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Final pitches made in nationally watched Georgia House race

20 Juin 2017

Voters will decide Georgia's special election between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel, a race seen as an early bellwether in how the makeup of Congress could change during next year's midterms.

More people voted early in Georgia's 6th congressional district for the House seat special election than the amount that did for the 2014 general election.

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 Republicans who reside in this district are uneasy about what they see in Washington and have mixed views of President Donald Trump.

"We can't spend that sum of money on every race and we won't spend that sum of money on every race", National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers said on MSNBC.

Handel, who's received 45 percent of her money from within the state, has hit Ossoff on the issue - voters in Georgia, she said earlier this month, "are not interested in people from California, Massachusetts and NY buying this seat". "There is too much at stake", Handel said, acknowledging the white hot spotlight on a contest that has become a proxy for national politics and a test for the GOP early in Donald Trump's presidency.

President Trump blasted Democrats for stalling his legislative agenda during a tweetstorm on Monday while voicing his support for the Republican candidate in a closely watched Georgia election.

"We can not let up".

Democrats are counting on an Ossoff victory to send a message to Trump, to Washington and the national electorate at large.

Karen Handel bristled at a question about how last week's attack on Republican lawmakers could influence the 6 District race.

It was the 2016 presidential results that gave Democrats reason for optimism. "I think it's disgraceful to politicize it, and I think Secretary Handel should call for it to come down", Ossof told reporters.

If Ossoff wins, Democrats will argue that the party's liberal base is energized and capable of flipping more House and Senate seats next year. "We can bring it home tomorrow", Handel said.

A proxy war between the Sanders faction and more Clinton-esque Democrats played out in Virginia's gubernatorial primary race this week.

Ossoff, meanwhile, has sought to run a centrist campaign - studiously avoiding even saying Trump's name in an effort to make himself an acceptable alternative for typically conservative voters who might be inclined to buck the GOP.

From coast to coast, a large share of the nation's - and even the president's - political attention has been focused on suburban Atlanta and the most expensive House race in history. I should not have said what I said.

Following Carver's statement, unnamed GOP donors, using the name "Principled PAC", released a controversial ad called "Stop the Violent Left".

Final pitches made in nationally watched Georgia House race