Democrats Seek First Big in of Trump Era Today in Georgia

Democrats Seek First Big in of Trump Era Today in Georgia
Democrats Seek First Big in of Trump Era Today in Georgia
Progressives poured $23 million into Jon Ossoff's campaign. House Democrats' campaign arm sent a team to Georgia to organize the sixth congressional district months ahead of the special election there.

Now, voters will decide whether all the effort was worthwhile.

Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel are facing off Tuesday in what has become the most expensive House race in history, with the candidates, their parties and super PACs pouring more than $50 million combined into the effort to win a single House seat in the northern Atlanta suburbs.

More than 140,000 voters cast their ballots early -- an astounding number for a special election, and one that nearly matches presidential contests.

The race is being viewed nationally as a gauge of whether President Donald Trump's sagging approval ratings are a drag on Republicans that could threaten the party's control of the House in the 2018 midterm elections.

Democrats, meanwhile, see in Georgia an early test of their strategy of trying to win typically Republican seats in suburban areas -- districts that are relatively highly educated, wealthy and diverse.

Trump weighed in on Twitter late Monday, attacking Ossoff for living just outside the district.

With the inflated price tag and the 15-month lag time between the special election and the November 2018 midterms, the contest might not hold much predictive value.

But it could be a huge psychic boost for the winner's party -- and a blow for the loser's.
If Ossoff were to win, Democrats would have a clear victory that could help keep the party's hyper-engaged base -- and donor community -- energized. A loss, though, would be a major disappointment.

If Handel were to win, Republicans on Capitol Hill could feel they are on the right track -- helping the GOP's push for health care and tax reform legislation. It could also show House incumbents that they can separate themselves from Trump effectively on the campaign trail, and stave off a potential wave of retirements.