Poll: Georgia Special Election Could Be Tougher For Dems Than Expected

REUTERS/Bita Honarvar

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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Democrats have high hopes of flipping a vacant Georgia House seat blue in a special election, but a new poll may dampen those expectations.

Democrats have given $8 million to help their candidate, Josh Ossoff, prevail among the 18 candidates running in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District primary. The district was previously represented by Republican Tom Price.

Although Donald Trump barely carried the district in 2016, a new poll released by Decision Desk HQ and RRHElections.com shows that Ossoff is heading toward a difficult runoff with one of the five Republicans in the jungle primary. This kind of primary requires a candidate to get at least 50 percent to win the election or the top two vote getters have a runoff in a general election regardless of party.

Ossoff can only avoid a runoff if he gets at least 50 percent of the vote in the district, but the poll shows Ossoff with just 39 percent.

Another Democrat in the race takes 4 percent, pushing total Democratic support to 43 percent. The smorgasbord of Republicans in the primary have a combined total of 51 percent, with Karen Handel at 15 percent.

With more than 39,000 ballots cast overall as of Wednesday, Democrats currently lead Republicans in early voting, the poll shows. As many as 95,000 to 130,000 voters may ultimately turn out to vote by Tuesday.

Decision Desk HQ notes, “Republicans remain divided on who to back, and this is their Party’s blessing and curse going into Election Day. Ossoff is barely clearing a third of the remaining vote with much of the rest divided in a battle royal between four Republican hopefuls.”

The site adds, “If these voters stay engaged and do eventually show up, they’ll prevent Ossoff from clearing 50% Tuesday. If they aren’t as eager, things get hairy and Ossoff’s first round win odds improve greatly.”

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