Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel are preparing to face off after neither was able to secure 50% in the special election on April 18th.
The upcoming run-off, which will be held on June 20th, will determine who will represent Georgia’s 6th district. The seat has been red since Newt Gingrich’s election to the position in 1978.
An internal poll conducted for Ossoff’s campaign puts him at 48% to Handel’s 47%. This is well within the survey’s stated 4% margin of error.
Ossoff’s campaign manager Keenan Pontoni isn’t cowed by the results. “Four months ago, nobody expected us to even break 40 percent. Now, after our historic first-place finish on April 18th and this encouraging poll, we’re seeing the results of our community’s massive outreach efforts, and with our plans to ramp up those efforts even more, our campaign is well-positioned to win on June 20th.”
The survey shows Ossoff with a 12-point lead among voters who participated in the special election in 2016 but not in 2014 and estimates that 5% of voters are still undecided.
The upcoming run-off is looking to be one of the most expensive House races ever. Since the April election:
• Ossoff’s campaign has reserved over $5 million in airtime for TV and radio spots
• Handel’s campaign has taken in $1.75 million
• The Congressional Leadership Fund (a super PAC affiliated with Paul Ryan) has purchased $3 million in ad time and said it would be giving an additional $3.5 million
• The US Chamber of Commerce has launched a $1 million ad campaign
• The National Republican Congressional Committee has secured over $3.6 million in airtime
This is on top of the millions spent in advance of the first election.
Handel and Ossoff are competing for the seat vacated by former Georgia Rep. Tom Price, who was recently appointed to the position of Health and Human Services Secretary. The election is symbolic in the fact that it is being viewed as a sort of referendum on President Trump. It could also mark a crushing defeat for Democrats if Handel wins.