Final pitches made in tight, nationally watched Georgia House race

Final pitches made in tight, nationally watched Georgia House race

Final pitches made in tight, nationally watched Georgia House race

The party maintained its hold on House seats in Kansas and Montana.

As voters in the northern suburbs of Atlanta go to the polls Tuesday in a special U.S. House election, Democrats and Republicans will closely watch for clues about how to deal with President Donald Trump in next year's congressional races.

Total spending in the race has topped $56 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a watchdog group, almost double the previous record.

"And if Trump weren't president, you wouldn't be paying any attention to this race because Handel would win handily", Bill Shipp, longtime political editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, told Newsmax. If Handel loses, it will be a warning sign to House Republicans facing tough races in other suburban districts around the country, many of them among the 23 GOP-held seats where Trump trailed Clinton in 2016. Outside money from Super PACs and the National Republican Congressional Committee total at about $18.2 million in support of Handel, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Both candidates in the Georgia special congressional race got into disputes with members of the media on the eve of Tuesday's election - though thankfully, this time neither incident involved physical assault.

Trump added that Ossoff wants to "raise taxes and kill healthcare", but Ossoff has not taken those positions. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who left the seat open when he joined Trump's Cabinet.

Ossoff fell just short of winning the seat outright in April's jungle primary, when he netted 48 percent of the vote.

Spending in the race could top $50 million, making it the most expensive House contest in USA history.

Ossoff's ground game has grown into a massive operation of more than 12,000 volunteers, helped along by canvassing and phone banking from various national and local groups. The two campaigns and political groups have bombarded Atlanta airwaves with election advertising. Both sides have placed major emphasis on turning out voters who participated in Georgia's presidential primaries past year but did not vote in April - and there are more Republicans than Democrats in that pool of potential voters. After all, 71 incumbent Republicans sit in districts that are - per the Cook Political Report's partisan voter index - less GOP-leaning than Georgia's 6th District.

Tuesday's runoff is the third chance opposition Democrats have to win a House seat since Trump took office.

Lee Roberts, a general contractor who used to be Republican and now leans Democrat, supports Ossoff.

Both parties are desperate to win a vote that's seen as an early test for Donald Trump's popularity and a dry run for how Democrats can compete in fast-changing suburban districts.

I was asked about the Congressional baseball game shooting and its effect on the Congressional Race in the 6th District. Steve Scalise remains hospitalized in serious condition after being shot in the hip.

The race has intensified in the wake of the shooting with both campaigns ramping up security.

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