Another blow to an already-demoralized Democratic Party.
Democrat Jon Ossoff failed to reach the 50-percent mark and avoid a runoff in the special election in the Georgia 6th District. The showdown will be between Ossoff and former Georgia secretary of state Karen Handel, a Republican who took home just under 20 percent.
The election will take place on June 20.
While the GOP rejoices in avoiding an embarrassing loss in a district that leans Republican – the numbers show they are not out of the woods just yet.
In all, Ossoff came home with 48.1 percent of the vote. While he was virtually the only Democrat running (his Party did an excellent job coalescing behind his candidacy), there were other Democrats on the ballot. While extremely small, their numbers may mean the difference come June.
Ragin Edwards and Ron Slotin both took in .3 percent. Rebecca Quigg captured .2 percent and Richard Keatley finished the list with .1 percent. This puts the total Democratic vote at exactly 49 percent.
On the Republican side: Handel, Bob Gray, Dan Moody, Judson Hill and all others made a combined vote total of exactly 51 percent. This means we have only a two percent difference between the two parties.
In the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton lost to Trump in this district by 1.5 percentage points. Ossoff overperformed on Clinton’s numbers last night in all three of the district’s counties – raking in above one percent more than her in Cobb, Fulton and Dekalb.
If the vote percentages of the primary stay proportional in the runoff, then we could see the winner of this race be decided by less than one percent.
For her part, this should be Karen Handel’s race to lose. The 6th District has traditionally been a Republican one – ever since New Gingrich was elected in the 70’s. Handel, the former secretary of state, has historically done well in the area. While she ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2010 and senator in 2014, she had made a base of support in the northern Atlanta suburb.
Despite the Republican lean of the district and Handel’s history with it, there is a stunning show of Democratic voter enthusiasm. This (combined with Ossoff’s million-dollar war chest funded by donors outside the state) will make the race a complete toss-up and one that will be watched intently around the country.
Campaign Daily Rating: Toss-up