I'm Not Drinking the Jon Ossoff Kool-Aid Just Yet


(New York magazine's Jon Chait wrote an excellent piece on Trump and TV that you really should read.) The narrative over the last week or so - as people outside of Georgia have started to pay attention to the race - is that an Ossoff victory would signal a rejection by Republicans of how Trump has performed in his first 100-ish days.

"It was absolutely important to win this seat, and we think that this victory sends a very important message", said Jack Pandol, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. But those surveys also suggest that all the Republicans combined will enjoy a majority of the vote - right now, Ossoff is mired in the low-to-mid 40s. He raised more than $8.3 million, most from outside the district.

Ossoff - hoping to reach the necessary 50 percent threshold to earn the 6th Congressional District seat vacated by the new Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, R-Ga. - talked around the touchy residency issue during a moment of truth on CNN's "New Day." Prognosticators who are willing to place big bets as a result of this outcome might want to remember the feeling that many of them had the morning after the election in November.

It has a large proportion of well-educated voters who are reliably Republican but frustrated by Trump.

Ossoff, plus four other Democrats, 11 Republicans and one Independent, are all seeking at least 50 percent of the vote in today's primary in order to capture the seat.

UPDATE 9:35 PM ET: With 67/210 precincts completely reporting: Ossoff leads Handel 54%-18%.

That's because Jon Ossoff does not live in the district that he would be representing.

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Ossoff is the clear Democratic favorite in Georgia and has repeatedly invoked Trump in his campaign ads and fundraising pitches. He says special elections are a different animal. And Clinton carried Cobb County - a key population base of the district. The history of special elections reveals that just because voters go one way in one place at a given time, they might act very differently at a national level in the months ahead.

Most polls are preparing to close at 7 p.m.in a high-profile Georgia congressional race where Democrats are bidding for a major upset in a historically conservative district.

The question was whether Ossoff, a 30-year-old owner of an investigative film company, could win more than 50 percent of the vote Tuesday. "He ran a race that was strongly in support of Donald Trump and the Republican agenda, and you know we believe that's why he won". His lack of commitment to his girlfriend of over a decade might - just maybe - hurt him electorally in the Bible Belt, especially when his top two competitors, former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel and businessman Bob Gray, have been married for years. Polls in Georgia show him leading the field.

HUNT: Ossoff comes across as an unlikely hero, mocked in an attack ad for dressing up as Han Solo in college.

Ossoff responded in a statement: "While I'm glad the president is interested in the race, he is misinformed". He has pledged to fight Trump when he "embarrasses" the country.

Voting is now underway in the district, which includes parts of Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton counties north of Atlanta, with polls due to close at 7 p.m. ET tonight.