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Democrats hope to strike blow at Trump in Georgia congressional race
21 April 2017, 05:12 | Laverne Osborne
Joe Raedle Getty Images Jon Ossoff
Even with being outspent 2-to-1 with ad buys and robocalls by President Trump and his billionaire friends, Democrat Jon Ossoff will enter Georgia's Sixth Congressional District Special election runoff in a strong position, thanks to a groundswell of grassroots volunteers. "It is now Hollywood vs. Georgia on June 20th", Trump tweeted. Jon Ossoff, the Democratic candidate, won about 48% of the vote, while Karen Handel, his closest Republican challenger, secured roughly 20% in a more crowded GOP field.
In order to win the special election, a candidate needed to break 50 percent or else the top two candidates would move on to a runoff election. Handel is a former Georgia secretary of state and has largely avoided talking about Trump, who lagged other Republicans in the district last November.
The Democrats hoped to win this special election and have the momentum carry them into the 2018 midterms.
The Kansas and Georgia races also serve notice that GOP candidates may struggle to handle Trump, who alienates many independents and even some Republicans.
Despite Ossoff's big lead, Trump claimed victory and said he was "glad to be of help" in blocking the Democrat from winning outright.
"We have an incredible chance here, an extraordinary moment for Georgia", Ossoff told volunteers as they headed out for a round of door-knocking on Monday afternoon.
Read: Ossoff fails to win Georgia House seat outright, forcing runoff. Republicans are bidding to prevent a major upset in a conservative Georgia congressional district Tuesday where Democrats stoked by opposition t.
With the slogan "Make Trump Furious", Ossoff aims to galvanize opposition to a president struggling with an approval rating that has not topped 50 percent since he took office on January 20, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling. The nation will likely be focused on the little-known Jewish candidate for weeks as he seeks to make the race a referendum on Trump's rocky start in office.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer echoed the sentiment.
Republicans say they could beat Ossoff in a one-on-one contest.
The move by Ryan - one of the most powerful Republicans in government - to insert himself into a special election in a GOP district speaks volumes about how anxious Republicans are about this race. Trump had criticized Ossoff in the days leading up to the race and tweeted after the results were in.
"We are changing the world and your voices are going to ring out across this state and country", Ossoff told his supporters.
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