Democrat John Ossoff very nearly pulled off a complete victory in Tuesday’s special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, besting his rivals with 48.1 percent of the vote, his nearest GOP competitor (Karen Handel) a distant second at 19.8 percent with all 210 precincts now reporting.
Still, Democrats had been hoping for an outright victory with more than 50 percent of the vote in order to avoid a run-off, a prospect that had grown more tantalizing and possible as Ossoff’s momentum grew with his popular anti-Trump messaging. Republicans were so concerned at this possibility that even the president began to weigh in via Twitter, taking more than a few swipes at Ossoff. “Just learned that Jon @Ossoff, who is running for Congress in Georgia, doesn’t even live in the district,” Trump warned, “Republicans, get out and vote!”
Just learned that Jon @Ossoff, who is running for Congress in Georgia, doesn’t even live in the district. Republicans, get out and vote!
Earlier, Trump had tweeted, “Republicans must get out today and VOTE in Georgia 6. Force runoff and easy win! Dem Ossoff will raise your taxes-very bad on crime & 2nd A” and “Democrat Jon Ossoff would be a disaster in Congress. VERY weak on crime and illegal immigration, bad for jobs and wants higher taxes. Say NO”
Republicans must get out today and VOTE in Georgia 6. Force runoff and easy win! Dem Ossoff will raise your taxes-very bad on crime & 2nd A.
Trump and the GOP had reason for concern. The seat up for grabs, after Trump appointed Rep. Tom Price to his cabinet as Health and Human Services Secretary, had not been held by a Democrat since Jimmy Carter and was the long-time unassailable stronghold of Speaker Newt Gingrich. But the district, which includes the suburbs outside of Atlanta, had been undergoing a demographic change in recent years and had become more educated and diverse. Hillary Clinton narrowly lost the district to Trump in the 2016 race, even though Tom Price had received a commanding 62 percent of the vote.