When one is said to be riding the coattails of another it is meant that they wouldn't be where they are if they had not hitched themselves to the others popularity. In politics it means that if one does exceptionally well those whom share their same view, through no great effort of their own, may as well.
But what do you call it when a group of people gather in support of one candidate but the candidates most rewarded for their effort aren't the one whom folk had gathered in support of? This is not a trick question; it is about the Blue wave; it is about the momentum: the push built up by liberals and progressives going into election day, especially women voters and candidates, and the resulting rising tide.
Though the wakes and waves generated by the hoopla surrounding the party's top candidates may not have been as great as called for, wanted, or predicted, the benefit to fellow Democratic candidates, whom were not seen as promising in comparison to those at the top of the ticket, were greater than expected in some quarters.
The story of the victory of Lucy Mcbath over Karen Handel, and how it came to be, is one of those.
Many may remember the national campaign to replace former Georgia congressman Tom Price, who had vacated his seat after being appointed by Donald Trump to be the nations Health and Human Services Secretary. It became the most expensive congressional campaign in history. Millions upon millions of dollars, most from out of state, were spent to elect either Karen Handel or Jon Ossoff as Georgia's next Representative from District 6. When the votes were tallied, Karen was, temporarily, sent to Washington.
Though the Democrats shaved a lot of points off of the margin of victory for the Republican candidate in comparison to past elections for the district, where Price normally won handily by 20 percentage points or more, the Republicans celebrated their keeping of that particular seat in Congress because it use to belong to their party's leader, Newt Gingrich. It was one they didn't especially want to lose. Democrats, with an eye on the future, vowed that they would get'em next time. That they would learn from the defeat.
The next time finally came around. But the money didn't. Not in record amounts. This time around the Republicans and Democrats were like misers, not spending nearly as much on their candidates for this particular house seat campaigns as before. The previous year's special election cost was a whopping $55 Million, more than many statewide and Presidential campaigns. This campaign ended with Handel out raising McBath better than 4 to 1, neither raising more than $10 million.
Karen Handel, a well known political figure even before going into the special election, was now nationally known. In the minds of many there was no way a political rookie, with much less money, only known for being the mother of a teenage son who was shot to death because a man with a gun decided the music he was playing in his car was too loud. Enter Lucy Mcbath. The lady whom son's life didn't seem to matter to an upset man with a gun.
Just so happens the former Democratic party leader in the Georgia House, Stacey Abrams, an African-American woman running for Governor with a real shot at winning. A real shot at becoming the first African-American woman elected Governor of any State in the union in the country's history. Along with those possibilities came the attention. The attention needed to move even more women and progressive whom were already stirred by the actions of Trump. From every corner of the country it, and they, came! Attention poured in. Oprah Winfrey came out to play. Barack Obama came out to show support and get out the vote. People who didn't politic in Georgia before now were going door to door and giving speeches in support of Abrams. The Blue wave was going to change things in the South, starting in Georgia and hopefully Florida. And just by chance, close proximity, McBath was caught up and elected, primarily by the women of the 6th district who came out to vote for Abrams.
The didn't elect a politician. They elected a fed up mom with an agenda. I wonder what Newt thinks of this?
By Dajuan Candle.