Trump goes after leading Democrat in Georgia race

The Georgia election is set for Tuesday and will come a week after Republican Ron Estes beat out Democrat James Thompson in a race for another vacated seat, one in Kansas' fourth district previously held by CIA Director Mike Pompeo. But Ossoff, a 30-year-old former congressional aide who runs an investigative film company, smashed expectations after raising more than $8 million and jumping to big leads in public polls. Or will he fall short, and be forced to compete in a June runoff?

A runoff race would be hard for Ossoff because he's benefiting from a crowded Republican field where no one candidate has managed to consolidate the right-leaning vote the way he has in the Democratic field.

Ossoff, the favored Democratic candidate in an 18-person field, might win because his voters are unusually engaged in what might normally be a sleepy race.

There's a special congressional election on April 18th.

But Democratic leaders are optimistic that Trump and the anger he has stirred in voters will fundamentally change the dynamic next year, giving the party an unexpected chance to strike back at Republicans and make major gains in Congress.

"I'm a little overwhelmed by how much people are talking about this race", Goodwin, 52, said. In 2012, by contrast, Republican nominee Mitt Romney garnered more than 60 percent of the vote.

Perdue, who has worked closely with the Trump White House, said he is confident that despite the bloodletting among Republicans, a runoff election would end favorably since this "district is a traditionally 60-40 Republican district, and we really don't want to give a vote to Nancy Pelosi", the House Democratic leader. But this district was anything but a swing district - just months ago it was considered the safest of safe GOP seats.

Ossoff on Monday continued walking a fine line between embracing the national energy and trying to make the contest a purely local one. It would be another indication that Democrats are not the only party hobbled by a national identity crisis in the age of Trump.

For almost 20 years, this loyal Democrat did what a lot of them do: She went to the voting booth only for presidential contests and ignored everything from congressional elections to governor's races. Republicans who were unbelievably skittish just a week ago are sounding much more confident, while Ossoff backers privately say they were always gunning for a runoff even if publicly he says an outright win is still within reach.

A few told the two women they were voting Republican, including one man whose wife wasn't home, but he assured them that while he was voting GOP his wife's support for Ossoff would cancel his vote out.

Ossoff is running in a special election there to replace congressman Tom Price, who resigned to become Trump's health secretary. Bob Gray, a businessman, is also in contention, boosted by support from the Club for Growth, which has been running television ads for him. Judson Hill and Dan Moody.

Republicans, speaking of the contours of the race, cheer their deep bench, a byproduct of the fact that the district has been safely in Republican hands for nearly 40 years.

Trailing him are four Republicans.

Unsurprisingly, no one has caught fire, and constant squabbling has remained the thrust of the GOP race. Former senator Saxby Chambliss is for Handel.

It's unclear if the message is resonating with Republican voters - recent polls put Abroms, who struggles with low name recognition, in the low single digits.

In the interim, unwillingness to take sides has left some of the party's big hitters on the sidelines.

The NRCC's partisan counterpart, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, hasn't spent money on TV ads or other pro-Ossoff messaging, according to records filed with the Federal Election Commission. David Perdue, R-Ga., a friend of Trump, said in an interview Monday. It quickly rallied behind Ossoff, with liberal bloggers setting in motion a Bernie Sanders-style fundraising operation that has resulted in a frenzy of small-dollar donations, the largest number of which are coming not from Georgia but California.

If the race does head to a runoff, Ossoff may have to avoid incoming fire from his own party as well as from the Republicans.



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