Republicans barely avoided an embarrassing setback by forcing a runoff election for a historically Republican open House seat Tuesday night - and that's cause for celebration in the eyes of President Trump. Motivating the same voters - many of whom backed other Republicans in the primary - to support Karen Handel may prove problematic when there is so little room for error. He still engenders an intense loyalty among his core supporters but alienates many independents and even Republicans, leaving him unable to command a majority of the electorate.
(AP Photo/David Goldman). A voter casts a ballot in a special election in Atlanta, Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Ossoff came within 3,648 votes of winning the right-leaning congressional seat outright in Georgia's 6th Congressional District.
Tuesday's balloting in Georgia's 6th Congressional District didn't produce a victor, but Democratic upstart Jon Ossoff - seeking to replace Republican Tom Price, who was tapped by President Donald Trump for health and human services secretary - led all candidates with 48.1 percent of the vote. He won approximately 48.6 percent of the vote and will face the second-place finisher, Republican Karen Handel-who got nearly 20 percent of the vote-in the runoff on June 20. Republican Karen Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, finished a distant second, qualifying for the June 20 runoff.
Handel took an arm's-length approach to Trump throughout her campaign, telling voters she supported him in November but hardly mentioning him at campaign stops. He just "hopes to have a Republican elected", Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. She says it proliferated since Trump's victory, with several members acting as precinct captains for Ossoff.
From the moment he launched his long-shot bid with an invitation to "Make Trump Furious", Ossoff tapped a gusher of discontent that saw him endorsed by everyone from Rep. John Lewis (whom Ossoff interned with in high school) and Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams to actors Debra Messing and George Takei.
"Dems failed in Kansas and are now failing in Georgia". Great job Karen Handel! Alyssa Milano and Christopher Gorham, in Georgia filming a pilot for CW, tweeted an offer to personally drive Ossoff voters to the polls.
Since he defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton a year ago, Trump and the Republicans have had control of the White House and both chambers of Congress.
This is the meaning of yesterday's special election in Georgia's Sixth Congressional District.
"We want everybody who is supportive of Republicans, so absolutely", Handel told The Associated Press after taking a congratulatory call from Trump Wednesday morning. Anything short of describing that as a loss is sort of inconceivable to me in the sense that's what they said their goal was to do.More news: McDonald's drive-thru pit stop leads to Facebook killer
"We have a lot of wind at our back. The progressive energy out there is palpable", he added.
The lead: "Democrat Jon Ossoff [48%] is headed for a runoff in June against a Republican contender after failing Tuesday to score an upset victory to [replace now-HHS Secretary Tom Price in] a suburban Atlanta district in Congress".
Democrats were hoping for a surprise win in Georgia, but they came up just short in Tuesday night's special election in a district held by Republicans for almost four decades.
For Democrats, Ossoff's near win encourages the opposition movement that has flourished since Trump's election.
President Trump had fun trolling Democrats after Republicans held off a Dem win in Georgia's 6th district special election. If the 30-year old Democrat had just one vote for every $87 spent by his campaign-which raised $ 8.3 million for a seat where the last Democratic candidate spent only $346-he would now be on his way to Washington. "Bring it on!" he said. "I think we did pretty well in November".
In fact, Trump arguably gave Ossoff his opening in the first place.
Eleven GOP candidates competed against one another in the 18-person field, but Handel hopes they will now all rally behind her.
Republicans, meanwhile, have made their own attempts at nationalizing the race.
Another main reason of the young Democrat's popularity is that he channeled his campaign very well.