By Susan Heavey and Susan Cornwell WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Frustrated Democrats pondered the party's future and questioned its campaign messaging on Wednesday after a demoralizing defeat in a Georgia congressional race widely seen as a referendum on President Donald Trump's young administration. In the most expensive congressional election in U.S. history, Republican Karen Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, defeated political newcomer Democrat Jon Ossoff by 4 percentage points on Tuesday in a suburban Atlanta district that Republicans have held since the 1970s. The special election, to fill the seat vacated by Tom Price after Trump appointed him health and human services secretary, did not change the balance of power in Washington where Republicans control the White House and both chambers of Congress. But it was a demoralizing blow to Democrats hoping Georgia would be a breakthrough for a party trying to harvest electoral victories from the grassroots anti-Trump activism seen in marches on Washington and boisterous crowds at town hall meetings around the country. The district was seen as within reach to Democrats because Trump won there last November by only 1 percentage point. Democrats also lost a special election in South Carolina on Tuesday in a race Republicans were widely expected to win. Democrats lost two other contested special elections earlier this year for Republican-held seats in conservative Kansas and Montana. That makes the party 0-for-4 in this year's races for Republican-held congressional seats. "Ossoff race better be a wake up call for Democrats - business as usual isn't working," tweeted Representative Seth Moulton of Massachusetts. "We need a genuinely new message, a serious jobs plan that reaches all Americans, and a bigger tent." Several prominent Democrats said the party needed to rethink its approach heading into next year's congressional elections, when Democrats need to pick up 24 seats to regain control of the House of Representatives. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut told MSNBC that Democrats needed to focus on economic growth and "get back to being a big tent party." 'PARTY NEEDS NEW LEADERSHIP' The outcome also raised questions about the future of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. Republican groups spent millions on television ads linking Ossoff to Pelosi, portraying him as a captive of the party's liberal wing despite Ossoff's efforts to present a more moderate image. In South Carolina, Charleston attorney and Democratic political newcomer Joe Cunningham said on Wednesday he would seek the House seat now held by Republican Mark Sanford, but that if elected he would not back Pelosi as the Democratic leader. "The Democratic Party needs new leadership now," Cunningham tweeted. The road to a Democratic House majority runs through dozens of districts similar to the affluent, well-educated northern suburbs of Atlanta where Ossoff was defeated, and the outcome there is likely to reassure Republicans already nervous about their chances of holding control under Trump next year. The win in Georgia also could strengthen the political will of Republicans in Congress evaluating their next steps on a tax package and what opinion polls show is a deeply unpopular replacement of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law. Trump was quick to celebrate the Georgia win and accused Democrats of standing in the way of a legislative agenda bogged down by infighting and investigations into whether his campaign colluded with Russia in last year's presidential election. At a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Wednesday night, Trump said: "If Karen Handel had lost, they would have blamed it on me." "And don't forget, this happened in Montana, in Kansas," he added. "They don't get it. They haven't figured it out yet. You know they're still trying to figure where all those voters came from," he said of Democrats. Despite the string of losses in special elections, some Democrats said there were reasons to be encouraged. In all four states, Democrats bolstered their historical performance in districts they lost by double-digit margins last year. The unpopularity of Trump and the Republican healthcare bill - along with the historic trend that the party holding the White House loses seats in midterm elections - gives Democrats hope for capturing the House in 2018. Democrats have a target-rich environment next year, starting with 23 Republican-held districts where Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won a majority of the vote. (Writing by John Whitesides; Additional reporting by Andy Sullivan in Georgia, Patricia Zengerle in Washington and Steve Holland in Iowa; Editing by Leslie Adler and Peter Cooney)
Donald Trump says Mitch McConnell has a 'death wish' and insults his wife, Elaine Chao, after the senator voiced support for the Electoral Count Act reforms
Trump's remarks demonstrate a growing schism between him and McConnell, as the senator increasingly distanced himself from the former president.
Letters exchanged between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and former U.S. President Donald Trump between April 2018 and August 2019 have recently been published. “I am ready to work with your excellency with all my heart and devotion,” Kim said in a letter dated April 1, 2018, nearly six weeks before he first met Trump at the Singapore Summit. On the same day, Trump responded that he was “happy to meet” Kim to “drastically” improve relations between their respective governments.
- The Daily Beast
ILYA PITALEVMoscow celebrated the annexation of huge swathes of Eastern Ukraine Friday but President Vladimir Putin’s party was wrecked by a lightning counter-attack that may have trapped thousands of his men in a key city supposedly now part of Russia. “This is the will of millions of people,” Putin said at a glitzy ceremony in front of high-ranking Russian diplomats still in the country. “People living in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson region and Zaporizhzhia region are becoming our compatriots for
- The Daily Beast
Kareem Elgazzar/ReutersA neuroscientist who specializes in concussions called for the Miami Dolphins’ medical staff and coaches to be fired after quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was hospitalized with a brutal head injury during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals Thursday night. Tagovailoa’s head hit the ground with such force during the second quarter that his hands and arms appeared to seize up. He had to be stretchered off the field. He was discharged from a hospital on Thursday night and return
David Beckham Is 'Appalled' By His Son, Brooklyn, Airing Family Drama With His New Wife: 'We Don't Do This in Our Family'
David Beckham reportedly confronted his 23-year-old son Brooklyn after his new wife Nicola Peltz gave a candid interview with Grazia Magazine. In it, Peltz opened up about headlines that reported her and her mother-in-law, Victoria Beckham, were butting heads. The actress addressed the root of the rumors, which revolved around a dust-up with her wedding […]
- The Hill
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke traded barbs and sought to paint each other as inherently out of touch with the state in their first and only televised debate on Friday evening. The debate — hosted by Nexstar Media Group, which also owns The Hill — gave the candidates an opportunity…
The mistake occurred as Martha MacCallum and other Fox News anchors discussed Hurricane Ian’s impact in Florida on Wednesday.
As Donald Trump and his eldest kids Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric tend to their $250 million business fraud lawsuit in New York, the three adult children are handling the legal situation in their own unique ways. Ivanka is choosing a much different strategy than her brothers by completely ignoring the drama publicly. Ivanka is […]
- The Hill
Missouri Senate candidate Eric Schmitt (R) is leading Democratic challenger Trudy Busch Valentine by 11 percentage points, according to a new Emerson College Polling-The Hill survey released Friday. The poll of likely Missouri voters showed 49 percent of respondents saying they would support Schmitt if the Senate election were held today compared to Busch Valentine…
- ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports
DeMaurice Smith vows to pursue “every legal option” regarding the handling of Tua Tagovailoa on Sunday
The biggest concern emerging from Thursday night’s game between the Dolphins and Bengals is whether Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa should have been playing. As explained by Michael Smith on the Amazon postgame show, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith texted to Andrew Whitworth (a former NFLPA player rep) and Richard Sherman (a member of [more]
A 4-foot 'shark' was filmed swimming in a flooded backyard after Hurricane Ian pummeled southwest Florida — and yes, the video was deemed real
The infamous "hurricane shark" hoax has duped people into believing a wayward sea creature appeared ashore after a storm. But this time, it was real.
A concussion expert says Tua Tagovailoa's stiffened hands were 'primitive' response that suggests damage to brain's cortex
Chris Nowinski says Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's stiffened hands were a sign of decorticate posturing, a serious sign of brain trauma.
- Access Hollywood
The cause of Queen Elizabeth’s death has been revealed.