Media obsessed as Georgia District 6 election takes center stage nationally

Voting Day

Voting Day. (Photo: Day on the Day)

Media’s obsession with the Georgia District 6 congressional seat will either evaporate or broaden by late this evening.

If the Democrat prevails with more than 50 percent of the vote, he will take a seat long considered a GOP stronghold. That was the seat Newt Gingrich, one of America’s most competent speakers of the House, held. 

Favored by his own party, the Democrat Jon Ossoff has two competitors within his party who are listed by pollsters. Neither of those two contenders have even a slim chance, nor do the other couple candidates running in the Dems’ camp.

The Republicans have six candidates taken seriously by pollsters, with Karen Handel and Bob Gray ahead in the poll averages according to Nate Silver. Others are also running in the GOP camp.

The race has been elevated because media allied with Democrats see an opportunity to set up a referendum on President Donald Trump. On the Republican side of the aisle, there doesn’t seem to be a favorite among most right-leaning media. The GOP just wants to hold the seat.

The field is crowded. Breitbart News, citing information from the major daily for the congressional district area, said there are 11 Republican candidates in the race.

Among the Republicans, former Georgia secretary of state Karen Handel and businessman Bob Gray appear to have an edge.

If no one reaches a simple majority in today’s race, the top two candidates will face each other in June.

Ossoff has drawn criticism for exaggerating his credentials in the national security sector, but media haven’t delivered him the scathing rebuke a Republican might draw for doing the same.

Guy Benson crafted an interesting analysis of the race for Townhall, calling Ossoff a “political neophyte.” I disagree. Ossoff has politics in his DNA; he’s been involved in Beltway politics for quite some time as his Ballotpedia bio indicates.

The area daily provides a short bio note about each of the candidates

Most media attention has focused on the angle of the Trump referendum, but there’s another angle Republicans probably are glad went unnoticed. If a referendum was held on Congress, the GOP would be in trouble. There’s weak leadership on both sides of the aisle, and Americans are currently poorly served by leadership of both parties in the House and the Senate.

Ossoff is reportedly flush with cash, and large amounts have come from outside the state of Georgia.  The Mercury News, a California paper, said of Ossoff, “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.”

There’s a note of irony about Ossoff—he doesn’t even live in the district he hopes to represent.

By this evening, Americans will know the outcome of the Georgia D-6 race, but I predict Ossoff won’t reach the majority threshold and he’ll face a Republican in June. One reason involves that large GOP field—they’ll all be working to get out the vote.

If Ossoff should pull it off, legacy media will keep the story above the fold for days. If he doesn’t, most media will be quieter about it until the June election nears and the circus returns.

As for that outside-the-state money, Democrats attempted the same strategy in Florida, with a twist. Dems made a significant miscalculation that having a cannabis initiative on the ballot in 2014 would topple the Republican governor. It didn’t simply because a lot of Republicans believe cannabis should be decriminalized on the federal level. It’s never made sense to me personally to have an herb on the federal schedule. The matter of cannabis belongs in the states’ realm, not the feds’. 

At any rate, one percenter donors poured money into Florida, all for naught. 

It’s hard to understand the giant partisan divide at present because both political parties are in a fluid state. A significant sector of Democrats comprise the Bernie Sanders freebie movement while the party’s current DNC leader is, in my opinion, quite a racialist although the Sanders crowd views him as an establishment figure. Both DNC leaders are in my opinion very extreme in much of their ideology.

Then there are the Republicans led by the ever enthusiastic Speaker Paul Ryan (WI) who talks a lot and does little.

The District 6 show will commence once polls close and various media presenters chirp breathlessly about the results. How long the chirping will last depends on the outcome.

For specifics on voting, head to the Georgia secretary of state office

(Commentary by Kay B. Day/April 18, 2017)

About Kay Day

Kay B. Day is a freelance writer who has published in national and international magazines and websites. The author of 3 books, her work is anthologized in textbooks and collections. She has won awards for poetry, nonfiction and fiction. Day is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Authors Guild.

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