Tuesday’s special election in Georgia is expected to be close until the end, and is considered by some to be a referendum on both Democrats and Republicans ahead of the 2018 midterms.
Democrats view the suburban Atlanta district as their best chance to flip a House seat, betting on Jon Ossoff, who does not even live in the district, to deliver. Should Ossoff lose, Democrats fear a reversal in their perceived momentum and a quelling of recent political activism.
Republicans are hoping to retain the seat left open by the appointment of Tom Price as secretary of Health and Human Services. If the GOP loses the seat, the blame is likely to be placed on Trump, and Republicans could begin shunning his agenda. A victory in Georgia for Republican Karen Handel would signal that opposition to Trump is not enough to win Democrats the House in 2018.
According to The Hill, “In the final days of the race, Ossoff and Handel have sought to steer clear of national politics, with each candidate barely uttering Trump’s name. Both have also downplayed the national implications of the race, even though it has been a magnet for attention and tens of millions of dollars. The total spending in the race is estimated to be around $60 million.”
The Democrats are heavily invested in Ossoff who, according to The Daily Caller News Foundation, recently raised funds from 8.9 times as many donors in California than donors in Georgia.
“Overall, between March 29 and May 31, Ossoff reported $456,296.03 from California compared to $228,474.44 from Georgia. Ossoff received more than $220,000 from the Bay area alone. The Mercury News noted that the totals were only a fraction of the actual donations since he doesn’t have to report donations of less than $200,” The DNCF reported.
Ossoff and Handel have worked to downplay the race’s national significance, but former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander (D), who attended campaign events for Ossoff on Monday, reminded voters that America has a keen interest in the race.
“You know the whole country’s watching,” Kander said.
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