Ossoff, in statement shortly after 1:30 a.m., formally accepts run-off, is "ready to fight on and win in June."
— Robert Costa (@costareports) April 19, 2017
Republicans were served another reminder of President Donald Trump’s unpopularity Tuesday as Democrat Jon Ossoff nearly captured a House seat in a region that for decades has been a conservative stronghold, with the Democrat ultimately falling just short of the percent needed to avoid a runoff.
CNN projects that Ossoff will miss the 50% he needed to win outright. He and the other top vote-getter — Republican candidate Karen Handel — will now face off on their own in June.
The hotly contested race carried major implications as a gauge of the President’s popularity — and Trump himself seemed to grasp the high stakes, playing a direct role in its closing days.
Democrats saw it as an opportunity to drive a wedge between Trump and congressional Republicans fearful that he could drag down the party in the 2018 midterms — while also delivering a psychic boost to an energized progressive base.
They nearly pulled it off. And two months later, Ossoff will get a second shot in a one-on-one runoff with Handel albeit an uphill climb now that the Republican vote in a reliably GOP district will be consolidated behind one candidate…
“There is no doubt that this is already a victory for the ages,” Ossoff told supporters late Tuesday night. “That no matter what the outcome is tonight — whether we take it all or whether we fight on — we have survived the odds. We have shattered expectations. We are changing the world. And your voices are going to ring out across this state and across this country.”
Even after Ossoff left the stage, many supporters stuck around, chanting, “Flip the Sixth!”…
The near-death experience for Republicans — on the heels of one a week earlier in Kansas, where Democrats nearly flipped a deep-red district — could still have the effect of leading GOP lawmakers in competitive states and districts to seek distance from the President, making it even more difficult for Trump to advance his agenda on Capitol Hill.
In Tuesday’s results, Democrats saw more evidence of a playing field for the 2018 midterm elections that has drastically expanded — and given the party’s 10 senators up for re-election in states that Trump won some breathing room…
That’s a hopeful thought:
The numbers I'm looking at suggest he falls short of 50 percent but he'll be close enough to scare GOP US House members not to mess with ACA https://t.co/CGspNffKEH
— Al Giordano (@AlGiordano) April 19, 2017