Big money, bigger names heading to Georgia ahead of District 6 runoff

Big money, bigger names heading to Georgia ahead of District 6 runoff

Most of Georgia Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff's campaign funds came from outside the state, and he is '"bringing in Hollywood actors to push his message", Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel said Wednesday, calling him a "shell-candidate who doesn't live in the district".

Ossoff received 48.1 percent of the vote in Georgia's 6th district, an affluent Republican area. "They are looking for their first win against this president and they have fallen short after every turn".

"While special elections do have some predictive power, a simple analysis of special elections back to 1970 shows a fairly weak relationship between special elections and the following midterm election results". "Because it's all about turnout - the most important thing people can do is get to the polls".

Should he secure an upset, it would mark a stunning embarrassment for the president and signal that next year's mid-term elections are essentially up for grabs. It has remained a Republican fortress since 1978 when it was won by Newt Gingrich, the future speaker of the House of Representatives who led a Republican revolution in the 1990s.

Ossoff announced his candidacy as soon as the seat opened up, and the election quickly turned into a referendum on Trump, featuring 11 Republicans, five Democrats and two independents. Until they win a special election-either the Georgia runoff or upcoming contests in Montana or South Carolina-it will be hard to argue that momentum is clearly on their side.

Republican candidate for Georgia's Sixth Congressional seat Karen Handel speaks at an election night watch party in Roswell, Ga., Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

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Under normal circumstances a Republican win would be in little doubt.

That attention has unnerved some Republicans, including President Donald Trump, who attacked Ossoff via his Twitter account.

Ossoff, a former congressional staffer and documentary filmmaker, ran on a pledge to "Make Trump Furious". "And voters, if they're hearing what the message the Republicans are putting forward and the message - the non-message Democrats are putting forward, they'll go with Republicans". Georgia's 6th district was seen as the best chance for that spark. Ossoff has marshalled an army of volunteers, and reportedly amassed millions of dollars in out-of-state contributions by Democratic groups.

Democrat Jon Ossoff drew 48.1 percent of the vote in Tuesday's special election, just shy of the 50 percent needed to win the most closely watched USA congressional race since Trump took office in January.

It has a large proportion of well-educated voters who are reliably Republican but frustrated by Trump. Republicans hold a 237-193 majority in the House so Democrats would need to pick up more than 20 seats to retake control in the 2018 midterm, an uphill climb. Democrats won special elections in conservative districts in Louisiana, Mississippi and IL that heralded deep Republican losses in the general election later that year. "And I think that's the potential to have implications for 2018 - if people get mobilized and get excited".

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