Today is election day in suburban Atlanta’s 6th congressional district. Actually, it’s the runoff of the special election to fill HHS Secretary Tom Price’s former seat. The general election was in April, and Democrat Jon Ossoff nearly won the whole thing, coming out of nowhere, playing on a district that voted heavily against Donald Trump in the November election.
Here’s everything you need to know today.
- This is the most expensive Congressional race in history.
$50 million has been spent, most of it from outside groups on the Republican side, and from out-of-state donors (heavily Californian) on the Democrat side.
- 140,000 early votes have already been received.
This could give Republicans a large advantage going in, with +20,000 ballots based on previous primary voted in.
— Michael McDonald (@ElectProject) June 17, 2017
- High turnout normally benefits Republicans, but Democrats could surge as they did in April.
“This is still a Republican-leaning district, and Republicans of all stripes have rallied around Karen,” Kent said. One national Democratic strategist added: “There’s been an effort to include and activate some of the Republican base that wasn’t around [in April], and we’ve seen evidence of that.”
- The race was targeted by Democrats early because of Trump’s poor performance.
Democrats chose Ossoff very much because of his youthfulness, and his complete blank slate. They wanted to make the race about Trump. Handel, on the other hand, has great name recognition, having served as Georgia Secretary of State, and run for governor and senator in two failed bids.
It’s always been Handel’s race to lose, and she’s underperformed previous congressional races (Price won easily in November).
- Polls are showing the race too close to call
— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) June 19, 2017
- The weather is bad.
Poor weather generally suppresses turnout. With thunderstorms called for this afternoon and evening, election day turnout may not yield enough ballots to outpace April’s total of 190,000 (including early voting). This could be good news for Handel, but again, it’s very close.
- Decision Desk HQ will have the first results
Decision Desk HQ is covering this race wall-to-wall. I will be in Atlanta today to help bring the fastest results to you. Check back here for complete coverage.