Science

Early returns: Tight Georgia House race as nation watches

Early returns: Tight Georgia House race as nation watches

The Palmetto State race received little national attention or money compared to Georgia or other special elections, but the narrow win compared to the 19 points Trump won the district by in November is a major swing.

But it wasn't what Democrats who pumped $23 million into Ossoff's campaign so desperately craved: A win.

Republican candidate Karen Handel and husband, Steve Handel (left), prepare to vote.

The hotly contested June 2017 runoff election in Georgia's 6th congressional district has drawn much coverage and discussion in the weeks leading up to election night.

Anxious faces at the election party for Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff, as results come in.

And in a nod to the special election in SC - in which Republican Ralph Norman won - Trump tweeted, "Well, the Special Elections are over and those that want to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN are 5 and O!"

Ossoff and Handel faced off Tuesday in what has become the most expensive House race in history, with the candidates, their parties and super PACs pouring more than $50 million combined into the effort to win a single House seat in the northern Atlanta suburbs.

Handel had 52 percent of the vote to Democrat Jon Ossoff's 48 percent when the Associated Press called the race with 80 percent of precincts reporting.

"A special thanks to the President of the United States of America", she said.

It was Handel's most public embrace of the man whose tenuous standing in this well-educated, suburban enclave made a previously safe Republican district close to begin with.




The most expensive House race in USA history is in the hands of voters Tuesday in the northern suburbs of Atlanta.

Privately, Democratic strategists said even before the votes were counted Tuesday that Ossoff's civility campaign would be mirrored only in more Republican-leaning districts, and that a more aggressive anti-Trump campaign would be waged by candidates in longtime swing districts.

Republicans won House special election victories this year in GOP-held districts in Kansas and Montana and hope to add Georgia to that string.

The seat has been in GOP hands since 1978, having been held by such Republican stalwarts as Newt Gingrich and Johnny Isakson. But the Democrat and the Republican involved in the race said they haven't seen any other signs of trouble.

Democrats had been pinning their hopes on Jon Ossoff - a 30-year-old documentary filmmaker and former congressional aide - against the former Georgia secretary of state.

Whatever the outcome of Tuesday's election, the Ossoff volunteer said, her life has changed.

The affluent and well-educated district has elected former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; Johnny Isakson, now Georgia's senior USA senator; and most recently Tom Price, who resigned in February to join Trump's administration. Many observers noted that this district is one of 35 that either voted for Hillary Clinton or that Trump won by less than 4 percentage points, making it a key focal point for next year's bid to win the 24 seats needed for Democrats to take the majority.

Handel emphasized that Republican pedigree often in her campaign and again in her victory speech.

Republicans believe the run-off will favour them in an affluent seat they have held since 1979.


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