Priciest House Race in History Is Too Close to Call

Sen. Bernie Sanders I-Vt. sent out this graphic in a Twitter post on June 13. It’s not a fair comparison

He led an April primary but fell shy of an outright majority.

More than 140,000 ballots were cast in Georgia's special House race when early voting closed Friday, Politico reported, a signal of the intense local interest that has mounted around the contest in recent months.

And Republicans see Tuesday's vote as a chance to send a message of their own: that Democrats can't compete in GOP bastions with centrist-sounding messages that they see, as Karen Handel so often says, as "fake".

The matchup between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel has also quickly become the most expensive House race in US history, with roughly $50 million spent.

Handel has raised more than $5 million, less than a quarter of Ossoff's total, but national political action and campaign committees aligned with both parties have spent big as well: $7 million from a PAC backed by House Speaker Paul Ryan; about $4.5 million from Republicans' House campaign arm, and another $6 million from the Democrats' House campaign committee.

That reality, though, is no surprise in the district, which encompasses much of Atlanta's northern suburbs.

It was the 2016 presidential results that gave Democrats reason for optimism.

Eric Swalwell rolled up his sleeves and picked up the phone Saturday to encourage voters in Georgia's 6th Congressional District to vote in Tuesday's special election for Jon Ossoff, the Democrat vying to fill the House seat left vacant when President Trump tapped Republican Tom Price to serve as his secretary of Health and Human Services. In particular, Republicans have hammered Ossoff on national security issues.

Ossoff, a documentary filmmaker and former congressional aide, has aimed at the center, studiously avoiding even mentioning Trump's name.

Early voting ended Friday.

In analyzing that group, Tom Bonier, the CEO of the Democratic voter targeting firm TargetSmart, pointed out that they are less likely to be white than all other segments of voters - and 25% of them are under the age of 35.

Because of the district's status as suburban, educated and diverse, the Georgia race could be a harbinger of Democrats' ability to compete for similar Republican-held seats in places like Orange County, California, the Philadelphia suburbs and NY state in 2018.

But it very well may, with polls showing a tossup in the 6th Congressional District, where Republicans usually coast.

Handel made a similar appeal to honor the district's "legacy".

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