Politics Democrats in overdrive to flip Georgia House seat

14:05  19 june  2017
14:05  19 june  2017 Source:   The Hill

House Republicans brace for potential 2018 midterm losses

  House Republicans brace for potential 2018 midterm losses House GOP leaders warned their rank-and-file members Tuesday of the potential for heavy midterm losses next year.The warning was aimed at encouraging lawmakers to stay focused and not be "chasing all the different other shiny objects," according to Republican Rep. Mark Walker of North Carolina.

Democrats are fighting to flip Georgia ’s 6th Congressional District to their side in a special election today that is widely seen as a possible early referendum on the Trump presidency. Republican Ron Estes wins tight special election for US House seat .

Democrats are fighting to flip Georgia ’s 6th Congressional District to their side in a special election today that is widely seen as a possible early referendum on the Trump presidency. Republican Ron Estes wins tight special election for US House seat .

Democrats in overdrive to flip Georgia House seat© Provided by The Hill Democrats in overdrive to flip Georgia House seat

CHAMBLEE, GA. - National and local Democrats are in overdrive trying to flip the ultra-tight Georgia House seat in a race viewed as an early referendum on President Trump.

Democrat Jon Ossoff's campaign has grown into a massive operation, with more than 12,000 volunteers knocking on doors and calling potential voters. They say they've surpassed half a million voter contacts ahead of Tuesday's contest.

The influx of volunteers - many interviewed by The Hill said it's their first time getting involved in a campaign - underscores the immense interest in the suburban Atlanta district vacated by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price. The race has become the eye of the political storm since 2016 and Democrats' hopes are riding on a traditionally GOP district that narrowly voted for Trump.

Five things to watch for in Georgia's special election

  Five things to watch for in Georgia's special election Months of attacks and tens of millions of dollars have led up to Tuesday's special election in Georgia, where Democrats are looking for their first major election victory of the Trump era. President Trump's shadow has loomed large over the race. The Democratic push to frame a victory for Jon Ossoff as proof of a growing anti-Trump wave has nationalized the race. All that attention has drawn almost $60 million of spending from both sides - a record for a House race - into the suburban Atlanta district.

ATLANTA - By the time Georgia 's Sixth District votes in the June 20 special congressional election, million - perhaps more than 0 per ballot - will have been spent to pick one-435th of one-half of one of the three branches of one of America's governments.

Nunn taking the Georgia Senate seat would put a huge crimp in the plans of Republicans who feel they can take over the US Senate this November. Polls show the race in a virtual tie and Grimes has been able to energize Democrats in Kentucky.

Ossoff has gained national notoriety over the past several months and has raised an astounding $23 million in a race that has seen about $50 million in total spending. But even with the millions spent on both sides of the aisle, Ossoff and his GOP opponent, Karen Handel know its turnout that will push one of them across the finish line on Tuesday.

"The GOTV effort is huge and critical," Ossoff told a small group of reporters Sunday at his Chamblee field office.

"We're doing everything we can to make sure folks know when and where to vote and how. And making the case for fresh leadership given what's going on in Washington. And that sending another career politician to D.C. ain't going to change anything."

Ossoff's ground game hasn't slowed down in the final days, even with Father's Day on Sunday.

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

Democratic candidate for Georgia 's Sixth Congressional seat Jon Ossoff talks with supporters at a The special election to fill Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price’s vacated Georgia House seat "This election is significant because the Democrats have made it a referendum on Trump.

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He had a much more jam-packed schedule of public events over the weekend than Handel, who held one Saturday morning rally with Price and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, a former Georgia governor. Her public schedule is expected to ramp up on Monday, however.

Volunteers crowded into Ossoff's field offices to launch canvasses throughout the weekend. His bright blue campaign posters adorned the walls of his offices, including signs that prominently display "kind" and "ready to fight."

"It is thanks to the thousands of volunteers who have been knocking on doors for so long that we are poised to win this thing on Tuesday," Ossoff told volunteers and supporters as he stopped by his Sandy Springs office Saturday afternoon, with cheers of "Flip the Sixth" following him.

Ossoff expects it to be a long night, however, with the whole country and world watching Georgia.

"This is going to be an extraordinarily close election and it's going to be a late night on Tuesday," he said. "Every vote will count."

Five Takeaways From Tuesday's Special Elections

  Five Takeaways From Tuesday's Special Elections <p>Last night, the political world was glued to computer and television screens in a manner reminiscent of a general election, to watch returns filter in from a previously obscure congressional district in Atlanta's northern suburbs.</p>Republicans are spinning the loss as terrible news for Democrats' hopes of claiming a majority in 2018, while Democrats insist that Republicans dodged a bullet. To them, the real story is that they came close in a heavily Republican district - two, if you count South Carolina's 5th District, which also held an election last night. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

Now, the volunteers at Democrat Jon Ossoff’s headquarters are deep into Stage Three—channeling anti-Trump movement energy into flipping Georgia ’s Sixth Congressional District. The district is holding a special election April 18 to fill the House seat of Tom Price

Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff fell short of the 50 percent threshold needed in Tuesday's special election to avoid a runoff election. "Beating Ossoff and holding this seat is something that rises above any one person." This entry was posted in Politics and tagged House of Representatives, Jon Ossoff.

The huge turnout effort goes well beyond the Georgia Democrat's campaign.

National groups such as the Progressive Turnout Project, a political action committee, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPAF) have also been flexing their muscles when it comes to boosting turnout and reaching scores of voters in the sixth district.

PPAF said it has 40 canvassers who knock on doors each day, and will have knocked on 80,000 doors ahead of the voting. The group touts that it's twice the size of any other independent canvasses backing Ossoff.

Alex Morgan, executive director of Progressive Turnout Project, said the group has four full-time field reps based in the district and is focused solely on encouraging Democratic voters who vote in every election to turnout again on Tuesday. The group has knocked on 20,000 doors since mid-April, getting 1,500 commitments from people who say they'll vote for Ossoff.

While canvassing, the group said they've consistently heard that voters want a representative who will be a check on Trump, who has been the "biggest partisan force" in the special election.

Pelosi takes heat after Dem loss

  Pelosi takes heat after Dem loss Dems fume after loss in House special election.Some lawmakers were quick to blame their leadership for Jon Ossoff's defeat to Republican Karen Handel, saying the party failed to learn the 2016 lesson that running against President Trump without a positive message of your own is not enough to win elections.

Meanwhile, congressional races in Georgia and Montana have been viewed as a referendum on Trump's presidency. (AP Photo/David Goldman). Democrat Edie DesMarais won a New Hampshire state house race Tuesday evening, making it the first seat to flip since President Trump was elected.

Democrats currently control 203 of the House 's 435 seats . To reach a majority of 218, they need to gain 15 seats . Given so many opportunities to flip seats , it's easy to see that happening.

There are also local groups such as Pave It Blue, that have rallied thousands in support of Ossoff. Created in March, the grassroots group consists of women, many from metro Atlanta.

The campaigns have another 24 hours before polls open, but early voters have already come out in droves, illustrating the heavy interest in the race. More than 140,000 people have already cast a ballot-twice the amount of people who voted early in the April primary.

Ossoff and Handel will both be looking to get out their base and target those primary voters who have yet to make a pick in Tuesday's runoff.

Ossoff will need black voters to turn out, since many have dropped off since former President Obama's elections. And strategists in the state say Handel will be in good shape if she gets white women to go to the ballot box.

In the remaining hours, the race is expected to be a nail-biter all the way through Tuesday, with polls showing a nearly deadlocked race. A source familiar with Ossoff's campaign said they're bracing for the possibility of a recount.

Democrats will be competing against the historical trends of the district that has handily reelected Price and was represented by former Speaker Newt Gingrich in the past. GOP strategists expect Handel to do a lot better in the early vote compared to the April primary, now that she's no longer competing against nearly a dozen Republicans.

"I said very early on after the April election, the key to this election is the early vote. That's why you see such a high early vote," said Eric Tanenblatt, a lobbyist and Georgia state finance chairman for the Republican National Committee. Handel served as deputy chief of staff when Tanenblatt was chief of staff for Perdue while he was governor.

"The last 72 hours of the campaign is all about energy and momentum and trying to energize the base."

Democrats are feeling the pressure for an early victory, but win or lose on Tuesday, these newly energized activists say they aren't going away and will be out in force in 2018 and 2020.

"Those of us who have joined this group are looking at this for the long haul," said Jennifer Mosbacher, 42, a small business owner in East Cobb and a member of Pave It Blue.

"We'll be back again for 2018."

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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