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A hotly contested election in Georgia’s 6th congressional district is likely moving toward a runoff.
The race to fill the void in the U.S. House of Representatives left by Tom Price, who was tabbed by President Donald Trump to be the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, will feature Democratic newcomer Jon Ossoff against Republican Karen Handel.
None of the 18 candidates in the April 18 special election reached the 50 percent threshold, which sets up the runoff against the top-two candidates: Ossoff and Handel. The election is scheduled for June 20.
Ossoff will finish first among all candidates in the special election with Handel taking second.
That means the congressional race, which had already garnered a massive amount of money — and attention — from outside sources, will only intensify throughout the next two months.
The district covers many parts of the northern Atlanta suburbs and has leaned red for over 50 years. The last Democrat to be elected to the seat was Jon J. Flynn in 1965, so the margin that Ossoff won by in the first round within the crowded field was surprising, and the fact that a rookie politician is on the cusp of being elected to the seat has propelled the race into the spotlight even further.
But Ossoff’s margin of victory will be decreased drastically against Handel to virtually a toss-up, FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver predicted.
A poll released March 27 offered the initial perspective on what would happen if the race headed toward a runoff. It found a large percentage of undecided voters and an extremely tight race between Ossoff and Handel and a large portion of voters being undecided.
It showed Ossoff getting 42.4 percent support and Handel close behind with 41 percent and 16.6 percent of voters being undecided.
With the field being whittled down to just two candidates, the incredible amount of money already being poured in to the first round of the election will only grow, and it figures to do so by a lot.
On April 6, the Ossoff campaign reported a record $8.3 million in funding with $2.1 million on hand for the last few days of campaigning. That was easily the most-ever in the district and the most since Democrat Randy Perkins put up $9 million of his own money in a 2016 congressional race in Florida.
Ossoff’s stockpile of funds came from all parts of the nation, including over $1 million that was raised by liberal website the Daily Kos.
Handel reported a smaller amount of funds — $463,000 — and had far less money on hand with $183,000 being reported. But outside groups have helped to carry the load and attempted to give a competitive advantage.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s Congressional Leadership Fund has provided $2.1 million in ads while the GOP’s National Congressional Campaign Committee chipped in another $1.8 million for the race.
Handel was the beneficiary of $700,000 in ad spending from Ending Spending, a super PAC founded by the Ricketts family.
There’s a lot of uncertainty, as there often is in special elections, where you don’t know what turnout is going to look like. 4. The fact that it’s even close shows that the political environment right now is favorable to Dems, given that Price won that seat by > 20 points in November.
Georgia Special 6th District Election: Live Voting Results
Voters in Georgia’s 6th congressional district have taken to the polls to vote in a special election to replace Tom Price. See live results of the votes.
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is a sports, politics and general news contributor to Heavy. A University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh graduate, Bucher spent time as the business editor at The Waukesha Freeman and was also the former sports assistant editor. You can follow him on Twitter @Buchage and reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 19, 2017 1:03 am