Democrats had their hearts set on winning a special election in the sixth congressional district of Georgia as a means to rebuke President Donald Trump. However, sometime after the polls closed, the 30-year-old Jon Ossoff had fallen short against a field of several Republicans, gaining below 50 percent of the vote. He is headed for a June runoff against Karen Handel, a former Georgia Secretary of State.

Ossoff had garnered a great deal of national attention in his quest for a congressional seat. He raised nearly nine million dollars, mostly from outside Georgia, and even had an ad cut by actor Samuel L.

Jackson. He attracted the ire of President Trump, who tweeted his opposition to his candidacy and recorded a robocall urging people to vote for the Republican of their choice. Trump crowed on Twitter when it became apparent that Ossoff had fallen short.

Ossoff had suffered considerable embarrassment on the day of the election when it was revealed that he did not live in the district and was therefore ineligible to vote for himself. He explained that he lived with his girlfriend, a medical student, in support of her career choice not ten minutes outside the sixth district. He promised to move into the district once she graduates.

The result of the race in Georgia is the second time Democrats failed to pick up a Republican House seat as a way to “prove” that a nationwide resistance is forming against President Trump.

They fell short in a Kansas district the previous week. A number of special elections have been scheduled to fill House seats vacated by Republicans who have taken positions in the Trump administration. Democrats are making every effort to take them all to set up a wave election in 2018 when they hope to retake the House and thus establish a block for Trump’s agenda.

Democrats are trying to claim a moral victory since Ossoff gained about 48 percent of the vote in a deep red district that was once held by Newt Gingrich. However, Republicans are mocking that claim, pointing out that the candidate still lost and is now likely to lose the runoff in June, absent extraordinary events.

If the Democrats fail to pick up any seats or only one or two, the meme will develop that they have become weak and helpless and that the so-called “Resistance” against Trump is more social media hype than reality. In that event, the Democrats will have to come up with an alternative strategy to deal with Trump and the reality of his presidency.