President Donald Trump is attacking t. An early Ossoff victory would also boost Democratic spirits and fundraising, raising expectations for a wave election that hands Democrats a House majority.
The seat is vacant with the resignation of its long-time Republican congressman, Tom Price, who left Congress when Trump named him as his health and human services chief.
Millennial Democrat investigative filmmaker Jon Ossoff has raised more than $8 million and is polling ahead of the other 17 candidates. They saw his campaign, as well as a special House election last week in Kansas where a Democrat narrowly lost, as symbolic battlegrounds for their recovering party.
Trump underperformed other Republicans in the suburban Atlanta district, an affluent, well-educated swath filled with the kind of voters Democrats need if they hope to reclaim a House majority next year.
With early voting totals and about a third of precincts counted, Ossoff was above the majority threshold required to win an 18-candidate primary.
What's hard to know is how Ossoff's showing will be viewed by the Democratic base and the donor community. Two independent candidates also are running. Cory Booker. He said both "make me feel like my generation is being heard".
"It's time to stand with President Trump, and I intend to be a willing partner to move this country forward", Gray said at a recent East Cobb gathering of Republicans, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.More news: Utah judge at rape sentencing: Ex-Mormon bishop a 'good man'
With 88% of the results reported in the district, Ossoff continued to lead with 48.3%, followed by Handel at 19.7%.
"To me what's fantastic is that we continue to see this level shift across the country, a 20-point swing, that puts about 123 Republican seats potentially in play". Republicans have controlled the seat for decades, but Trump only won it by 1 percentage point in last November's presidential election.
Mr. Trump's perceived weakness in the district, along with its changing demographics, convinced Democrats to pour millions of dollars into the race.
The race has attracted national attention because of the possibility that Ossoff could flip a heavily-Republican district.
Earlier Tuesday evening, former Secretary of State Karen Handel vowed to "start the campaign anew" on Wednesday, as her onetime Republican opponents began to coalesce around her. "Beating Ossoff and holding this seat is something that rises above any one person", she told supporters. The crowded primary featured 11 Republican candidates splitting the conservative vote.
Ossoff acknowledges that he lives a few miles south of the district, in Atlanta, so that his girlfriend is closer to her work at Emory University's medical complex.
The Republican Party is showing its concern by over-involving Trump in the election, even having him record a robocall to voters in the district. It was Newt Gingrich's district for 20 years (1979-1999); and from 1933 to 1965 it was represented by Carl Vinson, the namesake of the US aircraft carrier now trolling the waters of the Korean Peninsula.