Tuesday, 25 April, 2017

Georgia House race down to 2 candidates, plus Trump, Pelosi

Georgia runoff seen as Trump test Georgia House race down to 2 candidates, plus Trump, Pelosi
Melissa Porter | 21 April, 2017, 19:47

Democrats claimed a partial victory over President Donald Trump, as first-time candidate Jon Ossoff secured enough votes Tuesday in Georgia's traditionally Republican 6th Congressional District to advance to a June run-off election.

Trump, who used a robocall and his Twitter account in the contest's closing days to push Republicans to the polls, taunted Democrats on Wednesday morning, casting the upcoming final contest as "Hollywood vs. Georgia".

Republicans have controlled the seat for decades and Mr Trump won it by one percentage point in last November's presidential election. Under the so-called "jungle primary" system, the top two candidates - Ossoff and Handel - will head into the June runoff.

Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old political novice, is leading a field of 18 candidates for a U.S. House of Representatives seat that was vacated when Trump named Tom Price as his health secretary.

The Democrats hoped to win this special election and have the momentum carry them into the 2018 midterms.

Ossoff's campaign was boosted by the support of numerous celebrities, including from Star Trek actor George Takei and anti-Trump talk show host Chelsea Handler, the latter of whom donated to the young Democrat and used her almost 7 million-strong Twitter following to urge Georgia voters to turn out. The election that was seen as an early referendum on Trump, threw a scare into Republicans - as the president tweeted several times blasting Ossoff.

It also serves notice that GOP candidates may always struggle to handle Trump's polarizing effects; he engenders an intense loyalty among his core supporters but alienates many independents and even Republicans. And Trump let the world know he played a role - via a robocall and tweets - writing this: "Glad to be of help!"

"Jon Ossoff is in a strong position to become the first Democrat to represent the Georgia 6in almost 40 years". But 4,000 votes and it would have been really big news I think we would be talking about today. Trump himself targeted Ossoff with robocalls and a barrage of Twitter messages.

However, what is concerning is that why do Congressional Republicans perceive Ossoff as a threat and why did Trump want him to lose so badly? Before Price held the seat it was former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's, who at one point was the only Republican in the state's House delegation.

A GOP state senator in Georgia recently said the 6th district's lines "were not drawn" to elect a Democrat, and yet, there was Ossoff, forcing Republicans to spend millions of dollars they didn't expect to invest in order to barely keep him below 50%.

Ryan's most notable failure came over the last few months when he was unable to bring his party - and the Republican president - together to achieve the repeal of Obamacare, something they have been promising to do for almost a decade.