Democrats have portrayed the runoff for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, which will take place tomorrow, as a referendum on Trump’s first months in office. The runoff pits Democrat Jon Ossoff against Republican Karen Handel in a race that has drawn national attention and historic levels of spending with Ossoff raising an astounding $23 million.
According to the Real Clear Politics average, Ossoff holds 2.6 point advantage in recent polls. That said, just like last November, we would be shocked if there weren’t some “oversamples” in that polling data which means tomorrow night could be a very long evening for Ossoff and Handel.
And, just like the the national election, the outcome of tomorrow’s contest will ultimately come down to voter turnout. As The Hill points out, Ossoff will need black voters to turn out in much greater numbers than they did for Hillary. As for Handel, strategists say that female turnout will be the key to her ultimate performance.
As The Hill points out, with less than 24 hours until polls open, the Democratic machine is in overdrive today with their “Get Out The Vote” efforts.
“The GOTV effort is huge and critical,” Ossoff told a small group of reporters Sunday at his Chamblee field office.
“We’re doing everything we can to make sure folks know when and where to vote and how. And making the case for fresh leadership given what’s going on in Washington. And that sending another career politician to D.C. ain’t going to change anything.”
“This is going to be an extraordinarily close election and it’s going to be a late night on Tuesday,” he said. “Every vote will count.”
Meanwhile, with Dems anxious to hand Trump his first ‘loss’, Ossoff has drawn a lot of support from national groups as well.
National groups such as the Progressive Turnout Project, a political action committee, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPAF) have also been flexing their muscles when it comes to boosting turnout and reaching scores of voters in the sixth district.
PPAF said it has 40 canvassers who knock on doors each day, and will have knocked on 80,000 doors ahead of the voting. The group touts that it’s twice the size of any other independent canvasses backing Ossoff.
Alex Morgan, executive director of Progressive Turnout Project, said the group has four full-time field reps based in the district and is focused solely on encouraging Democratic voters who vote in every election to turnout again on Tuesday. The group has knocked on 20,000 doors since mid-April, getting 1,500 commitments from people who say they’ll vote for Ossoff.
While canvassing, the group said they’ve consistently heard that voters want a representative who will be a check on Trump, who has been the “biggest partisan force” in the special election.
For those who plan to track voter turnout in real time tomorrow evening, Politico provided some helpful maps of which regions are most critical for each candidate.
— POLITICO (@politico) June 19, 2017
Of course, Ossoff took some heat throughout the campaign for not being a resident of the Congressional district for which he’s looking to get elected…an issue which Handel hammered him on during a recent debate.
Meanwhile, the recent shooting of Majority Whip Steve Scalise could have a major impact on voter turnout with Brad Carver, the GOP chairman in Georgia’s 11th Congressional District, saying it could be what ultimately tips the scales in favor of Handel. Per the Washington Post:
“I’ll tell you what: I think the shooting is going to win this election for us,” Carver told the Post Saturday. “Because moderates and independents in this district are tired of left-wing extremism. I get that there’s extremists on both sides, but we are not seeing them.”
“We’re seeing absolute resistance to everything this president does,” Carver continued. “Moderates and independents out there want to give him a chance. Democrats have never given this president a chance.”
And with the race being hailed as a key referendum vote on the Trump administration, it’s hardly surprising that Trump has pushed for Handel over twitter.
The Dems want to stop tax cuts, good healthcare and Border Security.Their ObamaCare is dead with 100% increases in P’s. Vote now for Karen H
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2017
So how will it all turn out? Will Democrats hand Trump his first big loss and a taste of what is to come in 2018 or, just like in November, did the Dems just spend an obscene amount of money for absolutely nothing?