Jon Ossoff, a young Democrat, almost pulled off what could have a been a stunning victory in a special congressional election in a heavily Republican district in Georgia that had turned into something of a referendum on President Donald Trump.
In a tweet Wednesday, Trump said the race was now "Hollywood vs. Georgia" - an apparent reference to Samuel L. Jackson, who made a radio ad supporting Ossoff, and other stars who are backing the Democrat.
Ossoff will face Republican candidate Karen Handel in a runoff election in June. This Tuesday it was another special election - this one in suburban Atlanta - where a slew of GOP candidates managed to keep Democrat Jon Ossoff just under 50%, forcing a June runoff. Some saw the election, held to replace new Health Secretary Tom Price, as a test of the Republican president's political strength.
But a first round win for Ossoff would be the first blow in what is shaping up to be a bitter, 18-month battle for control of the US Congress in the 2018 elections that come halfway through Trump's presidential term.
Even in Oklahoma, a state that Trump won with a 36-point margin, one of the state's U.S. senators was also critical of Trump at a town hall on Tuesday. "Glad to be of help!" he wrote late on Tuesday.
If Ossoff manages to somehow grab Price's old congressional seat in a district that Romney won by 23 points in 2012, but that Trump won by only 1 point in 2016, you know perfectly well what the media narrative will be. I think this was a big loss for them.
The seat is far from assured for either side, but the results, in conjunction with a Kansas special election from last week, show the start of a stark electoral trend in Democrats' favor. Trump defeated 16 other Republicans with long political resumes, but throughout the primary he never captured a majority of the GOP vote until the very end.
But Ossoff, a documentary filmmaker and former congressional aide, told energized supporters before all the returns were in that he and Democrats "shattered expectations" with their performance.
"They were ringing my phone off the hook", said Kim Fambro, 45, who said the outreach convinced her to vote for Ossoff.
National Republican groups spent millions of dollars painting Ossoff as a neophyte who does not live in the area he aims to represent. Ossoff raised a staggering $8.3 million for a House race, and the Republican incumbent isn't defending the seat.
Unfortunately for both Trump and Spicer, the smart analysis doesn't back up his confidence.
If nobody finishes above 50 percent, the race goes to a June 20 run-off that is expected to pit Ossoff against one of the Republican hopefuls.
The race quickly gained national attention, becoming the 11th most expensive election in House history, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Republicans, get out and vote!
Both parties spun the results Wednesday, with Republicans saying the district would remain red, as it has for decades, and Democrats claiming Ossoff's results prove the left could mobilize voters by opposing President Donald Trump and the GOP agenda.