Democrat Advances in Georgia's 'Trump Referendum' Special Election

Posted April 20, 2017

Trump said it "will be a win" for Republicans if Ossoff is forced into a June 20 runoff if he doesn't garner the necessary 50 percent of the vote in Tuesday's balloting to claim the seat. "We have defied the odds, we have shattered expectations", Ossoff told a cheering crowd of supporters. Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, did not mention Trump during a 10-minute speech on Tuesday night, according to local media.

Part of what is fueling Democratic excitement about the race is that while Trump won Georgia by six percentage points, the district that Ossoff seeks to win supported Trump by barely one point over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Despite not reaching the 50% threshold needed to avoid the second round vote, Mr Ossoff said: "This is already a victory for the ages".

Mr Ossoff raised more than $8m in the weeks leading up to Tuesday's election, much of it coming from major Democratic donors located outside of Georgia.

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"They were ringing my phone off the hook", said Kim Fambro, 45, who said the outreach convinced her to vote for Ossoff.

Republicans' lead in Georgia's 6th back in November is comparatively nonexistent.

But this week, Trump has sent a series of tweets critical of Democrat Ossoff. The seat then became vacant when Price was appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services by Mr. Trump earlier this year.

He benefited from a fractured Republican field of 11 candidates, some of whom emphasised their loyalty to Mr Trump while others kept their distance. "We've been talking about how the Republican Party had won in so many different levels of our country, but the presidency had eluded us".

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The Georgia congressional seat is attracting so much attention also because it has been the Republicans' since the late 1970s - and a candidate as strong as Ossoff is definitely a threat to them.

Republicans have responded with millions of dollars of spending of their own, casting Ossoff as an inexperienced outsider who does not live in the area he hopes to represent.

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Handel is the former Komen for the Cure executive who harmed the women's breast cancer non-profit when she tried to defund the group's support of Planned Parenthood. She added that when it comes to balancing the budget and repealing Obamacare, both Handel and Trump are for the people. Republicans, by contrast, were sharply divided and split their vote among several contenders.

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