Democrats Blow Winning Elections Ossoff Handel 4/19/17

Joe Raedle  Getty Images

Joe Raedle Getty Images

Ossoff won 48.3% of the votes, more than all the other candidates, but had needed to win 50% for an outright win. And that's a big contrast to the Democrat who doesn't even live in the district.

Ossoff, who had predicted an outright victory, nonetheless said the outcome was a win. That pattern mirrored what we saw in 2016, when Hillary Clinton cleaned up among early voters in key swing states that she nevertheless went on to lose.

"That's what we have to do because that's where we fell short in the past; we allowed our basic infrastructure to atrophy, and we have to build strong parties", he said.

Handel moved quickly to unite her fractured party, drawing immediate endorsements from some of her fellow GOP candidates and national party leaders, including House Speaker Paul Ryan.

"‶Tomorrow, we start the campaign anew", Handel said, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

The press secretary pointed to the fact that Ossoff was the only serious Democrat who ran while more than a dozen Republicans threw their hat in the ring.

If this is the Republican Party's secret weapon in keeping control of this hotly contested seat in Georgia, then they're in big trouble.

Trump repeatedly attacked Ossoff's record before the vote, saying he would be a "disaster" in Congress.

"This district has a long legacy of Republican leadership", she said. When Price gave up the seat to join Donald Trump's cabinet, the question wasn't whether he'd be replaced by a Republican, but rather, which one.

"Karen Handel, living the high life", the commercial ends.

The race is seen as an early test of strength for the president, and Ossoff insisted his performance in a district held by Republicans since 1979 showed Trump's party is beatable on their own turf in the current political landscape.

Georgia's 6th District, which includes Cobb County, Fulton County and Dekalb County, has been held by Republicans since Newt Gingrich took office in 1978. Ossoff will now face former Secretary of State Karen Handel, a Republican who finished in clear second despite running around 30 points behind Ossoff.

CAMEROTA: I mean, very quickly, President Trump only won there by one percentage point.

"They were ringing my phone off the hook", said Kim Fambro, 45, who said the outreach convinced her to vote for Ossoff. 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. Republicans believe a two-candidate scenario will embolden conservative voters and make it harder for Ossoff to campaign above the fray as he has thus far.

Werner reported from Washington.

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