With just one week to go until the special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, new polling shows Republican Karen Handel has made significant gains in the last three weeks and is now in a virtual tie with Democrat Jon Ossoff. Handel and Ossoff are vying to fill the House seat vacated by Tom Price, who is now Donald Trump’s Secretary of Health and Human Services.
The new polling, commissioned by Action11 News, the Atlanta-area NBC affiliate, was conducted by SurveyUSA during the June 7-11 time period. The results show Handel and Ossoff tied at 47%, with 6% of respondents undecided. A similar poll from just three weeks ago showed Handel trailing by seven percentage points, so she has made up signficant ground.
Democrats have poured money into the race, looking for a big win that will give them momentum going into next year’s midterm elections. They were denied a much-desired win in the recent Montana congressional special election when Republican Greg Gianforte beat (not literally) Democrat Rob Quist for the state’s one at-large House seat previously held by Ryan Zinke (the now-Secretary of the Interior).
Karen Handel said in a recent interview that her race is likely to be the most expensive Congressional campaign ever. And that’s because Democrats are desperate for a win next next week. But they have a rather lackluster candidate in Jon Ossoff, who doesn’t live in GA-06 and cannot even vote for himself. Ossoff’s record is thin and his experience leans more toward Silicon Valley and less toward GA-06.
This race may be more about how voters are feeling about populism, now that we’re nearly five months into the Trump administration, than it is about Jon Ossoff, the Democrats, and their plans for a wave election in 2018.