Ironically, a Democrat came closer to an upset in Tuesday's other special election - one the national party hardly contested - in a rural SC district that Trump won by 19 points. After all, the new Democratic leader would be a mainstream liberal, and would come from a liberal district - likely in one of the (many) states which, when attacked, appear to excite Republican voters. Mick Mulvaney, the Republican predecessor to Norman, left his seat in order to become the president's budget director. Potential candidates may remember the Georgia race for a while, but legislators (and the rest of us) will forget it quickly.
Massachusetts Democrat Congressman Seth Moulton tweeted that the result "better be a wake-up call for Democrats - business as usual isn't working". "We clearly need to have the right message and the right messengers to show the American people that we can help and that we have a vision, that we have a plan".
A similar strategy also failed in South Carolina's Congressional 5th District, leaving questions about the Democratic parties strategy with midterms less than two years away. We're not focusing on the economic messages.
Democratic lawmakers are targeting their frustration over failing to gain a seemingly winnable district in Georgia on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. "The good news for Republicans is that swarms of national media and images of Nancy Pelosi still motivate their base", Wasserman writes, while noting that Republicans can't count on that kind of super attention in every race.
"I need to also thank Speaker Ryan and the House leadership and so numerous members across this country".
A lot of anti-Trump obstructionism is already in play, mostly by Democrats but also by Republicans, so if the GOP does lose its much-needed majorities, then Trump's administration will face even more difficulties in pushing through its policies.
Ossoff gained national prominence by vowing to "make Trump furious", but lately he has avoided mentioning the president, promising instead to cut spending and "bring accountability to Washington", as he said at a Monday campaign event.
Professor of political science at Kennesaw University in Georgia Kerwin Swint, in a phone interview, said: "The only reason Ossoff was competitive is the Democrats were very agitated, very motivated to try and give Donald Trump a black eye". Someone compared what he spent in 2017 to the what the last Democrat spent just past year.
Price won the district last November by 23 points, and Ossoff's much closer margin serves as a "silver lining", Democratic congresswoman Cheri Bustos said.
Voters see Democrats as "not being able to connect with the issues they care about", Ryan said, adding that Democrats' brand is "toxic".
"We have a unique opportunity to flip control of the House of Representatives in 2018", he said.
Spending on the race reached at least $57 million, almost twice the previous record, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a watchdog group.