Dems Lose Going All In On Ossoff

- April 19, 2017

DNC, DCCC Come Up Short After Throwing The Full Support Of The Party And All Of Its Resources Behind Ossoff


  • Banking that Jon Ossoff would give their party a new hope, Democrats threw their entire party infrastructure and fundraising prowess behind their eight million dollar man, only to get about the same vote total that Hillary Clinton received in the district in November.
  • Democrats were hoping to expand their party's appeal beyond liberal enclaves and into GA-6 by importing celebrity surrogates from Hollywood and huge sums of financial support from San Francisco, but they did not import their candidate into the district, a former Capitol Hill staffer who does not live in the congressional district he's running in.
  • Ossoff's underperformance means Democrats and the media will be hard pressed to keep pushing the narrative there's any sort of recent Democrat resurgence, and worry is beginning to set in with Democrats continually coming up short and future prospects of winning looking bleak.



Ossoff, A 30-Year Old Former Congressional Staffer Who Doesn't Live In The District, Came Up Short Of Avoiding A Runoff Against A Crowded Republican Field

Ossoff Came Up Short Of Avoiding A Runoff Against 11 Republican Opponents. "Ossoff, who finished with about 48%, will now head to a runoff on June 20 against Republican Karen Handel, the former Georgia Secretary of State, who bested 10 other GOP hopefuls with about 20% of the overall vote in the unusual all-party primary." (Alex Seitz-Wald, "Democrat Jon Ossoff Falls Short in Georgia Special Election, Race Goes to Runoff," NBC , 4/19/17)

  • Ossoff Does Not Live In The District He Wants To Represent. "The surprising early leader in the special election to replace Tom Price in Congress doesn't live in the district." (Christopher Hopper, "Race To Replace Tom Price: Verifying Jon Ossoff's National Security Background," 11 Alive ABC , 03/28/17)
  • Ossoff Was Previously A Capitol Hill Staffer. "Ossoff worked part time in Johnson's office from 2007-09; Pontoni also cited a piece of legislation Ossoff worked on in 2007 related to a Ugandan civil war that involved U.S. special forces. Ossoff was a fulltime staffer under Johnson from 2010-12, and he did have top-secret security clearance from March to August 2012." (Christopher Hopper, "Race To Replace Tom Price: Verifying Jon Ossoff's National Security Background," 11 Alive ABC , 03/28/17)

After Spending Millions To Only Receive About The Same Vote Total As Hillary Clinton, Democrats Are Right To Worry

Politico Headline: "Democrats Begin To Wonder: When Do We Win?" (Gabriel Debenedetti, "Democrats Begin To Wonder: When Do We Win?" Politico , 4/19/17)

"After Two Successive Close-But-No-Cigar Finishes In House Special Elections In Georgia And Kansas, A New Worry [In The Democrat Party] Is Beginning To Set In." "Ossoff's moral victory - capturing 48 percent of the vote in a conservative-oriented district - was welcome, but after two successive close-but-no-cigar finishes in House special elections in Georgia and Kansas, a new worry is beginning to set in." (Gabriel Debenedetti, "Democrats Begin To Wonder: When Do We Win?" Politico , 4/19/17)

"For All The Anger, Energy, And Money Swirling At The Grassroots Level, Democrats Didn't Manage To Pick Off The First Two Republican-Held Congressional Seats They Contended For In The Trump Era, And The Prospects Aren't Markedly Better In The Next Few House Races Coming Up : the Montana race at the end of May, and the South Carolina contest on June 20." (Gabriel Debenedetti, "Democrats Begin To Wonder: When Do We Win?" Politico , 4/19/17)

"Now, With Ossoff Falling Short Of An Outright Win Despite An Unprecedented Surge Of Campaign Cash And National Attention - In A District Which Hillary Clinton Lost By Just One Point In 2016 - Comes The Potential For Another Round Of Finger-Pointing Within The Party." (Gabriel Debenedetti, "Democrats Begin To Wonder: When Do We Win?" Politico , 4/19/17)

Democrats Had A Lot Riding On Ossoff Crossing The 50% Threshold

Politico's Josh Kraushaar "Dems Have *A Lot* Riding On The Fortunes Of One Jon Ossoff." (Josh Kraushaar, Twitter Feed , 4/17/17)

U.S. News & World Report's Dave Catanese: "[A] Loss Would Buttress The Case That The Backlash Against Trump Is Primarily Protest Noise And Media-Motivated, Without A Direct Connection To The Heart Of The Country." (Dave Catanese, "The Democrats' Problem In The Georgia Special Election," U.S. News & World Report , 4/17/17)

Liberals Crowed About Ossoff's Chances

Senator Sanders (I-VT) Predicted People In Georgia Would "Wake Up." "So, what you're seeing in Kansas, what you're seeing in Georgia, I believe you're going to see it in Montana, I believe you're going to see it all over this country, is the many so-called red states, working people are going to wake up and say, wait a second." (CNN's "State Of The Union," 4/16/17)

David Nir, Daily Kos Political Director Stated This Was Race Was "Definitely Winnable." DAVID NIR: "That's exactly right. It's definitely winnable precisely because that this sort of suburban, well-educated district really did rebel against Trump." (MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show," 2/16/17)

  • Nir: "This Is An All Hands On Deck Race… Everyone Is Really Pulling Together… We're Going To Be Incredibly Unified Going Forward To Election Day." "I feel we're all playing in the same direction. This is an all hands on deck race. You know, we have a huge community online at Daily Kos and we get reports on the ground from people in the district. And they are telling us the grassroots, the Democratic Party, that everyone is really pulling together on this one. So, I feel we're going to be incredibly unified going forward to Election Day. (MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show," 2/16/17)

Rachel Maddow: Ossoff "Is Not Far Off" From The 50 Percent Threshold. RACHEL MADDOW: "He's not at the 50 percent threshold, but he is not far off." (MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show," 4/10/17)

NPR's Jessica Taylor: "[Ossoff]'s Team Really Thinks [Winning Is] Possible. And That Is Their Goal, And It's Because It's Their Best Chance To Win." JESSICA TAYLOR: "His team really thinks that's possible. And that is their goal, and it's because it's their best chance to win." (NPR's "All Things Considered," 4/16/17)

Coastal Liberals And Democratic Groups Helped Spread The Wealth Around By Pouring Record Sums Of Money Into Jon Ossoff's Campaign, Giving His Campaign Far More Funds Than Most House Races

On April 5, 2017, Democrat Jon Ossoff's Campaign Announced It Raised $8.3 Million Dollars During The First Quarter Of The Year. "Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff raised $8.3 million during the first quarter of the year, his campaign announced Wednesday night." (Simone Pathe, "Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff Raises $8.3M," Roll Call , 04/05/17)

Only Three House Candidates Raised More Than Ossoff's First Quarter Total During The Entire 2016 Election Cycle. "Just three House candidates raised more than Ossoff during the entire 2016 election cycle, according to OpenSecrets." (Simone Pathé, "Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff Raises $8.3m," Roll Call , 4/5/17)

  • One Was House Speaker Ryan And The Other Two Were Self-Funded. "One was House Speaker Paul D. Ryan. The other two were major self-funding Democrats: David Trone in Maryland's 8th District, who lost his primary, and Randy Perkins in Florida's 18th District, who lost the general election." (Simone Pathé, "Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff Raises $8.3m," Roll Call , 4/5/17)

Ossoff's Fundraising Total "Dwarfs The Last Pre-Election Quarterly Hauls Of Every Congressional Campaign From The 2016 Cycle" And "Campaigns In Competitive Races, On Average, Took In Just 6 Percent Of Ossoff's Total." "Jon Ossoff, a Democrat who is leading a crowded field of Republicans in the open race with around 40 percent of the vote, brought in a whopping $8.3 million in the first quarter of 2017. And that actually dwarfs the last pre-election quarterly hauls of every congressional campaign from the 2016 cycle. Campaigns in competitive races, on average, took in just 6 percent of Ossoff's total over a comparable period." (Kim Soffen, "Here's Just How Massive The Democrats' Special Election Haul In Georgia Is," The Washington Post , 4/7/17)

Ossoff's Fundraising Total Is 17 Times As Much As The Average Candidate In A Competitive District, A "Remarkable Feat." " But even considering those factors, raising 17 times as much as the average candidate in a competitive district is remarkable." (Kim Soffen, "Here's Just How Massive The Democrats' Special Election Haul In Georgia Is," The Washington Post , 4/7/17)

Ossoff's Quarterly Fundraising Total Is Close To What Some U.S. Senators Raised For The Entire 2016 Cycle. "Ossoff's quarterly haul isn't that far off from what some U.S. senators raised for their re-elections during the entire 2016 cycle. Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson, for example, raised about $11 million." (Simone Pathé, "Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff Raises $8.3m," Roll Call , 4/5/17)

Ossoff's Campaign Reported That 95 Percent Of His Donors Live Outside Of Georgia. "His campaign said 95 percent of the donors came from outside of Georgia, which means only a sliver of his contributors live in the district." (Greg Bluestein and Aaron Gould-Sheinin, "A Closer Look At Jon Ossoff's Epic Fundraising Haul," Atlanta Journal-Constitution , 4/08/17)

$1.6 Million Dollars In Donations Came From Donors In California, New York And Massachusetts. "More than $500,000 came from California and another $400,000 came from New York. Massachusetts donors chipped in at least $160,000." (Greg Bluestein and Aaron Gould-Sheinin, "A Closer Look At Jon Ossoff's Epic Fundraising Haul," Atlanta Journal-Constitution , 4/08/17)

  • Of This 95 Percent, More Of This Money Comes From The Bay Area And The Total Number Of Contributions Raised From The Bay Area Is Greater Than The Number Of Contributors From Georgia. "Jon Ossoff, a Democrat running in a suburban Atlanta district that once elected Newt Gingrich and which has voted only for Republicans for Congress since 1978, has captured liberal Californians' political imaginations - and their checkbooks. He's raked in $8.2 million in the past three months, almost all from outside of Georgia, thanks to a strong anti-Trump message. And he's reported more individual contributions from the Bay Area than from his," entire home state." (Casey Tolan, "Why Are Bay Area Donors Funneling Millions To Georgia Congressional Race?," San Jose Mercury-News , 4/12/17)

Democratic Heavyweights Turned Out For Ossoff, Raising Money And His Stature

In March 2016, Democratic Leaders Co-Hosted A Fundraiser For Ossoff Including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Lujan, And Other Democratic Congressional Leadership. "The top House Democratic brass will host a fundraiser on Thursday at Democratic National Committee headquarters for Jon Ossoff, whom Democrats have seized on as their best shot at snapping up the conservative-leaning House seat in the Atlanta suburbs vacated by HHS Secretary Tom Price. Among the headliners: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi ; Minority Whip Steny Hoyer ; Assistant Minority Leader Jim Clyburn ; Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley ; Caucus Vice Chairwoman Linda Sánchez ; DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján ; and Reps. Sanford Bishop , Hank Johnson , John Lewis and David Scott , all Georgia Democrats. The jungle primary for the special election is April 18." (Politico Influence, "House Democrats Host Ossoff Fundraiser," Politico , 3/13/17)

Julian Castro, A Former Obama Cabinet Member, Visited Ossoff's Campaign Headquarter To Rally Support. "A member of former President Barack Obama's Cabinet, Julian Castro, is rallying support for Jon Ossoff the leading Democratic candidate in the special election to take the Georgia congressional seat vacated by Republican Tom Price when he became Health and Human Services secretary. Castro, who served as Obama's secretary of the House and Urban Development Department, met with supporters at Ossoff's office. Pictures of the event were posted online Saturday." (Daniel Chaitin, "Team Obama Gets Involved In Georgia Special Election," The Washington Examiner , 4/15/17)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Pulled Out All The Stops To Help Jon Ossoff Win

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Sent Nine Paid Staffers To Georgia To Help Ossoff Win . "National Democrats' House campaign arm has assigned nine paid staffers to Georgia." (Bill Barrow, "In Republican 'Burbs, Georgia Election Centers On A Democrat," The Associated Press , 3/21/17)

The DCCC Is Also Sponsoring Three Focus Groups In The Sixth District In An Attempt To Reach Voters . "According to details first shared with NPR, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is sponsoring three focus groups in the district over the coming week aimed at better discovering how to target younger voters, African-American voters and swing voters - many of whom have not been reliable in turning out in midterm elections." (Jessica Taylor, "Democrats Eye Georgia Special Election To Test 2018 Messages," NPR , 3/15/17)

  • The First Focus Group Was Conducted By Anzalone Liszt Grove Research. "Democrats' first focus group, conducted Tuesday evening by Anzalone Liszt Grove (ALG) Research, was targeted at Romney voters between the ages of 55 and 74 who flipped to Clinton." (Jessica Taylor, "Democrats Eye Georgia Special Election To Test 2018 Messages," NPR , 3/15/17)
  • Anzalone Liszt Grove Is A "Public Opinion Research Firm" That Boasts Of An Extensive Client List Ranging From Microsoft To President Obama And Is Described As "One Of The Three Most Accurate Pollsters In America." "Anzalone Liszt Grove Research (ALG) is a public opinion research firm specializing in message development and strategic consulting. For nearly 20 years, we have helped clients ranging from President Obama, to EMILY'S List, to Microsoft achieve their goals. During that time, our work has been successful, strategic and accurate. Polling guru Nate Silver recently dubbed us one of the three most accurate pollsters in America." ("A Winning Record," Anzalone Liszt Grove Resarch, Accessed 4/17/17)

The DCCC Launched A Six-Figure Radio Ad Buy In The District Featuring Samuel L. Jackson. "Hollywood icon Samuel L. Jackson stars in a new radio ad encouraging residents of Georgia's 6th Congressional District to vote Democratic in Tuesday's special election. The narrater of the ad, released Friday by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, introduces Jackson as an award-winning actor and civil rights activist, as well as a graduate of Morehouse, a historically black college in Atlanta. Then Jackson makes his pitch. … The ad does not mention any Democratic candidates by name. But it clearly aims to help Jon Ossoff, the 30-year-old documentary filmmaker who has mounted a competitive challenge in the normally Republican district. The minute-long audio spot will air Saturday through Tuesday on urban radio stations in the Atlanta area with the goal of turning out black voters. It is part of a larger six-figure radio ad buy aimed at turning out African-American voters, according to the DCCC." (Daniel Marans, "Samuel L. Jackson Tapes Radio Ad For Democrats In Georgia Special Election," Huffington Post , 4/14/17)

Liberal Groups And Celebrities Endorsed And Fundraised For Jon Ossoff

Former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Howard Dean's Political Action Committee Endorsed Ossoff. "Democracy for America, a political action committee founded by former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, is backing Ossoff, according to a statement obtained first by Roll Call. It's the group's first congressional endorsement of the 2018 cycle."(Simone Pathe, "Georgia Democrat Scores Another Major Liberal Endorsement," Roll Call , 3/03/17)

MoveOn.Org Political Action Has Endorsed Ossoff. "Georgia members of Political Action have voted overwhelmingly to endorse Jon Ossoff in the U.S. House special election in the state's 6th District with 93% of votes cast in favor of backing Ossoff, praising Ossoff's commitment to protecting the Affordable Care Act." (Brian Stewart, "MoveOn Members In Georgia Endorse Inclusive Populist Jon Ossoff For U.S. House, Vow To Take ACA Fight To Ballot Box," Moveon.Org , 3/6/17)

Ossoff Received Nearly $400,000 From The Washington-Based League Of Conservation Voters. "Washington-Based League Of Conservation Voters Bundled Nearly $40,000 For Him [Ossoff]." (Greg Bluestein and Aaron Gould-Sheinin, "A Closer Look At Jon Ossoff's Epic Fundraising Haul," Atlanta Journal-Constitution , 4/08/17)

Ossoff Received A "Progressive" Endorsement From End Citizens United PAC . "End Citizens United, a liberal political action committee, is throwing its weight behind Democrat Jon Ossoff in the race to replace Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price in Georgia's 6th District." (Simone Pathe, "Georgia Democrat Picks Up Progressive Endorsement," Roll Call , 2/22/17)

Daily Kos Has Endorsed Ossoff. " The fundraising wave has even buoyed little-known Jon Ossoff, a Georgia Democrat whom the liberal Daily Kos website endorsed last Thursday for a House special election." (Scott Bland, "Progressives Pour Cash Into Anti-Trump Resistance," Politico , 2/02/17)

  • CNN's Eric Brandner Credits "Liberal Blog Daily Kos" For Catapulting Ossoff's Campaign By Raising More Than One Million Dollars. "But it was the involvement of the liberal blog Daily Kos that really catapulted Ossoff onto the national map. The blog has been the largest driver of Ossoff's eye-popping $4 million fundraising effort to date. It bested its previous fundraising record for a single candidate -- $412,000 for Elizabeth Warren in 2012 -- in a single week. Daily Kos's pro-Ossoff fundraising efforts crossed the $1 million mark on February 28." (Eric Bradner, "Dems Look South To Test Anti-Trump Strategy," CNN , 3/31/17)
  • Daily Kos Donated More Money To Ossoff "Than The Group Had Ever Directed To Any Campaign Other Than Elizabeth Warren's." "Daily Kos members have since donated nearly $400,000 to Ossoff - more than the group had ever directed to any campaign other than Elizabeth Warren 's 2012 Senate run." (Scott Bland, "Progressives Pour Cash Into Anti-Trump Resistance," Politico , 2/02/17)
  • Rachael Maddow, In Describing Daily Kos' Support Of Jon Ossoff, Noted That They Are "The Mother Of All Liberal Blogs." "Even before the field was set last night, and the DCCC made this big jump, one of the Democrats in this race, 29-year-old John Ossoff, he's already received a ton of grassroots and monetary support, particularly organized by the folks at the liberal blog Daily Kos, sort of the mother of all liberal blogs." (MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show," 2/16/17)

Ossoff's Celebrity Donors Include Hollywood Actors, Actresses And TV Personalities. "Other Ossoff critics took shots at the celebrity names that studded the long list of donors, including actress Connie Britton, singer-songwriting legend Judy Collins, comedian Chelsea Handler, actor John Leguizamo and TV personality Rosie O'Donnell." (Greg Bluestein, "Why Jon Ossoff's Huge Fundraising Haul Is An Advantage And A Liability," Atlanta Journal-Constitution , 4/08/17)

  • Actor Jon Cryer And Comedian Chelsea Handler Gave The Maximum Donation They Could For Ossoff. "Comedian Chelsea Handler maxed out with a contribution of $2,700, as did actor Jon Cryer." (Lisa Hagen, "Celebrity Donations Help Fuel Gesorgia Dem's $8.3M Haul," The Hill , 4/06/17)
  • Other Celebrity Donors Include John Leguizamo, Sam Waterston, Kristen Bell, Connie Britton, Jessica Lange, Lynda Carter And Rhea Perlman. " Actors including John Leguizamo, Sam Waterston, Kristen Bell, Connie Britton, Jessica Lange, Lynda Carter and Rhea Perlman all contributed to Ossoff's campaign, according to his Federal Election Commission (FEC) report made public on Thursday." (Lisa Hagen, "Celebrity Donations Help Fuel Georgia Dem's $8.3M Haul," The Hill , 4/06/17)

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