It was hard not to laugh.
I got an email from Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) today breathlessly proclaiming:
“Wow. In Georgia’s 6th District, Jon Ossoff scored a stunning primary election victory last night with 48% of the vote.”
Since Ossoff’s clear objective in yesterday’s special election was to secure at least 50 percent of the vote among 18 candidates so he could win the race outright and not have to face a single Republican in June, I’d hardly say, “Wow, what a victory.”
A much more honest statement from Merkley would have been, “Oh crap! Democrats spent $17.3 million to push this guy Ossoff across the 50 percent line and he blew it.”
Democrats across the country opened their wallets in support of Ossoff. All together Democrats donated $8.3 million to Ossoff’s campaign in the first quarter of 2017. On top of that, Center for Public Integrity’s Rachel Wilson has reported that super PACs, nonprofits and other groups independent of any candidate’s campaign spent $9 million on the Georgia 6th race.
Now Ossoff, a 30-year-old documentary filmmaker and former congressional staffer, will have to run in a 2-way race against just one Republican candidate, Karen Handel, in June, when he’ll lose. As Politico said put it, “The likelihood is if there’s a runoff, Republicans will coalesce around one candidate and take Ossoff down in June.”
But Merkley won’t be crying in his beer, because he hopes to raise some money for himself from this confrontation.
“Chip in right now and let’s show Trump that we’re not buying his spin—we’re in it to win it!,” Merkley blasted out in his email, urging folks to send $500 or more.
But he doesn’t want your money to go to “John Ossof for Congress”. No. That would be wrong. Instead, your contribution will go to “Jeff Merkley for Oregon.”
Yep. That’s the ticket.