Georgia Official Rallies Voters As 6th District Race Nears End

Georgia Official Rallies Voters As 6th District Race Nears End”

Win or lose, some Democrats will try to spin Ossoff's race as model for what may or may not work across the county.

Ossoff raised more than $23 million, most from outside Georgia.

Some Democrats are hoping the special election runoff is a referendum on President Trump and that a win would be the start of a Democratic wave that will continue into the 2018 midterm elections.

Will Republicans show up?

In a district that was once nobody's idea of "swing", the parties themselves have elevated the stakes.

Earlier this year, after Tom Price vacated his seat in Georgia's sixth district to join the Trump administration as the new Health and Human Services Secretary, Ossoff made a decision to join the race. For comparison, Mitt Romney beat Barack Obama there by 28 percentage points.

Though the district has not had a Democratic representative since 1979, supporters of Ossoff are hoping the 30-year-old first-time candidate can build on the momentum of Hillary Clinton's near miss in the district in November.

"This election is about the voters-the people that can come out and vote today", Handel told reporters after casting her vote.

Republican Karen Handel, 55, served as Georgia's secretary of State from 2007-2010. The two candidates and outside groups have now spent more than $51 million. That total is roughly 2½ times the number of early votes during the April 18 general election among 18 candidates.

What it all means: No one is quite sure what to expect, aside from a close race.

Born in Atlanta, Ossoff grew up in the Northlake area.

The makeup of the electorate is critical to watch.

That was Jon Ossoff's final pitch on Monday as his campaign moved into election day.

America is watching Tuesday's race for a congressional seat that represents the wealthy Atlanta suburbs, wondering whether it will turn blue for the first time in almost 40 years.

"The Democrats put a lot of money into this - not for nothing", Handel said Monday.

He doesn't live in the district he seeks to represent - a fact that opened him up to jabs from Handel who called him "someone who doesn't even live in the district, someone who has a really thin resume and very lacking in experience".

He has been careful not to alienate persuadable voters in a heavily Republican district. Again, it's mainly because this is a Republican district that has been held by Republicans for decades - even though Trump barely squeaked by Clinton with a mere 1.5 percent margin in November. Local coverage has focused more on whether Ossoff leads by a few points or Handel is running neck-and-neck with him.

One thing to keep in mind: The outcome is of course important, but it's not the only important thing.

The two Trump Cabinet secretaries, both Georgia Republicans, had unwittingly revealed the twin hurdles standing in Handel's path heading into Tuesday's election: Democratic enthusiasm is soaring across the country while the sort of pastel-and-Polo-clad Republicans who reside in this district are uneasy about what they see in Washington and have decidedly mixed views of President Donald Trump.

For Roberts, Handel's agenda is tied too closely with Trump's.

It would also make life easier for congressional GOP leadership, which can't afford to shed many votes from nervous members if it is to advance tax reform and health care legislation in the coming months. Even a narrow Democratic loss would send encouraging signals for the party's fortunes in the 2018 midterms. After all, 71 incumbent Republicans sit in districts that are - per the Cook Political Report's partisan voter index - less GOP-leaning than Georgia's 6th District. If they win, Republicans will look to next year's balloting with foreboding bordering on panic.

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