Politics Democrats see high stakes in Georgia’s special election

02:15  19 june  2017
02:15  19 june  2017 Source:   MSN

Ossoff Leads Handel in Most Expensive House Race: Poll

  Ossoff Leads Handel in Most Expensive House Race: Poll Ossoff has raised record amounts of cash and leads in the latest poll. But both parties caution that the race will be close.Democrat Jon Ossoff pulled ahead of Republican Karen Handel in the latest poll of a closely-watched Georgia special congressional election after he reported raking in an unprecedented $15 million over the past two months.

Georgia voters see presidential-level stakes in special election . But local and national Democrats alike see risk in raising expectations too high . Trump may have underperformed there in November, but Price typically won the seat by landslide margins.

Democrats will turn their gaze south this week, hoping victory in a special election in Georgia ’ s 6th Congressional District will serve as a referendum on President Trump and spark their efforts to counter his agenda — and to win back the House.

Democratic US House of Representatives candidate Jon Ossoff and Republican US House of Representatives candidate Karen Handel.© EPA photos/EPA photos Democratic US House of Representatives candidate Jon Ossoff and Republican US House of Representatives candidate Karen Handel.

Democrats will turn their gaze south this week, hoping victory in a special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District will serve as a referendum on President Trump and spark their efforts to counter his agenda — and to win back the House.

Embodying those hopes is Democrat Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old former Capitol Hill staffer who has campaigned as a moderate in the wealthy suburbs north of Atlanta and raised more than $23 million.

But despite Ossoff’s financial advantage — the showdown is the most expensive House race in history — Democrats remain on edge. Polls show the clash between Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel too close to call, and GOP candidates prevailed in several special elections this year.

Early-voter turnout signals intense interest in Georgia special election

  Early-voter turnout signals intense interest in Georgia special election More than 140,000 ballots were cast in Georgia's special House race when early voting closed Friday, Politico reported, a signal of the intense local interest that has mounted around the contest in recent months.By comparison, roughly 57,000 people voted early in the election's first round in April. The massive turnout of early voter s, which includes more than 36,000 people who did not cast ballots in the first round, means that turnout for the Tuesday election will more than likely exceed the roughly 192,000 people who voted in April.

Tuesday brings us the high -profile special congressional election in Georgia to fill the seat vacated by Republican HHS Secretary Tom Price. Related: Trump Rips Top Democrat in Georgia Special Election .

Democrats saw it as an opportunity to drive a wedge between Trump and congressional Republicans fearful that he could drag down the party in Trump releases robocall in GA special election 01:24. "There is no doubt that this is already a victory for the ages," Ossoff told supporters late Tuesday night.

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Timing is critical, coming as congressional Democrats are rousing their base by attempting to block Republican legislation to overhaul the nation’s health-care system. Senate GOP leaders have been privately revising a House-passed version for weeks, aiming to call a vote by the end of June.

Many Democrats see the Georgia race and their health-care moves as intertwined. If Ossoff wins, the likely wave of enthusiasm could rattle Trump and Republicans. If Ossoff loses, it could be demoralizing and reveal the challenges facing Democrats ahead of next year’s midterm elections, despite the GOP health-care proposal’s unpopularity and the controversy over Trump’s handling of investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump boasts over victory of GOP candidate's win in Georgia

  Trump boasts over victory of GOP candidate's win in Georgia President Trump claimed responsibility for Republican Karen Handel's victory in Georgia's special House election Tuesday night, tweeting that it was also a win for himself. "Thank you @FoxNews "Huge win for President Trump and GOP in Georgia Congressional Special Election," Trump tweeted. Thank you  "Thank you @FoxNews "Huge win for President Trump and GOP in Georgia Congressional Special Election," Trump tweeted.

Democrats saw an opportunity, and soon the national party, as well as liberal grassroots groups, rallied around Ossoff, pouring upwards of million into his President Trump took credit for helping to block Democrat John Ossoff from getting an outright win in a congressional special election in Georgia .

for Georgia ’ s 6th Congressional District in a special election to replace Tom Price April 18, 2017 popularity — and Trump himself seemed to grasp the high stakes , playing a direct role in its closing days. Democrats saw it as an opportunity to drive a wedge between Trump and congressional

Democrats need to flip 24 Republican-held seats to take back the House majority, which they lost seven years ago.

The stakes have stoked talk of unity among wings of the Democratic Party, which has dealt with intraparty tensions since Trump won. On Sunday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said he was standing with Ossoff, even though Ossoff was not running as a vocal progressive.

“Oh, absolutely,” Sanders said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I very much want Ossoff to win. His views are a lot better than his Republican opponent’s.”

Sanders also said the party “should do everything possible” to counter Trump and the Republican health-care bill, and framed the Georgia race as one of the ways it could begin to “turn around its fortune.”

Senate Democratic leaders are considering several maneuvers to stop Republicans from proceeding on the legislation and to protest the GOP’s behind-the-scenes discussions, according to aides.

Who Is Karen Handel, Winner of the Georgia Special Election?

  Who Is Karen Handel, Winner of the Georgia Special Election? Ms. Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state and a longtime fixture in Georgia Republican politics, secured a surprisingly easy victory in Tuesday’s runoff in suburban Atlanta.Sign Up For the Morning Briefing Newsletter

After a close call in Kansas' special election Tuesday, Republicans are focused on the special election in Georgia to make sure a solidly red slice of suburban Atlanta stays that way - but it' s no sure bet, Politico reported. Democrat Jon Ossoff, a former congressional aide

Democrats are under pressure to pull off a win in Georgia ' s open House race, seeing it as their last chance to use a special election as proof of a Johnny Isakson Johnny Isakson Senate backs bill making it easier to fire VA employees High - stakes Georgia race puts pressure on Dems Congress

Once senators return to Washington on Monday, Democrats may threaten to halt procedural routines and boycott committee meetings or hearings, the aides said.

Senate Republicans have acknowledged the potential political pitfalls should their legislation be defined by the secrecy in which it has been deliberated.

“The Senate is not a place where you can just cook up something behind closed doors and rush it for a vote on the floor,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “Every camera in the world is going to have to see what’s in it.”

Ossoff — who nearly won the seat outright in the first round of voting in April — spent the weekend urging Democrats furious with Trump to turn out, all while keeping his tone and message steady as he courted more centrist Republicans in a district that has been in GOP hands since 1979. It was represented by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price until he resigned to join Trump’s cabinet.

“We have a great candidate,” Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a veteran civil rights leader, said as he campaigned alongside Ossoff. “Smart, young and just good.”

Democrats completely wasted their time in Georgia

  Democrats completely wasted their time in Georgia The news that Democrat Jon Ossoff decisively lost his race for Georgia's 6th House district is devastating for Democrats — but not for the reasons you think. That lone seat, now set to be occupied by Republican Karen Handel, is unlikely to effect voting for TrumpCare, or really for any piece of noxious legislation that drifts out of the GOP caucus like a cloud of poison gas over a battlefield. The real problem is that Democrats seem not to have learned the lessons of the recent past and are still prioritizing national races over more winnable and consequential contests elsewhere.

WSB-TV Atlanta is live-streaming the results from the high - stakes Georgia special election . Voting took place today for the 6th district race between Democrat Jon Ossoff and a crowded field of Republican candidates. See all raw stories.

protesters want from the Trump administration High - stakes Georgia race puts pressure on Dems Democrats had been encouraged by the results in last week' s Kansas special election , where the The polls have closed in Georgia at 7 p.m. EST. Expect to see early voting numbers rolling in first

Ossoff said Tuesday’s election would have consequences far beyond the district’s well-manicured lawns and glassy office parks.

“Folks across the district, folks across the state, folks across the country, there are those who have lost faith,” Ossoff said. “All of us here today, and all of us in this district, have a chance now to help restore some of that.”

Ossoff has avoided making the Russia probes and Trump’s decision to fire former FBI director James B. Comey central to his closing pitch, calling for a vigorous investigation but mostly focusing on health care and the economy.

Handel, meanwhile, has embraced her long ties to state and local Republicans, a point she has played up repeatedly as she has jeered Ossoff for living outside the district. A former Georgia secretary of state, Handel campaigned with Price and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, a former Georgia governor.

“This is a harbinger of national politics,” Perdue said Saturday at a Handel rally. “The world is looking, the nation is looking, and all the money has flowed in here.

“Don’t be fooled by someone who doesn’t have a record,” he added. “Let me tell you something, [Ossoff] is a puppet and the strings are being pulled by Democrats and Nancy Pelosi,” the House minority leader.

Early voting levels have been extraordinarily high, reflective of the intense interest in the race. More than 120,000 people have already voted, nearly a quarter of all registered voters in the district.

Dems reconsider high expectations after Georgia defeat

  Dems reconsider high expectations after Georgia defeat Democrats spent more than $30 million but still came up short in Georgia’s runoff election Tuesday, marking the fourth consecutive special election where a Democratic candidate fell short of winning a Republican-leaning seat. With the political world watching Georgia, some Democratic strategists say the party failed to manage expectations ahead of a red-district race where a close margin for a losing Democratic candidate should have been celebrated as a win of its own.

One that would trouble Democrats and reassure Republicans came in a 2006 special election for California' s 50th District House seat. Stakes high for Trump, Democrats in Georgia House race.

Democrats see the district as ripe for the taking. Last week’ s surprising showing in a Kansas special election , which the Democratic candidate lost but by closer margins than Trump won the district in November, has upped the stakes for a Democratic win. High - stakes Georgia race puts

Trump’s shadow continues to loom, not so much because of Republican unease with his policies but because of their unease with his combative persona and the lack of progress in enacting key priorities, such as tax cuts and repeal of aspects of the health-care law.

Handel has turned to the president for a fundraising lift but otherwise treaded cautiously when speaking of him, aware that much of her well-educated conservative base does not always identify with his roaring populism. Trump barely won the district last year as Price coasted to a double-digit win.

At the weekend rally, Perdue noted that some Republicans “may even be turned off by our president.” But he urged solidarity and said Trump “keeps his promises.”

Handel has been cagey, too, on the Republican health-care plan, saying the House bill is far from perfect in a nod to concerns among voters about the legislation’s scope and its coverage of people who have preexisting conditions or rely on Medicaid.

On Russia, Handel has dismissed the mounting questions about Trump’s interactions with law enforcement officials as “noise” but said she supports letting “the facts take us where the facts take us.”

Handel has raised more than $5 million, putting her far behind Ossoff, but she has been boosted by outside groups that have spent more than $11 million on her behalf. A political action committee aligned with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (D-Wis.) has been particularly active.

Ossoff’s droves of volunteers have drawn notice. During a recent trip to the district, The Washington Post encountered numbers of them in blue T-shirts going door to door — a glimpse into the energy on the Democratic side, especially among progressive millennial-age voters who see Trump as anathema to their views.

Ossoff said Friday on MSNBC that he has built a coalition of “Democrats, independents and Republicans.”

But as she stood Saturday in front of an enormous American flag at an airport hangar, Handel described Ossoff as a liberal interloper who had values from “3,000 miles away in San Francisco.”

It was a return to traditional partisan themes, seemingly as a reminder to any Republican tempted to stay home or vote for Ossoff.

“We are going show up on Tuesday, and we’re going to rock Nancy Pelosi’s world,” Handel said to cheers.

Democrats Weigh Future After Another Election Loss .
A number of House Democrats have spoken up about whether keeping Nancy Pelosi at the top of their leadership is in the best interest of the party.While "it's not necessarily her fault" that Republican-aligned groups have spent so much money against her, Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio told NBC's Chuck Todd on Sunday's "Meet The Press" that "if we are not in power, Chuck, we can't help anybody.

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