is part of this scandal.

Peachs
Peachs

So is Wiener Clinton should've fired that lady! I said it when it happened, and I say it now, nobody is that important when they show this continental bad judgement.

gotalife
gotalife

High confidence russia hacked the dnc said comey.


The dems are talking about money laundering with real estate deals .


Setting trump up for impeachment.


Mary
Mary

A ruse by pathetic dems. They are an embarrassment to watch.

gotalife
gotalife

@Mary They are on topic unlike your failed corrupt party.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@Mary Proof sweetie?  Or just more of your lies and buffoonery? 

Kamchak
Kamchak

@td1234

  I have probably voted for more Dems in my life than you have Republicans.

I general elections or only primary elections?

Kamchak
Kamchak

@Brosephus

Sure.

I've voted for more Rs than Ds when it comes to the primaries.    

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

 Oh please. I have probably voted for more Dems in my life than you have Republicans.

Bald faced lie of the decade? Century?

td1234
td1234

@gotalife How many Republicans have you ever voted for? Name a few?

gotalife
gotalife

@td1234 @gotalife I voted for Nungresser for standing up to BP. Your turn. How many dems?
 Crickets liar.

Riversprite
Riversprite

@gotalife @td1234 Dixiecrats.  He voted for Dixiecrats.  That's what he means when he says he's voted for more Dems in his life than whoever.

td1234
td1234

@gotalife @td1234 Buddy Darden and Bubba McDonald multiple times for US Rep and Sam Nunn once and maybe twice. Voted in every single Dem primary in GA from 1984 until 2001.


Next question. 

td1234
td1234

@gotalife It is what happens when government has a monopoly on Education. 

gotalife
gotalife

graham is the only gop on topic with his questions.

rimsky
rimsky

Are you going to say these are bigoted actions as well? 

+++

Do you know why people retire?  Didn't think so.

td1234
td1234

@rimsky Did I say retire or was I talking about mandatory retirement in certain jobs? 

Brosephus
Brosephus

@td1234

You make my point.  I've voted for both parties for president.  You lose.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 @rimsky I have a specific job in mind and the perfect candidate.  The mandatory retirement of 70 year old Donald Trump as president because he is clearly not of sound mind. 

td1234
td1234

@PaulinNH Valid point but the way our elections work it is extremely rare for any US Senator to lose an election after they have served 2 terms. 

td1234
td1234

@Brosephus @td1234 Oh please. I have probably voted for more Dems in my life than you have Republicans.

Brosephus
Brosephus

@td1234

I've lived in a Republican controlled county for 15 years, and I've consistently voted in the GOP primary.  I've also voted for Republicans in general elections, and 2016 was the first time since 1992 that I voted a straight Democratic ticket.


Put up or shut up.


[Edit]:  If you voted for Isakson, which I bet you did, you are indeed part of the problem that you're whining about. 

td1234
td1234

@Brosephus @td1234 And I lived in a Democratic controlled county and state from 1984 until 2001 and voted in every single Democrat primary between those years as well as voting for Obama in the primary in 2008 against Clinton. 


I also voted for Bubba McDonald and Buddy Darden as my US Rep from 84 until Newt won the district in 90's. I also voted for Sam Nunn twice (I think). 


First Republican I voted for was RR.

td1234
td1234

@Brosephus @td1234 I did not vote for Isakson in the primary and make it a general rule to not vote for any incumbent in a primary.

td1234
td1234

@PaulinNH I have never voted for a Democrat for President. I always vote for the most Conservative person on a ballot (period) be it during the time I voted in Dem primaries until today. 

td1234
td1234

@Brosephus Why isn't voting for a Democrat? My vote was cast for Obama. 



Brosephus
Brosephus

@td1234

Voted for Obama?  Operation Chaos isn't voting for a Democrat.  You were just following the orders of ol fat boy trying to mess up the Dems.


In addition, the Democrats of the 1980s are the Republicans of today.  What truly liberal Democrat have you voted for?


I voted Bush/Cheney in 04.  They needed to fix the mess they created.

td1234
td1234

@Brosephus @td1234 President is not the only election (although many progressives actually believe it is the only one that counts since they do not tend to show up in the mid terms). You question was not about President only. 


I proved the point and you cannot dispute it so you are the one that actually lost. 

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@td1234 @rimsky  This may be news to you but  every Senator has to reapply for their job on a regular basis

Brosephus
Brosephus

@td1234

Quit voting for the same people while expecting different results.  When this country is full of tds that vote party over the individual, what do you expect?


Congress has an approval rating in the teens and twenties, yet reelection rates historically sit at 90 percent.  It's because of people like you.  You are the very problem that you're complaining about. 

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@td1234 @PaulinNH 

"...it is extremely rare for any US Senator to lose..."

Then why are you trying to subvert the will of the people?