Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
U.S. | By Jeffery Vega

Runoff in Georgia House race could test Trump

Runoff in Georgia House race could test Trump

The FEC reports for Ossoff are only current through March 29 - 20 days before the election.

Mr Ossoff and Ms Handel will now participate in a June 20 runoff.

Republicans have held the seat in Georgia's 6th Congressional District for the past 40 years, but Democrats came close to nabbing it on Tuesday.

Republican Karen Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, lagged in a distant second, qualifying her for the runoff. As Georgia's Secretary of State, she tried to force voters to prove their citizenship in order to vote.

"I think it's pretty clear", nonpartisan elections analyst Stuart Rothenberg said earlier this month, "Republicans in this kind of district are uncomfortable with Donald Trump".

The question for Ossoff, and Democrats more broadly, is whether they can successfully link an establishment Republican like Handel to the less-than-popular Trump over the course of a two month, one-versus-one runoff slog.

Ms Handel received a little over 19 per cent of the vote on Tuesday. But early signs are good: Ossoff exceeded their off-the-record expectations of capturing 40-45 percent of the vote. Trump congratulated the GOP candidate for "easily winning the Congressional race against the Dems, who spent heavily & predicted victory!"

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Ossoff is coming under fire for spending more than $8 million on television ads, The Washington Free Beacon reported.

The DNC email quoted the Prince William Times as saying, "Democrat Jacqueline Smith beats long odds, big money in special election for court clerk". Considering Democrats' better-than-expected performance in a special House election in Kansas last week, the Georgia result will be an immediate boon to Democratic group.

On Tuesday, Trump claimed victory, calling it a "BIG "R" win with runoff in Georgia" on Twitter and citing his own contributions.

"This race is absolutely and entirely a referendum on President Trump", said one Republican consultant granted anonymity to speak candidly about the contest. When he entered the race in January, he was unknown, 30-year-old Democrat with no legislative experience.

Having already endured several million in attacks from national Republican outfits, Ossoff said he's ready for more. "Glad to be of help!" he wrote late on Tuesday.

But Ossoff's haul fell short of the majority threshold required to outright win, despite him getting support from prominent Democrats and celebrities and attracting millions of dollars in outside donations. That included almost $2.7 million by the Congressional Leadership Fund, which is affiliated with House Speaker Paul Ryan, and $1.9 million by the National Republican Congressional Committee.

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