Georgia Special Election Results Hang In Suspense
Many who know the district well - much better than the outside Democrats who have swooped in to peddle Ossoff as the antidote to Trump - are quick to point out that, while GA-06 has always been Republican, it has never been Trump Republican. If he doesn't, he'll probably have a tough time in the runoff; as Erick Erickson observes, "There hasn't been any significant poll showing Jon Ossoff equaling or exceeding Hillary Clinton's 46.8 percent" that she received in the district in 2016.
Ossoff has pledged to fight Trump when he "embarrasses" the country.
What would compel Trump to put his first 89 days on the line then in a district that isn't ready-made for his version of the Republican party? Many are attributing Ossoff's success to an anti-Trump backlash - even some Georgia Republicans have flipped parties to show their disappointment in the Republican party, according to ThinkProgress. Handel is a woman who, as Secretary of State for Georgia, tried to restrict voter's rights by requiring voters to prove their citizenship in order to vote, resulting in a lawsuit in 2008. He's decried "wasteful spending" and promised to be a "bipartisan problem solver". He and the other top vote-getter - Republican candidate Karen Handel - will now face off on their own in June.
That still wasn't enough for voters like Matt West, a 45-year-old financial planner from Roswell.
A political action committee backed by current Speaker Paul Ryan funneled more than $2 million into attacks on Ossoff, mostly tying him to national Democrats such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
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Trump continued his Twitter barrage Tuesday, even as a White House spokeswoman insisted the race wasn't a "referendum" on the president.
West said he voted for the Republican Handel.
Mr. Trump's perceived weakness in the district, along with its changing demographics, convinced Democrats to pour millions of dollars into the race. In an interview with CNN this morning, he said he's temporarily living a mile and a half outside the district to help support his girlfriend while she attends medical school, but plans to move back.
Whatever the outcome, the race highlights Republican candidate's challenge in dealing with the president: He still engenders intense loyalty among his core supporters, but alienates many independents and some Republicans. If he had reason to believe that Ossoff was likely to make the 50 percent threshold today, you can be sure he would either have stayed silent on the race or begun to badmouth either the Republican candidates or the GOP establishment (or both!) for mishandling the race somehow. She easily bested rivals, like Johns Creek City Councilman Bob Gray, who ran as explicitly pro-Trump candidate but was a distant third as the night wore on. They predict conservative voters would be energized in a Republican vs. Democrat scenario. "No one knew there was going to be an election coming".
Associated Press reporter Catherine Lucey in Washington and Kathleen Foody in Alpharetta, Georgia, contributed.
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