As voting concluded on Tuesday, Democrat Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old political novice, was expected to come out atop a field of 18 candidates vying for a U.S. House of Representatives seat that was vacated when Trump named Tom Price as his health secretary. Ossoff received the most votes at 48.1 percent, while GOP candidate Karen Handel came in second with 19.8 percent. If Ossoff had won at least 50%, he would have secured the seat outright.
Handel, who said Trump called to congratulate her on Wednesday morning, dismissed Ossoff as a well-funded novice who would flounder as Republicans consolidated support behind a single candidate.
The victor in Georgia will succeed Republican Tom Price, who resigned to join Trump's administration as health secretary. It didn't happen on Tuesday night - and now Democrats will have to wait nearly two months to see if they can start to build momentum for the November 2018 midterms.
Outside groups poured millions into the nationally-watched contest, which was widely viewed as an early indicator of Trump's popularity as he closed out his first 100 days in office.
(You would think Republicans would have learned their lesson by now about having too many candidates after watching the messy presidential primary process previous year.) Eleven candidates against a solid Democrat pick, one who is receiving tons of outside money, presented a tremendous advantage to Mr. Ossoff. And Trump let the world know he played a role - via a robocall and tweets - writing this: "Glad to be of help!"
While some polling suggests Ossoff still stands a chance at winning the seat, the task in front of him now is a much steeper climb than what he has faced up to this point.
Trump bested Hillary Clinton in Fulton County and Cobb County in the 2016 presidential election. Ossoff needed to break the 50 percent threshold to avoid a runoff, but that didn't happen and now a June 20 match up is scheduled.
Congratulations to Jon Ossoff's campaign for all of their hard work in tonight's landslide in the race for Georgia's 6 Congressional District. But it will require picking up more than 20 seats and winning over droves of voters like those in the affluent, well-educated Georgia district that spans Atlanta's northern suburbs.
Voters headed to the polls Tuesday in Georgia's 6th Congressional District special election, a race being billed as the first true test of the anti-Trump resistance movement that's bubbled up around the country.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer echoed the sentiment. "We have shattered expectations", Ossoff told supporters Tuesday night before the race had been projected. Trump had lent support to her through a series of tweets and robocalls.