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Trump congratulates Handel on Twitter

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Handel's win came as a relief to Republicans, who anxious a loss in a historically Republican seat could lead to panic in their party ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. The election will "embolden the Republicans and President Trump" to claim a mandate but that the Republicans just eeked out a win in a wealthy, educated Congressional district that has been held for 40 years.

The matchup between Handel and Ossoff in Georgia's 6th Congressional District has become a proxy for the national political atmosphere and a test of GOP strength early in Donald Trump's presidency.

In a Tuesday night tweet, Trump congratulated Handel, saying "we are all very proud of you!"

The party got closer than it has in decades to winning some of the four seats - a sign they've closed their gaps with Republicans in both suburban and rural areas and in 2018 will have a broad playing field with dozens of more competitive districts.

In another tweet, Trump also congratulated Republican Ralph Norman, who won a special congressional election in SC.

During her victory speech, Handel vowed to represent members of both parties.

"She personally told me she was rock solid" with the president, said Webb, 70.

The moment was only the sharpest of many long monologues from Scarborough about how Democrats needed to recruit better candidates that reflected their districts.

There is no other way to say it: Tuesday night was a disaster for the national Democratic Party.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a political action committee backed by Ryan, spent $7 million on her behalf. The polls indicated that Ossoff's support came from voters from 18 to 64, where he lead by 8 to 15 points; Handel led among voters over 65 by a margin of 62 to 36. Handel notes that many of those people live in Democratic-leaning states like California, New York and MA. Most recently, Tom Price resigned in February to join Trump's administration.

Left-wing actors Jane Fonda, Chelsea Handler and Alyssa Milano all donated money and time to Jon Ossoff's failed campaign.

But while Republicans were facing a sobering reminder of their president's poor approval ratings, Handel steadied the ship in a district that only narrowly backed Trump in last November's vote. She noted last week's shooting of Republican House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and said politics has become too embittered.

"My pledge is to be part of the solution, to focus on governing", she said.

"From his first day in the Oval Office, Mr. Trump received only tentative support from the Republican Party in Washington". His frequent mentions of the network are a break from past presidents, who rarely singled out specific networks for positive coverage. She pointed voters instead to her "proven conservative record" as a state and local elected official.

Handel, 55, fended off Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old Democrat and political newcomer who emerged from obscurity to raise $25 million from progressives across the country eager to express their anger at Trump.

We also know that the Ossoff campaign had 12,000 volunteers, a number seldom reached by statewide candidates. The biggest difference, in fact, was that, like most congressional races, Tuesday's contest saw a much lower turnout than one typically sees in a presidential race. They can (and are) send out fundraising emails with this quote from the chair of House Republicans' campaign arm, Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio: "There are 435 seats up with 70 competitive seats, and they don't have $3.5 billion to spend so far on this election cycle". Handel said many of those people live in Democratic-leaning states.

Since House Republicans narrowly passed a bill to repeal Obamacare in May, Ossoff was increasingly outspoken in his criticism of the legislation.

Follow Barrow on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/BillBarrowAP. The Democratic candidate #Jon Ossoff poured $30 million into the race for the Georgia 6th congressional district with a result that he lost to#Karen Handel by nearly four percentage points, 51.9 to 48.1 percent according to the New York Times.

When Georgia congressman Tom Price was named Secretary of Health and Human Services, that opened up a congressional seat and called for a special election.

Spending on candidates was put at $56m (£44m), making it the costliest congressional election in USA history.

The Georgia 6th District race was awash in outside cash, and became the most-expensive House race in USA history.

The outcomes in Georgia and SC also could boost Republican efforts to advance health and tax legislation that has been bogged down by infighting and investigations into whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation in last year's presidential election.

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