Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff will meet in a runoff for a greater Atlanta congressional seat with national implications. 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.
DUNWOODY, Ga. (AP) - A Georgia congressional election is headed to a high-stakes runoff that's shaping up as a referendum on President Donald Trump ahead of crucial midterm elections next year.
Democrat Jon Ossoff drew 48.1 percent of the vote in Tuesday's special election, just shy of the 50 percent needed to win the most closely watched us congressional race since Trump took office in January.
Democrats hoped to flip the seat in the Republican district that Trump won by less than 2 percentage points in November and gain some momentum for the midterm elections in 2018.
Spicer said he was not yet sure whether Trump would campaign for Handel in Georgia. Mr Spicer said Mr Trump could campaign for her "if needed". I mean, look, we - all Republicans, it is all hands on deck for us.
Ossoff needs more than a negative, anti-Trump message to emerge victorious in June.
Pundits said Mrs Handel will likely win the run-off, but on Tuesday the Republican said in an interview with the Atlanta Journal Constitution: "Beating Ossoff and holding this seat is something that rises above any one person". He has pledged to fight Trump when he "embarrasses" the country. Please support our efforts.
"Well, I would want President Trump tweeting for me", said Nancy Couch. "The progressive energy out there is palpable", he added.
Mr Ossoff raised more than $8m in the weeks leading up to Tuesday's election, much of it coming from major Democratic donors located outside of Georgia. Republicans, by contrast, were sharply divided and split their vote among several contenders. Republicans had to spend millions of dollars to keep Ossoff from an outright win in spite of a crowded field that made it hard for anyone to come close to 50%. RedState's Jay Caruso, a Georgia resident who lives near the sixth district, says that Ossoff's only shot at victory was last night-and he failed.
She credited Trump with helping get out the vote and vowed, "I will prevail". "Anything short of describing that as a loss is sort of inconceivable to me in the sense that they literally said that is what they said would do". "At its core, the 6th is still a 60 percent Republican district".
In fact, Trump arguably gave Ossoff his opening in the first place.
But she'll run up against Handel backers like 82-year-old Bev Wingate.
Tom Price exited the 6th District earlier this year to become President Donald Trump's secretary of Health and Human Services.
The result Tuesday night tees up another hard-fought contest in June likely to draw even more national interest. Trump's low approval ratings and rising criticism from some of his voters who are disappointed by his work thus far should aid Democrats in winning upcoming elections. Werner reported from Washington.