Trump brags about GOP barely avoiding disaster in Georgia race

Jonathan Cox Emily Merwin and Saurabh Datar	

	Here's how each precinct in Georgia's 6th District voted by party

Jonathan Cox Emily Merwin and Saurabh Datar Here's how each precinct in Georgia's 6th District voted by party

Late Tuesday night, President Donald Trump tweeted his congratulations to Georgia Republicans and celebrated a victory.

There were five Democrats in the race, but they backed Jon Ossoff - the 30-year-old us congressional candidate who couldn't even vote for himself on Tuesday - pouring more than $8 million into his campaign.

Ossoff will now head towards a runoff with Republican candidate Karen Handel, who finished second in the race with 19.8 percent of the vote out of a field with at least three other Republican candidates.

Part of what is fueling Democratic excitement about the race is that while Trump won Georgia by six percentage points, the district that Ossoff seeks to win supported Trump by barely one point over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The special election was called after Trump named its congressman, Republican Tom Price, as health secretary.

He published a similar message last week, after Republicans were forced to scramble to win a congressional special election in a ruby-red Kansas district.

Trump jumped into the race in its final days with attacks on Twitter poking fun at Ossoff for not living in his own district and for attracting support from Hollywood celebrities. "Glad to be of help!" the president tweeted, pointing to the large sums of money raised by donors outside the state of Georgia.

Ossoff received 48.1% of the vote, shy of the 50% he needed to win outright.

"I need you to get out to the polls tomorrow, April 18, and vote Republican", Trump said in the call.

In order to do so, the party will have to capture at least 25 Republican seats, an endeavor that could lead through a district like Georgia's 6th - where voters have traditionally leaned Republican, but are not sold on the president's agenda.

"This is already a remarkable victory".

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.

"The Democratic base is totally engaged, totally fired up, and anybody that thinks that is going to go away I think is whistling past the political graveyard", Cole said.

The state senate runoff is May 16, a month earlier than the 6th district runoff, and could provide an important bellwether for Ossoff and Handel.

Republicans, including the president, wanted to ensure Democrats wouldn't be able to use the election as a referendum on the Trump administration. Ossoff, who grew up within district boundaries, has explained that he lives "10 minutes" away in order to facilitate the graduate studies of his girlfriend, an Emory University medical student.

Democrats saw an opportunity, and soon the national party, as well as liberal grassroots groups, rallied around Ossoff, pouring upwards of $8 million into his campaign.

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