Points to Know As Georgia House Race Heads to Voters

Points to Know As Georgia House Race Heads to Voters

As voters in the northern suburbs of Atlanta go to the polls Tuesday in a special U.S. House election, Democrats and Republicans will closely watch for clues about how to deal with President Donald Trump in next year's congressional races.

The Democrat in the race, Jon Ossoff, is a 30-year-old one-time congressional aide and filmmaker trying to win a seat in a very red district.

"It's a neck and neck race, and it's all about turnout now". Ossoff says any tax changes should be "fiscally responsible".

The onslaught of national - and even global - attention that the race has received was hard to ignore during Handel's and Ossoff's campaign events, where dozens of reporters, photographers and television cameras elbowed for better views of the candidates.

Ossoff's hope of taking the seat lies in close polls, the fact that Trump only won the district by only 1.5 percent and national invigoration of Democrats.

"Republicans ... are coming home to vote in this runoff", she said. Republicans are favoured to hold a fourth seat up Tuesday in SC, while Democrats already held their lone open seat in a California special election.

In one early Tuesday tweet, Trump criticized Ossoff, saying he'll raise taxes, is weak on crime and "doesn't even live in district". Democrats see an opportunity to pick up a seat represented by Republicans since 1979, most recently by the man who now serves as Trump's Health and Human Services secretary.

It's shaping up to be the most expensive house race in history.

Ossoff has unleashed a massive ground operation reportedly consisting of some 12,000 volunteers knocking on doors and calling potential voters.

Read the Atlanta Journal Constitution report here.

Many of those districts are actually less Republican than Georgia's sixth district. Republicans obviously want to hold the seat, but even more, they need a decisive victory to stem the perception that they are heading into a very hard 2018 midterm.

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Handel has also benefited from outside spending, but it mostly hasn't come to her campaign directly.

Some observers were also eying the race for clues into how voters perceive the Republican health care bill now making its way through Congress.

Ossoff and Handel have something in common.

An influx of money from both Democrats and Republicans has focused attention on the historically conservative district, and both sides expect it to be tight.

The vote takes place on Tuesday, June 20.

The outcome of Georgia's contest is likely to become a prism through which congressional Republicans view Trump - a reality with major policy and political implications.

This could worsen tensions that already exist between the Sanders-aligned left, which fumed over the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's refusal to spend heavily on races in Kansas and Montana, and the DCCC.

Lee Roberts, a general contractor who used to be Republican and now leans Democrat, supports Ossoff.

A flash of political violence meanwhile has cast a shadow over the Georgia race: the shooting of a top Republican congressman last Wednesday.

The race has intensified in the wake of the shooting with both campaigns ramping up security.

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