While pundits debate what the real importance of the Georgia special election was, one number puts the loss of Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff in a stunning perspective. Someone compared what he spent in 2017 to the what the last Democrat spent just last year.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Kyle Wingfield posted a comparison on his social media account.
Nov. 2016: Rodney Stooksbury (D) spends $0, wins 124,917 votes in #GA6 June 2017: Jon Ossoff (D) spends $23M+, wins 124,893.— Kyle Wingfield (@Kyle Wingfield)1498074684.0
In Georgia's 6th Congressional District, the Democrat candidate Rodney Stooksbury spent nothing and won 124,917 votes in November 2016.
In the same district just seven months later, Democrat candidate Jon Ossoff garnered 124,893 votes, but spent more than $23 million to do it.
The final tally is still being calculated but the election blew past spending records to become the most expensive House race in U.S. history. As much as $50 million was spent by both sides to seek victory, but Republican Karen Handel walked away with the congressional seat.
Wingfield addressed the caveat that many were citing along with the numbers he posted — the 2016 election was during a presidential election year, and 2017 was a special election that meant the former race had natural publicity already.
I know, I know: Presidential elex vs. special (albeit a special w/ 58% turnout). But within 24 votes of same total? #ceiling
— Kyle Wingfield AJC (@kwingfieldajc) June 21, 2017
Even with the cavaeat, Wingfield added, "damn."
Handel won the election with 51.9 percent of the vote, while Democrat Jon Ossoff received only 48.1 percent of the vote. Some polls showed Ossoff ahead of Handel before the election, providing a similar upset to that of the presidential election in 2016.