DemDaily: Georgia On My Mind
April 19, 2017
Both Democrats and Republicans are claiming victory in last night's special election to fill HHS Secretary Tom Price's seat in the 6th District of Georgia.Democrat Jon Ossoff placed first with 48.1% in the "jungle primary," followed by Republican Karen Handel with just 19.8% of the vote. Because no candidate received more than half of the total vote, the top two finishers advance to a runoff election on June 20th.
Republicans insist that, with just one GOP candidate in the second round, Ossoff will fall to the 51% of voters who divided their votes among 11 Republican contenders in round one. The 5 Dems and 2 independents in the race accounted for 49% of Tuesday's vote.
President Trump, who had actively tweeted during the campaign - accusing Ossoff of wanting to flood the country with illegal immigrant and destroy healthcare - claimed the result as a win.
Most pundits, however, see this as a positive sign for Democrats. Although the 6th CD voted 48% Trump-47% Clinton in the November presidential, Ossoff outperformed Clinton's numbers in all three counties (Cobb, Dekalb, and Fulton) yesterday by approximately 2%. If that two point gain holds for the Democrats in June's two-candidate showdown, Ossoff could take the seat.
FiveThirtyEight reports that an average of five polls taken prior to Tuesday's election showed, in a head-to-head match, Ossoff narrowly defeats Handel by 0.4%.
Other Republicans are not as confident as the President, seeing a clear trend away from GOP support in areas where Trump was successful in November.
Republicans won the April 11th Kansas Special Election by 7%, but Ron Estes' (R) 53%-46% victory over Democrat James Thompson is a far cry from Trump's 27% victory over Clinton in the District in November.
"The south is changing. Atlanta is changing. And I like our chances in a runoff, but we need to wake up as a party. There's districts like this all over the country that are getting much more moderate."
- Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
With two more special elections to fill seats vacated by Members who joined Trump's Cabinet, the public and pundits will have an opportunity to gage the true "Trump effect."
In South Carolina, three Democrats, including two military veterans, are running in the May 2nd primary for the opportunity to face the winner of an equally crowded GOP primary field which includes State House Speaker Pro Tem Tommy Pope. The traditionally Republican district delivered Trump a 57%-39% win in the presidential.
In Montana's May 25 election, musician Rob Quist (D) will face former Gubernatorial nominee Greg Gianforte (R), both of whom were nominated at their parties' respective conventions March 3rd and 5th. The district, which has been held by a Republican for 20 years, voted Trump 57%-Clinton 36%.
|Incumbent||Special Election Date||Democratic Candidates||Republican Candidates||Presidential % in CD|
South Carolina 5th District
|Mick Mulvaney, left to serve as Director, Office of Management & Budget||Primary: May 2nd
Primary Runoff: May 16th
General: June 20th
Army veteran Alexis Frank, US Marine Corps veteran
Les Murphy, Goldman Sachs senior adviser Archie Parnell
|Camden attorney Tom Mullikin, State Rep Ralph Norman, education activist Sheri Few, attorney Kris Wampler, State House Speaker Pro Tem Tommy Pope, Chad Connelly||Clinton 39%
Montana At Large seat
|Ryan Zinke, left to serve as Secretary of the Interior||General: May 25||Rob Quist, musician, former spokesman for the Montana Food Bank, and former member of the Montana Arts Council||Greg Gianforte, former Montana Governor nominee||Clinton 36%
California 34th District
|Xavier Becerra, left to serve as California Attorney General||General: June 6||State Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, Frm Los Angeles city planning
Robert Lee Ahn
|US Congress: Georgia 6th District||Tom Price, left to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services||Runoff: June 20||Former Congressional Aide Jon Ossoff||Former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel||Clinton 47%