Politics has this way of producing victories where none is apparent.
Democrats around the country, for instance, are seeking to turn electoral defeats into a form of winning. It’s a fascinating thing to watch — and it has me shaking my head.
A Kansas congressional district special election produced a Republican victory recently. The Fourth Congressional District seat once was held by CIA Director Mike Pompeo, whom Donald Trump appointed to become the nation’s top spook. Trump won that district over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election and it has been in GOP hands seemingly since The Flood.
The Republican who won the seat in the special election did so narrowly. Thus, Democrats are claiming some sort of victory.
Today, voters in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District are going to the polls. They’re going to choose a successor to Tom Price, who represented the GOP-friendly district before becoming secretary of health and human services; the Sixth District once was represented by none other than the inimitable Newt Gingrich.
A large field is running. It includes five Democrats and 11 Republicans. The top vote-getter needs to win with 50 percent plus one vote to win the election outright. The leader is a Democrat, a young man named Jon Ossoff. Polling indicates he is likely to fall short — barely — of the majority he needs to win. If he doesn’t make it, he needs to face the No. 2 finisher, likely one of the Republicans. The GOP hopes the party will rally behind their guy and elect him over Ossoff in the runoff election.
Still, Democrats — even if they lose this election — are likely to crow about how they damn near flipped that district.
As a progressive-leaning voter myself, I am pulling for an upset in Georgia. I would be glad to see Ossoff score an outright victory by day’s end. A win by the young Democrat clearly would send a message to the president and his Republican friends that they’re likely to have a serious fight on their hands in next year’s mid-term congressional elections.
However, elections determine winners and losers. Candidates need to get more votes than their opponent to actually win. Falling short of the total they need today in Georgia will not stop Democrats from spinning a loss into some sort of moral victory.
As the old saying goes, “Close counts only in horseshoes and hand grenades.”