Live Decision Desk results from the Georgia special election

Democrat Jon Ossoff delivers his concession speech in Georgia's 6th District race.

Ossoff, who received gobs of money from outside Georgia and doesn't even live in the 6 District, started his campaign by exhorting voters to "Make Trump Furious".

Polls over the past two weeks show an extremely tight race.

Georgia was not the only special election that happened Tuesday. The seat was vacated in February when Mick Mulvaney left to become Trump's director of the Office of Budget and Management.

Early results gave Republican Karen Handel a narrow lead over Democrat Jon Ossoff in the suburban Atlanta race, but the lead switched back and forth several times as results come in.

In 2012, Republican nominee Mitt Romney won the district by 21 percentage points over president Barack Obama, Lake noted.

The president posted a number of messages Monday on Twitter criticizing Ossoff and urging voters to support Handel.

With Handel's win, Republicans on Capitol Hill are likely to feel they are on the right track - helping the GOP's push for health care and tax reform legislation.

Republican Karen Handel has beaten Democrat Jon Ossoff in the Georgia Sixth Congressional District special election, dealing a blow to Democrats, who had hoped to move the seat into their column.

The result in a historically conservative district still offers Republicans a warning that Mr Trump, for better or worse, will dominate the looming campaign cycle. They fell short in other special congressional elections earlier this year in Kansas and Montana, and are expected to lose another race on Tuesday in SC.

Republicans picked the special election map, and they picked seats that they were big favorites to keep.

"[Ossoff] is a liberal Democrat who does not reflect this district", Ryan said.

Her win comes after losing bids for governor in 2010 and the Senate in 2014, and it builds on a business and political career she built after leaving an abusive home as a teenager. But Handel said that's not what she's hearing. GA-6 is Newt Gingrich's old district and has been in Republican hands since 1979.

They'll say that of course, the Republicans won the seat of Tom Price by 23 points last time so what do you expect?

Just as the networks began calling the race for Handel around 10 p.m., the House Republicans' campaign arm sent out a statement congratulating Handel on the win.

Ossoff and Handel are vying for a seat that's open because "the president selected Tom Price, who held the district, for a cabinet position", Lake said.

In victory, she commended Ossoff and pledged to work for his supporters. Ossoff called Rep. Steve Scalise's shooting a "national tragedy" that should not be politicized.

"My pledge is to be part of the solution, to focus on governing", she said.

Handel, 55, had to slog through a crowded primary against 10 other GOP opponents, and her campaign was outspent by an nearly 5-to-1 margin - but she had the help of deep-pocketed national Republican groups who helped keep her in the advertising battle. She welcomed him for a private fundraiser in late April. She pointed voters instead to her "proven conservative record" as a state and local elected official.

Handel has aligned herself gingerly with Trump.

But it could give Republicans a boost of confidence as they struggle to advance health and tax legislation that has been bogged down by infighting and an investigation into whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation in last year's presidential election.

It was enough to help Handel raise more than $5 million, not a paltry sum in a congressional race, but barely a fifth of Ossoff's fundraising haul. She wasn't sure how many people were given those directions.

However, Ryan said he did not want to get into what it could mean for Republicans if Handel loses to Ossoff.

  • Leroy Wright