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Democratic Chances Overrated In Georgia Special US House Race

Democratic Chances Overrated In Georgia Special US House Race

Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 16 April 2017 10:25 PM

By most accounts in the national press, Democrats have an excellent chance of picking up the House seat in Georgia’s 6th District (suburban Atlanta) vacated by Republican Tom Price to become secretary of health and human services.

Virtually all polls give a healthy lead to Democrat John Ossoff in the initial eighteen-candidate primary this Tuesday.  Should Ossoff fail to win 50 percent of the vote, then he and the second-place finisher will compete in a run-off in June.

With $8 million raised so far and the solid backing of the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic narrative goes, filmmaker and former congressional aide Ossoff should emerge triumphant in the runoff and live up to his slogan to "Make Trump Furious."

But a look at the most recent survey and a talk with local experts shows that Democratic hopes may be a bit high.

According to a just-completed Opinion Savvy/Fox 5 Atlanta poll among likely voters, Ossoff tops the field with 42 percent of the vote, followed by Republican and former Secretary of State Karen Handel with 21 percent.  

Among other Republican candidates, former State Sen. Judson Hill and John’s Creek City Councilman Bob Gray were tied for third with 11 percent, and former State Sen. Dan Moody had 9 percent.  All others had less than 3 per cent, according to the poll.

"Out of the 18 candidates, 11 are Republican and there are no basic differences between them," said veteran Georgia pundit Phil Kent, CEO of Insider Advantage and former editor of the Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle. "All are for repealing and replacing Obamacare, for tax relief, securing the border, and all are strongly pro-life."

Kent fully expects all Republicans to rally around the eventual runner-up to Ossoff —almost sure to be Handel.

In sharp contrast, Ossoff, 30, wants to keep Obamacare as it is and says he favors "reproductive rights."

Handel, considered the likeliest Republican to face Ossoff, became a heroine of the right-to-life movement in 2012.  That year, she resigned in protest as a vice president of the Susan G. Komen Race Breast Cancer Foundation after it reversed a decision to end its grants to Planned  Parenthood. 

"And while it's not often reported, Jon Ossoff actually lives in the [neighboring] district of [Democratic Rep.] John Lewis, not in the Sixth," Kent told us, "And while you are only required to live in the state rather than the district you represent, it doesn't sit well with Georgians if you don't live where you want to represent."

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A look at the most recent survey and a talk with local experts shows that Democratic hopes of picking up the House seat in Georgia’s 6th District may be a bit high.
democrats, georgia, house race, house, ossoff
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2017-25-16
Sunday, 16 April 2017 10:25 PM
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