Georgia race finally heads to voters; DC watching closely

Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel are facing off Tuesday in what has become the most expensive House race in history, with the candidates, their parties and super PACs pouring more than $50 million combined into the effort to win a single House seat in the northern Atlanta suburbs.

Voters in Georgia will decide the most expensive USA congressional race ever Tuesday, a $60-million political brawl where a Democratic novice could score an upset in a conservative stronghold and strike a blow against Donald Trump's presidency.

The race between Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff is seen as a significant political test for the new Trump Administration.

Ossoff's campaign has been a testing ground for Democrats' hopes that Trump's unpopularity will allow them to compete for GOP-held seats in suburban areas across America. Republicans are favored to hold a fourth seat up Tuesday in SC, while Democrats already held their lone open seat in a California special election.

The most expensive House race in USA history heads to voters Tuesday in suburban Atlanta.

Handel used an election-eve rally to urge suburban Atlanta Republicans not to be wowed by the attention and money showered on this House special election. What they tend to have in common: Relatively highly educated, wealthy and diverse populations, plus people who - like thousands in Ossoff's district - voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 and then backed Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Mrs. Handel says her supporters will have the chance Tuesday "to rock Nancy Pelosi's world".

She remains one of the nation's most recognizable and polarizing political figures - an NBC/ Wall Street Journal poll released in February showed she is the least popular politician in the United States - and in particular in GOP-leaning districts like Georgia's 6th Congressional District. Ossoff has said the address is close to Emory University, where his fiancee attends medical school.

Handel has aligned herself with Trump, who campaigned heavily on repealing Obamacare.

Handel's decision to keep her distance from Trump risks alienating Trump's supporters, a part of the GOP base that she still needs.

"I think getting her elected helps his position and also gives us a stronger Republican Congress", Johns, 71, said over a platter of pulled pork. Making his first bid for office, he's become a symbol of the Trump opposition movement.

On Monday, Mr Ossoff, 30, told local TV: "It's a neck-and-neck race, and it's all about turnout now".

That hasn't stopped the president from weighing in on the race. "They want someone with whom they can be connected, someone who knows the community, who has relationships in the community, who's been a part of this community for nearly 25 years", Handel said.

But make no mistake: Republicans are closely watching the results to see just how much of a drag Trump is on Handel.

"We let that happen", she said. After a reporter described it, Handel called it "disgusting".

Principled PAC, the organization that produced the ad, had not disclosed its donors before this weekend, when the group unveiled the spot.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., was hit and seriously injured during shooting.

  • Joanne Flowers