For the last month, the polling in the Georgia House race between Democrat Jon Osoff, and Republican Karen Handel was favoring the Democrat. There are trends that would cause the race to tilt Republican, but will they come through this time?
Democrats have put all their hopes into Ossoff winning a Republican-favored seat. This was Newt Gingrich’s seat and it hasn’t gone for the Democrat since President Jimmy Carter was fighting off small woodland creatures.
In fact, they hoped he’d win the special election without a runoff, but their hopes failed when he only got 48% of the vote in a crowded field, where Republicans had four candidates over 5%. That was good news in a vacuum, as Democrats usually don’t hit 40% there, but they set the bar high, and didn’t clear it.
So now it’s a two-way race, and Ossoff must find a way to win people who either didn’t vote last time, or voted for a Republican. Republicans won the overall vote 51-49 in the first round. That gave Karen Handel hope.
But for the last month she’s been behind in the polling, after some early leads. But still though, Ossoff, hasn’t been able to crack the 50% needed to win the race. He’s plateaued at 49%, which is exactly what the first round would have predicted. Meanwhile Karen Handel has been consolidating Republicans, and as a result, she’s regained the poll average lead she lost a month ago.
It’s a very slim lead, 49.0 to 48.8. That’s close enough that the result will likely be determined by turnout efforts on both sides, which is good for Handel when Democrats got ready to pull funding after the first round.
Handel’s supporters had better get out and vote, and make sure their friends vote, too.