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Voters in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District Just Want Today to be Over

By  |  June 20, 2017, 09:42am  |  @ewerickson


Perhaps the most compelling argument against voting for Jon Ossoff is that, should he win, the 2018 congressional race will begin in earnest tomorrow. People have ignored the fact that Nancy Pelosi is as unpopular in the district as Donald Trump. In fact, the ads that have had the most impact on Ossoff have been the ones tying him to Pelosi.

That also suggests the district is not as Democrat as some would think. It has been a pretty strongly Republican district for a long time and the only Republican who has had trouble in the district is named Donald Trump. But his unpopularity has been a drain on Karen Handel. Voters in the Republican Primary made a wise choice with Karen despite noise to the contrary. Jon Ossoff has spent tens of millions of dollars in negative ads against Handel to little effect. The voters of the sixth have voted for Handel several times over the years and they know her. The attacks have worked to rally Democrats, but not persuade others.

What is clear today is that people are tired of the race. All over the sixth, voters have put up signs on their mailboxes and doors telling door knockers to stay away. They are tired of all the visits. Many of them have already voted. They just want it over.

The events of last week in Washington, coupled with white powder filled envelopes delivered in Handel’s neighborhood and other offensive acts against her, have fired up Republicans more than they might otherwise have been. The enthusiasm gap has closed. One concern for the GOP is the number of Republicans who say they will vote Ossoff to rebuke the President. It will be a bit hard for the GOP to claim an Ossoff win has nothing to do with the President. A concern for Democrats is the Republican assertiveness that Democrats are running as a violent mob. That assertion may actually cost Ossoff the race given last week’s events.

In the final days of the race, the polling has closed to a tie. The metro Atlanta area is under a flood watch today, but the rain is expected to be south of the sixth district for most of the day. Usually it is the GOP that likes rain, but today the Republicans are hoping for clear skies so all the GOP will turn out. If they do, Handel should win. But that is a big if as the President’s popularity declines further. Right now, he has an unfavorable rating in the sixth of around 60%. That weighs down Handel, but hopefully not enough for Ossoff to win.