(THE HILL)

By Maria T. Cardona

Last night’s special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District was a disappointing outcome for Democrats. But let’s put something to rest right here and now: Democrats are incredibly motivated, energized and hopeful for the opportunities we have in 2018.

Republicans should be worried.

Contrary to most accounts, Democrats are not despondent. We are not giving up hope for 2018. Special election results are not predictive of midterm elections, and these results in no way indicate that the party is in disarray.

There are so many factors that played a part in last night’s election. First and foremost, let’s remember that this is a district that should NEVER have been in contention. It is a ruby-red district held by Republicans since 1972. Seven months ago, Republican Tom Price, Trump’s new Health secretary, won the district by 23 points. Karen Handel, the Republican running against Democrat Jon Ossoff, won by fewer than 4 points.

As Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said, “Republicans should take cold comfort in their win in GA-06.” Of course, Democrats would have liked to win. Moral victories come up short and empty. So let’s not claim a moral victory in GA-06.

Let’s claim a legitimate victory in changing the electorate  — Ossoff got thousands of new Democratic voters to come out for him who had never voted in a midterm election. Let’s claim a victory in making the Republicans spend millions in a race that should have been a yawner. Let’s claim a victory in running up the Democratic and Independent vote to the point where Newt Gingrich’s old seat was in play.

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