RNC's McDaniel: Ossoff 'Least Qualified' to Represent Georgia

Stakes high for Trump Democrats in Georgia House race

This Tuesday it was another special election - this one in suburban Atlanta - where a slew of GOP candidates managed to keep Democrat Jon Ossoff just under 50%, forcing a June runoff.

Democrat Jon Ossoff will face Republican Karen Handel in a June 20 runoff to decide Georgia's 6th Congressional District Special Election.

The race was for the seat previously held by Republican Tom Price, who now serves as Trump's Health and Human Services Secretary.

But Ossoff's haul fell short of the majority threshold required to outright win, despite him getting support from prominent Democrats and celebrities and attracting millions of dollars in outside donations.

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Trump was heavily invested in the race and in a tweet claimed victory, although Ossoff could still win in the runoff.

Democrats heavily pushed Ossoff before Tuesday's vote, casting the race as a referendum against President Trump in hopes of turning the reliably red district blue.

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"I think she will embrace Trump".

"We have an incredible chance here, an extraordinary moment for Georgia", Ossoff told volunteers as they headed out for a round of door-knocking on Monday afternoon.

Republicans faced a sobering reminder of Donald Trump's unpopularity Wednesday after a young Democrat forced a run-off election in a conservative congressional district, highlighting the vulnerability of the president's party as opponents draw inspiration for fierce battles ahead. Republicans have controlled the seat for decades, but Trump only won it by 1 percentage point in last November's presidential election. "We have defied the odds, we have shattered expectations", Ossoff, who attended a Reform synagogue as a child, told a cheering crowd of supporters. "We will be ready to fight on and win in June if it is necessary", he said.

Georgia's Sixth Congressional District has historically consistently elected Republican candidates. And Trump let the world know he played a role - via a robocall and tweets - writing this: "Glad to be of help!" And that's a big contrast to the Democrat who doesn't even live in the district.

While Democrats can savor the moral victory of almost snatching a seat outright in a Republican stronghold, they will need to translate anti-Trump fury and substantial fundraising into concrete ballot-box results if they are to mount a viable comeback.

Spicer did not mention that outside Republican groups also plowed millions into attacking Ossoff and encouraging GOP turnout; a political action committee backed by House Speaker Paul Ryan and other House GOP leaders accounted for at least $2.2 million.

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