Oh Rachel: MSNBC Host Wonders If The Rain Had 'Partisan Implications' In Georgia Special Election

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Jun 22, 2017 7:00 AM
Oh Rachel: MSNBC Host Wonders If The Rain Had 'Partisan Implications' In Georgia Special Election

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow wanted to know if rainfall was partisan. I’m sorry, are we suggesting bad weather on June 20 impacted the results of the special election in Georgia because Jon Ossoff had a lackluster showing? That’s right, the network whose sole purpose is to keep Democratic blood pressures low wondered if the weather trended Republican. It’s par for the course I guess (via Newsbusters) [emphasis mine]:


 RACHEL MADDOW: Steve, let me ask you one last question on this. If there was a turnout effect from the bad weather today in the district, does that have any partisan implications that you could foresee in terms of what was expected for same day, election day voting rather than the early vote?

STEVE KORNACKI: Yeah. Well, and potentially. It all depends where — this is anecdotal and we’ll see when the results come in. There have been anecdotal reports and I've even heard Republicans saying this. That the turnout in Dekalb — this is the Democratic part of the — this is where, if you're Ossoff you want to be getting 60, 61, 62 percent of the vote. You’re expecting that. He got 60 percent in DeKalb. In the early vote, there have been some anecdotal reports that the turnout here in DeKalb less than expected. That could be a same-day effect — you can attribute that to anything. We'll see if that turns out, but that's something else and obviously, if you get into an election like this where it's going to be decided by a point or two, you could blame anything, whichever side you turn up on.

Jon Ossoff blew $30 million to barely break 48 percent of the vote Tuesday night. Oh, and he lost to Republican Karen Handel. He got precisely the exact same share of the vote, as he did on the April 18 election. For 2016 comparison, Hillary Clinton received 47 percent in the GA-06. That’s atrocious. Democrats here were animated. They were ready to flip this district as a warning to the Trump administration. The polls said he would win; Ossoff was supposedly up seven over Handel in the waning days of the runoff. He lost by four in the end. So, what could have contributed to this? Well, for starters, the GOP turnout was higher than expected (via Politico):

In fact, turnout was much higher than for other off-year special elections in recent history. Typically, between 100,000 and 225,000 voters turn out for special elections like the one held on Tuesday in Atlanta’s northern suburbs, where both parties compete.

John Anzalone, Ossoff’s pollster, said the Democrat’s campaign succeeded in turning out its voters — but they were swamped by Republicans who came out in numbers that ended up dwarfing previous high-profile special elections, like those in which former Reps. Mark Critz (D-Pa.) and Travis Childers (D-Miss.) were successful in the past decade.

“This has much more to do with a historic turnout — 260,000 people, 40,000 more than a midterm — in a special election, which is normally a very restrictive universe,” said Anzalone, who added that the more than two months between the initial vote on April 18 and Tuesday’s runoff gave Republicans time to organize. “At the end of the day with 260,000 people voting, we just ran out of Democrats and independents.”
Well, of course you did—this is a Republican district after all. Yet, when I spoke with the Americans For Prosperity-GA grassroots team, who were reminding voters of the issues at play and that they can vote on June 20, they said rain on Election Day could depress turnout for economic freedom-minded voters who live in GA-06. There was an enthusiasm gap.

Democrats were ready to stick it to Trump, while the Republicans that I was able to speak to seemed indifferent. At the same time, they all were Republicans and said that they would be voting on June 20. So, I guess it morphed into low energy—everyone here knows Handel and wasn’t too impressed by her—but high turnout.

For AFP, they were focused on reminding voters who didn’t vote in the April 18 election that they could participate in the June 20 runoff. Unlike other states, you can sit out on Election Day, but still vote in a runoff should that occur in Georgia. These voters number in the tens of thousands and possibly weren’t sampled for pollsters, as they were relegated as unreliable. We’ll see about that.

There’s the Nancy Pelosi factor as well. I doubt the rain was a major factor in Ossoff getting beat, but I guess we can see how liberals would grasp for anything when drowning. Also, CNN’s Dave Chalian also ripped the notion of a moral victory for Democrats with the GA-06 loss. It’s a loss, folks. You lost. Period.