Georgia special election could pay dividends in 2018 Texas races

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"There is too much at stake", Handel said, acknowledging the white hot spotlight on a contest that has become a proxy for national politics and a test for the GOP early in Donald Trump's presidency.

Across town, a boisterous crowd dominated by millennials chants "Flip the 6th!" Ossoff, a 30-year-old documentary filmmaker, has focused on entrepreneurship, cutting government waste, tech innovation, and generic national security, and he's has sought to paint his opponent as a spendthrift who is in politics for herself.

Trump wrote that Ossoff "can't even vote. because he doesn't even live there!"

Then he offered a list of priorities sure to rouse any liberal. Both sides say Tuesday's going to be a late night.

It's one election; a single seat out of 435.

It's the most expensive congressional race ever, with money flooding in from out of state for a seat that ultimately will be just one of 435 in the U.S. House. Former Rep. Tom Price, whose departure to become Trump's health and human services secretary led to the special election, won each time he was on the ballot since 2004 with more than 60% of the vote.

Lee Roberts, a general contractor who used to be Republican and now leans Democrat, supports Ossoff.

"Big day tomorrow in Georgia and South Carolina", Trump tweeted, referring to a second state which is holding a special congressional election Tuesday.

Still, all four of those seats are traditionally Republican.

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A spate of retirements from nervous incumbents who lack the stomach for a bitter re-election battle could be avoidable: A Handel victory could show anxious party members - particularly those in suburban districts that Democrats are targeting - that they can still rely on a strategy of turning out their base in Republican-leaning districts, even if Trump is unpopular there.

But there is no guarantee that Ossoff will emerge victorious in the neck-and-neck suburban Atlanta race.

Now it's possible those same Republicans who voted for Trump over Hillary Clinton decide they want to send a message to Trump and send a Democratic candidate to check him, Rothenberg said. Right Wing Watch uncovered a 2002 questionnaire from the LGBTQ group Georgia Equality where Handel claimed she was a member of the Log Cabin Republicans, had attended Pride festivities, and promised to reach out to members of the LGBTQ community.

But Handel has also benefited from millions of dollars in outside spending from super PACs such as the Congressional Leadership Fund, which is backed by House GOP leadership.

Electing Ossoff - a rubber stamp for Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi - isn't the way forward.

Ossoff, who once described his bid to take the GOP-controlled district as an opportunity to "make Trump furious", has since dialed back. He repeatedly downplayed Trump's role in the race while rallying supporters at a campaign office in Chamblee on Monday but acknowledged that it's a motivating force for many supporters. "I'm excited to be working at the grassroots level and talking to folks about the most important right we have-the right to vote", said Mary Liuzzi, a volunteer who hosted a phone bank for Ossoff in her San Antonio home last week.

The Ossoff campaign had contacted her many times - too many times, she said.

In comments to reporters Monday, Handel called the commercial "disgusting", echoing a statement released by her campaign Saturday, and added that it "absolutely" should be taken off the air. The entire Trump agenda will face a far steeper path to enactment, and exactly when the Senate is about to begin voting to repeal and replace the shonda known as Obamacare.