Early returns: Tight Georgia House race as nation watches

Republican Karen Handel is projected to win Georgia's special House election, dealing a major blow to Democrats who were hoping to score an early win against President Trump ahead of the 2018 midterms.

In Fulton County, officials became aware in the afternoon of one Sandy Springs voter who was mistakenly turned away in the morning by a poll worker. "Fantastic job, we are all very proud of you!" tweeted Trump, who had publicly backed Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state.

The 30-year-old Democrat gave his concession speech shortly after the race was called.

Most everything comes around eventually in politics.

Handel had previously accused Ossoff of not wanting national exposure because of his "flimsy resume".

It was Handel's most public embrace of the man whose tenuous standing in this well-educated, suburban enclave made a previously safe Republican district close to begin with.

"We've got Trump Republicans, we've got moderate Republicans, we've got Republicans from the entire spectrum coming out today for Karen", said Watson. Ossoff lives in Atlanta, south of the suburban district. A chunk of the $5 million Handel raised herself came in three fundraisers headlined by Trump, Vice-President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan. Ossoff has not taken those positions.

Georgia 6th Congressional District hopeful Jon Ossoff is getting help from a fellow Democrat who also tried to pull an upset in Republican territory. The former Army intelligence officer assembled an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle while blindfolded to mock Republican attacks that he was weak on the Second Amendment.

Handel and Ossoff are locked in a close contest in polls, with the Republican having a 0.2 point lead, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls.

President Trump barely edged Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 6th in November.

An election official says voting has been moving smoothly at polling sites in Georgia's closely-watched House election. She said she'd have voted for the House Republican health-care bill, though she sometimes misrepresented its provisions in debates with Ossoff.

The president's approval rating was 37 percent in a Gallup poll taken June 17-19 as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and congressional committees investigate possible Trump campaign ties to Russian Federation and whether the president obstructed the FBI's probe. After a reporter described it, Handel called it "disgusting".

Pelosi has donated a large sum of money to Ossoff, along with the Democratic National Committee which has given more than $2 million to Ossoff's race.

Ossoff is trying to flip the Atlanta suburbs that Republican Tom Price left to become Trump's health secretary.

Handel's margin allows Republicans a sigh of relief after what's being recognized as the most expensive House race in U.S history, with a price tag that may exceed $50 million.

Handel and McCarthy started the day at a breakfast restaurant, shaking hands and urging people to vote on Tuesday. The race, which has seen candidates and outside groups spending roughly $55 million, has captured the national spotlight - and even Wall Street is paying attention.

  • Leroy Wright