Суббота, 20 Апреля, 2019

Runoff in Georgia House race could test Trump, opposition

Supporters of Democratic candidate for Georgia's Sixth Congressional Seat Jon Ossoff hold signs near a poll location Tuesday Pro-life 'Planned Bullyhood' author advances to Georgia run-off election
Eleena Tovar | 20 Апреля, 2017, 13:31

Ossoff now faces a June 20 runoff with Republican Karen Handel, former Georgia Secretary of State, who finished second in the all-parties primary.

Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old Democrat and former congressional staffer who ran on the slogan "Make Trump Furious", almost won Tuesday's special election for Georgia's 6th congressional district, which the GOP has held since 1979.

More worrying still: 15 percent of reluctant Trump voters said they would vote for the Democratic candidate in their district if the November 2018 elections for U.S. Congress were held today.

Because the liberal candidate was not able to cross the 50 percent threshold, he will now compete in a runoff on June 20th against Handel.

"Donald Trump coming to town could be the biggest thing to happen to congressional elections in years", said Todd Rehm, a Republican strategist and founder of the blog GeorgiaPundit.com, told VOA.

The hotly contested race carried major implications as a gauge of President Donald Trump's popularity - and Trump himself seemed to grasp the high stakes, playing a direct role in its closing days with robocalls and by attacking Ossoff repeatedly on Twitter. Handel failed to mention Trump during a 10-minute speech on Tuesday night.

President Trump tweeted congratulations to former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel for managing to claw her way into a runoff. She says it proliferated since Trump's victory, with several members acting as precinct captains for Ossoff.

The district covers many northern suburbs of the Atlanta area.

If the election is close, as expected, but if Ossoff ultimately comes up short again, Trump and his backers will doubtless be cheered.

Trump earned the lowest percentage of votes compared to any other Republican presidential candidate in recent history with 48.3 percent.

(AP Photo/John Bazemore). Supporters of Democratic candidate for Georgia's Sixth Congressional Seat Jon Ossoff hold signs near a poll location Tuesday, April 18, 2017, in Marietta, Ga. The Republican campaign was split across 11 candidates, weakening the party's hold over a district that was once held by right-wing conservative Newt Gingrich.

"They ran to win last night and they lost", White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters.

Pete Korman, 6th District voter, said national enthusiasm for Ossoff has been frustrating to watch, but he thinks Handel will win voters in the 6th.

He took credit for the results shortly after midnight on Wednesday - even though his unpopularity nationally and in the district is why the race is competitive in the first place.

"This is already a remarkable victory", he said in a statement quoted by The New York Times.