Democrat Jon Ossoff Poses Political Threat to Trump, Republicans In Georgia’s District 6 Special Election

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Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff is expected to get the most votes in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, according to preliminary polls. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The anti-Trump brigade has a shot at victory Tuesday, April 18, as thousands of Georgians head to the polls to elect a new congressional representative for District 6.

Despite running in a Republican-heavy field, Democrat Jon Ossoff is slated to vanquish several other candidates as they race to fill the seat left vacant by new Health & Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

Political strategists on both sides of the aisle are expecting a June runoff following Tuesday’s election but say an outright win for the Georgia Democrat shouldn’t be ruled out either.

“If Jon Ossoff wins outright tomorrow, I think the House of Representatives is definitely in play, and you have a blueprint of how a Democrat can win in the South and nationally,” Georgia-based Democratic strategist Tharon Johnson, who served as President Obama’s 2012 Southern regional director, told The New York Daily News. 

Tuesday’s special election has garnered national attention, with politicians, celebrities, activists and the like throwing their support behind Ossoff, 30. Hashtags #Flipthe6th and #VoteYourOssoff flooded social media on election day, urging voters to get out and flip the predominately Republican district blue.

Preliminary polls show Ossoff running well ahead of Republican candidates Karen Handel, Bob Gray, Judson Hill and Dan Moody, among others. If the polls are correct, the young politician will receive the most votes in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. Political news site FiveThirtyEight reported that Ossoff will likely get only 50 percent of the vote, however, prompting a run-off election between him and the next-highest finisher.

“The combined vote for all Republican candidates will probably exceed the combined vote for Ossoff and other Democrats, although it should be close,” according to FiveThirtyEight. “And the district has historically been Republican-leaning, although it was much less so in the 2016 election than it had been previously. All of this makes for a fairly confusing set of circumstances and a hard-to-forecast outcome.”

The suburban Atlanta district Ossoff is hoping to win was won by President Trump by less than two points but is one historically dominated by Republicans by 20-plus points. Still, Democrats are confident that a victory would send shockwaves through the political world and send a clear message to the president.

Ossoff’s close grab at a win seemingly has Trump shaking in his boots. The reality TV star-turned-politician took a few jabs a the congressional candidate Tuesday morning, calling him a “disaster” and someone who’s “weak on crime and illegal immigration.

Some Republicans expressed hope that Ossoff wouldn’t snag an outright win, making it that much harder for him in the run-off election once Republican voters rally around a single candidate.

“I don’t think he will pull off an outright win, I think he capped out late last week and slid a bit over the weekend. I think actually Trump’s action in the last two weeks has been influential,” said former Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), who served as a Trump campaign surrogate. “And I think it ends tomorrow, if he gets his 51 percent it’s over, but if he gets his 49 percent, I think it’s over, too. Republicans are going to come home in the runoff.”

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