Having so much money may have ironically done Ossoff some damage. It allowed Handel and the Republican apparatus to link the 30-year old first-time candidate to the national political left, referencing all the money coming in from liberal locales especially when relatively little came from Georgia, and sending his campaign into an “overkill” mode. Spending so much on so few – his spending was at least ten times the level normally seen for a race of this type – can have the effect of driving some swing voters away, and that may well have happened here. But, with money coming into the Ossoff campaign like it was shot from a fire hose, the Democrat’s managers would have a difficult time explaining to donors why they didn’t use all of their resources if they chose to bank some of the money or sending some to other candidates or entities, such as Archie Parnell who was simultaneously running in a special election in neighboring South Carolina.
Much will be written about this race, but the end result could not have turned out worse for national Democrats. Going “all-in” on this particular special election, the Democratic national leadership now sustains a major black eye and will be subject to great internal criticism for their targeting decisions, especially when Mr. Parnell, in a race the party brain trust conceded from the onset, actually performed better than the anointed Ossoff.