Trump Makes Final Push For GA Republican Karen Handel

Trump Makes Final Push For GA Republican Karen Handel

Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff arrives with his fiancee, Alisha Kramer, to thank volunteers and supporters on the last night before election day as he runs for Georgia's 6th Congressional District on June 19, 2017 in Roswell, Georgia.

A special election run-off for a suburban Atlanta seat in Congress looked set for a tight finish on Tuesday, with polls showing a very narrow lead for the Democrat candidate seeking to take a district held by Republicans since the 1970s.

"Despite his many claims to the contrary, Jon Ossoff is not serious", former USA ambassador John Bolton warned as he endorsed Handel this morning.

"Since participating in the Women's March on Washington in January, I've made it my personal mission to get more involved".

That all means there are many more people who typically vote Republican in the district than Democrats.

Here's my thinking, starting with the GOP: If Karen Handel wins, she simply met the expectation for a Republican in that district. Going down to the wire, the race has attracted an estimated $60 million in spending from both sides, much of it from out of state.

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The matchup between Ossoff and Handel has become a proxy for the national political atmosphere and a test of GOP strength early in Trump's presidency.

Both candidates have denounced the ad. A win, conversely, would have a morale-boosting effect; Republicans would probably tell themselves that they could preserve their congressional majorities by turning out their base, even if some swing voters had abandoned them. What they tend to have in common: Relatively highly educated, wealthy and diverse populations, plus people who - like thousands in Ossoff's district - voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 and then backed Hillary Clinton in 2016.

"For all the attention to the national frame here, what folks want is representation that delivers a higher quality of life", said Ossoff.

An Ossoff win would be a proof point suggesting that Democrats are on the right track.

Trump has attacked Handel's opponent often on Twitter.

When the campaign to fill the Georgia congressional seat vacated by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price began this winter, Michael Flynn was still national security adviser, Donald Trump was not under investigation, and the American Health Care Act was just a glimmer in Paul Ryan's eye.

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Mr Ossoff narrowly failed to win the 50% needed to secure outright victory in the election for the Atlanta seat in April, forcing this run-off vote against Ms Handel. She barely mentioned him ahead of finishing second to Ossoff in an April primary. "They want results rather than more partisan politics". Right Wing Watch uncovered a 2002 questionnaire from the LGBTQ group Georgia Equality where Handel claimed she was a member of the Log Cabin Republicans, had attended Pride festivities, and promised to reach out to members of the LGBTQ community. But Obama and Democratic congressional leaders chose, instead, to redouble efforts, convincing just enough reluctant liberals in the House to stomach the Senate-authored bill. That comment, more than a win in Georgia, could be used as a political cudgel against Republicans in 2018, the lawmaker said.

Others say it could easily be Ossoff by a small margin.

She already voted for Handel, she said, because "she's more mainstream" and "she's been around a long time".

Sanders himself fed this narrative when he pointedly answered, "I don't know", when the Wall Street Journal asked him this spring whether Ossoff is a progressive.

However, should the Democrats lose yet again on the heels of the recent Kansas and Montana election losses, they're in serious trouble heading into the mid-terms and 2020.

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