Democrats struggle for right strategy after special election losses

Jon Ossoff supporter Jan Yanes center cries as the Democratic candidate for the 6th congressional district special election in Georgia concedes Tuesday night

And they've been winning a lot.

President Trump and his supporters took a victory lap on social media late Tuesday night as Republicans secured a pair of special-election House victories in Georgia and SC.

Democratic candidate for 6th congressional district Jon Ossoff concedes to Republican Karen Handel at his election night party in Atlanta, Tuesday, June 20, 2017. He was backed by "a lot of liberal money from the Democrats and Pelosi", said another from the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Ryan told NPR on Wednesday that the ads that Republican groups ran harnessing Pelosi's unpopularity with their GOP base voters were clearly effective.

"I hope we're going to surprise you with a really good plan". At that time, Democrats held 233 seats to the Republicans' 202.

"That means we basically can't lose anybody", the President said of the 52-48 Senate edge.

Democrats say Jon Ossoff's 48 percent showing in a Republican stronghold is proof that they're actually making progress toward making Georgia a genuine battleground. "Just think about what a unified American nation could achieve", he said.

The spin began as the New York Times tweeted that "Handel averted a humiliating upset for Republicans". "The truth is, people love us", Trump said.

Democrats saw an opening for a win in the district after Trump only won its support in the presidential election by 1.5 percent.

Pelosi's most logical challenger would be Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., 55, the House Democratic Caucus chairman. In 2012, GOP nominee Mitt Romney swamped Barack Obama in this district by 61%-37%. His 2015-16 giving was well behind Pelosi previous year, at $592,500.

It might be Pelosi's fight for her political life.

But Democrats did this to themselves.

Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) is calling on his fellow Democrats to look to the future and stop dwelling on past losses.

The Democratic Party's charged debate about whether it needs a new generation of leaders included a new voice on Thursday: President Trump. Pelosi's enduring role as a Republican punching bag revived debate over whether her leadership is an electoral drag on the party, or if she is simply a convenient (female) symbol for attacks on liberalism that the GOP would level with or without her. "If elected, I will not vote for Nancy Pelosi for speaker".

But it was demoralizing for Democrats, who also lost a special election in neighboring SC.

Republicans' ability to effectively use Pelosi as their bogeyman in Georgia was especially stark when contrasted with the Democrats' tactics there.

But Handel's thank you to President Donald Trump in the same speech Tuesday night is unlikely to comfort backers of the Democrat who came to symbolize anti-Trump resistance.

Pelosi also responded to President Donald Trump's tweet that ousting her "would be very bad for the Republican Party". In all four states, Democrats bolstered their historical performance in districts that they lost by big double-digit margins a year ago. But their reluctance left Ossoff running on a milquetoast message, allowing Republicans to drive the narrative that he would be a Pelosi lackey on Capitol Hill.

Ossoff initially campaigned on a promise to "make Trump furious" but more recently backed off that approach.

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