Eleven days out, the most expensive and built-up House special election of all time is still a Toss Up. Fueled by anger towards President Trump from all corners of the country, Democrat Jon Ossoff has raised $25 million to Republican Karen Handel's $4 million, but at this point it's a story of diminishing returns: for example, Ossoff has aired three Spanish-language ads in a district where the electorate could be only 5 percent Latino.
If there's anything to be learned from past wave elections, it's they don't discriminate on the basis of seniority. In 2010, angry voters did the unthinkable and threw out long-venerated committee chairs like Reps. Jim Oberstar (MN-08), Ike Skelton (MO-04), Paul Kanjorski (PA-11), John Spratt (SC-05), Chet Edwards (TX-17), Solomon Ortiz (TX-27) and Rick Boucher (VA-09) - who had a combined 200 years of congressional experience.
House Republicans were caught on the horns of a dilemma. If they didn’t pass a bill that effectively repealed and replaced Obamacare, they would either look ineffectual or in defiance of their conservative base. But to pass a bill with no Democratic support in a narrowly divided House, they would need support of the vast majority of the conservative Freedom Caucus, which would mean a bill that would never survive in the Senate, where members have substantially more diverse constituencies.
Republicans' 217-213 passage of the American Health Care Act on Thursday guarantees Democrats will have at least one major on-the-record vote to exploit in the next elections. Although it's the first of potentially many explosive votes, House Republicans' willingness to spend political capital on a proposal that garnered the support of just 17 percent of the public in a March Quinnipiac poll is consistent with past scenarios that have generated a midterm wave.