Opinion: Just like that, Karen Handel has caught up with Jon Ossoff

Republican candidate Karen Handel thanks her supporters, April 18. (AJC Photo / Curtis Compton)

The first opinion poll since the special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District shows a 1-point lead for Democrat Jon Ossoff over Republican Karen Handel, within the margin of error.

Here’s another way of putting it: It took just one week* for Handel to erase the 28-point gap Ossoff enjoyed in the first round of balloting.

The internal poll, conducted by a Democratic firm, affirms what most seasoned observers expected in the run-off. Buoyed by endorsements from most of her GOP opponents and pretty much every major Republican in the state, Handel is in a solid position to consolidate the party’s voters and win the race — despite the enormous enthusiasm among many in the district for sending a message of defiance against President Trump. Given that the poll was conducted when Ossoff and Democratic groups were already back on TV and radio with ads promoting him and attacking Handel — while she, as expected, had to take a few days to raise money and regroup — this is unambiguously good news for her. So is the fact that Handel, who has a reputation as a poor fund-raiser, brought in over $1 million in just one week after the special election. That doesn’t count the $750,000 from a fund-raiser Trump headlined for her in Atlanta last Friday.

If there is anything bad for Handel in the poll, it’s that Ossoff continues to galvanize a number of people in the district who don’t always vote. That means Handel’s ground game will have to be particularly good at prodding the district’s reliable Republicans to show up and vote. The GOP managed to do that leading up to the April 18 special election: The astonishing (for a special election) turnout of 43 percent was evidence Democrats weren’t the only ones to push people to the polls.

On the other hand, the absence of other details and cross-tabs from the poll’s publicly released results makes one wonder if the other news for Ossoff wasn’t so great.

In related news, I spoke with a Republican bigwig recently and took away these nuggets about the race:

  • Educated women in the suburban district, who traditionally have voted GOP, continue to be turned off by Trump.
  • The fact that Handel is a woman may help make up for some of that, but only up to a point.
  • Perhaps the biggest thing in this race outside Handel’s control — besides what comes out of Trump’s mouth and Twitter account — is what Congress does between now and the June 20 run-off. Getting a key bill or two out of the House before then (e.g., health care or taxes) could show these newly reluctant Republicans that the party is making progress and bring them back into the fold.

So while this is no time for Republicans to relax, the very early signs in the 6th District run-off are good for Karen Handel.

*The poll of 590 “likely June run-off voters” was conducted April 23-26. It has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

Reader Comments 0

177 comments
JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

New sheets on The Heritage Foundation leadership change. 

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

More LibProg lunacy....

Hedley posts below that yours truly breaks the law daily, should I be deported as would be an illegal immigrant when breaking the law?

Hedly, bless your heart...

The difference is I am legal.  The illegal, and that's the key word, immigrant is not.

I get a fine, he gets deported.

It's the law. 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@JohnnyReb You do something illegal everyday.


Why should poor people coming here looking for work, just as our ancestors did, be punished ? 


Punish the employers profiting off cheap labor. Funny how that never gets mentioned.

breckenridge
breckenridge

Anyway, Karen Handel's main selling point seems to be "vote for me because I'm not Ossoff."  And Ossoff's main selling point seems to be.....um.......I'm not really sure he has one.


But a couple of observations:


1. Karen Handel is the quintessential Establishment candidate.  She could easily be the Establishment poster girl.


2. Handel, unless I've missed something, is not trying to ride Trump's coattails into Congress. 

DeepStateDawg
DeepStateDawg

@breckenridge Ossoff's main selling point is that he's not a Trump Republican. 


Fancies himself a do-gooder. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@DeepStateDawg @breckenridge

Well, he's trying in his ads to convey an image of sensible fiscal conservatism. I don't know how effective that'll be. 

I think the Sixth is grown-up enough to hear something a little more harsh-truthful, like that without a Democratic majority in the House by Jan. 2019 keeping Trump's idiocy in check, this country is fcrewn.

But then, what he's doing seems to be working so far, so what do I know.

Chloecake
Chloecake

@breckenridgeApparently you did miss something. Getting a $750,000 campaign funds boost led by tRump, who demanded loyalty from the now sacked FBI director, makes Handel a tRump rubber stamp. If you're looking for a backbone here to investigate Russian collusion in the election or corruption in the White House, don't expect any from her.

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@DownInAlbany


Its not illegal immigrants committing crimes. Its repeat offenders according to the article. Baltimore being a sanctuary city is irrelevant to the increase crime rate. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@McGarnagle @DownInAlbany

Baltimore being a sanctuary city is irrelevant to the increase crime rate. 

Well actually (and as I've tried to patiently explain to Down in "LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU" Albany on multiple occasions), if anything it's reasonable to suggest that the murder rate in Baltimore would be worse without the policies the local PD have pursued. 

But geniuses like the Breitbart brain trust, well, they know way better than silly municipal governments and PDs!

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

Seems there is alot of confusion over this latest budget bill passed. Hannity and Rush don't like it yet Herman Cain and Trump admin adamantly claiming how good it is?


Another sign of the rift in the republican party?

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

https://tinyurl.com/m3os657


"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"


Our ancestors would be so ashamed of us

breckenridge
breckenridge

You're a one trick pony. For you it's all about Southern Baptists and pro-life people. Roe vs. Wade is the law of the land. Get over yourself you sound like an idiot.

I'm well aware of the fact that Roe v Wade is the law of the land.  And I'm not the one that needs to get over myself, it's the extreme right radical activist organizations such as Georgia Right To Life, and the myriad of similar organizations that are dedicated to undermining US law.  They need to get over themselves. They need to go get real jobs.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@breckenridge  Is it safe to assume that you, on the other hand, don't have a problem with sanctuary cities picking and choosing which US law they will enforce?

breckenridge
breckenridge

Real Americans don't try to undermine US law. It's been 44 years since Roe versus Wade was decided.  It's time for the radical activist anti-choice losers to move on with their pathetic lives and find something productive to do.

bullyelf
bullyelf

@breckenridge It all depends on when you believe life begins. I believe LIFE begins at conception. I and pro-life voters will continue to vote for candidates who hold our beliefs.


SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@breckenridge  You're a one trick pony. For you it's all about Southern Baptists and pro-life people. Roe vs. Wade is the law of the land. Get over yourself you sound like an idiot.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@breckenridge

Wrong again breckenridge.

There was no specific law in the Roe v Wade case.

SCOTUS found the right to privacy under the 14th amendment extended to a woman's right to have an abortion.

So what we had was 7 supreme court justices legislating from the bench their interpretation of the Constitution.

That provides for later courts to review the same scenario and repeal the previous decision.

This is not unlike the continuing battles over the 2nd amendment.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

Real Americans don't try to undermine US law.  Do you apply the same logic to the sanctuary cities?

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@bullyelf @breckenridge  It all depends on when you believe life begins. I believe LIFE begins at conception. I and pro-life voters will continue to vote for candidates who hold our beliefs.


Only it isnt that simple. Even if one holds that belief criminalizing abortion would be a terrible idea.


It would not prevent abortions. It would only encourage back alley clinics and the like. Meanwhile taking abortion out of the light and into the darkness where options like adoption are not explored. 



Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@DownInAlbany Sure


US Cities are responsible for policing US cities. Some have made the determination that not asking about a persons status makes their local communities safer. Studies back this up. Their job is not enforcing federal law and becoming a deportation force.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@Hedley_Lammar @DownInAlbany  Either they are selectively enforcing laws or not.  It's not a , but, but, but, question.  It is either YES or NO.  With your shallow logic, I suppose the States could refuse to enforce Roe v Wade since it IS a federal law.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@DownInAlbany @Hedley_Lammar Either they are selectively enforcing laws or not.


Its a federal law. Has nothing to do with them. 


You might as well ask them to enforce SEC laws.


 I suppose the States could refuse to enforce Roe v Wade since it IS a federal law.


Not exactly the same thing. One is asking law enforcement to take an active role in deporting poor immigrants. The other is just asking them to stand aside.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Hedley_Lammar @DownInAlbany

"poor immigrants"

There's your sign.

More bleeding heart BS

They are illegal residents, law breakers.

And, haven't heard this in a while....

what part about illegal do you not understand?

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@JohnnyReb @Hedley_Lammar @DownInAlbany  "poor immigrants"

There's your sign.


Yes. Poor people who came here seeking a better life. Just like your ancestors.


If the GOP was serious about illegal immigration they would go after the employer's. But we know they arent going to do that when they can just use it as a political issue and scapegoat hispanic immigrants.


They took your job !!!!

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@Hedley_Lammar @DownInAlbany @JohnnyReb  With the words of my father ringing in my ear, I will not debate you further.  He once said, "Son, don't debate a moron.  They will wrestle you down to their level and beat you with their experience."

bullyelf
bullyelf

Perhaps one reason is that Democrats have made clear their deep-seated contempt for the values of working-class, socially conservative Democrats who left their party in droves last year. On April 21, newly elected Democratic National Committee chairman Thomas Perez announced that pro-life candidates are no longer welcome in the Democratic Party: “Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health. That is not negotiable.” Hear that, Middle America? Get with the baby-killing program. Article in Washington Post by Mark Theissen.

Vote PRO LIFE  Vote for Karen Handel a Pro Life woman.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

 The first opinion poll since the special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District shows a 1-point lead for Democrat Jon Ossoff over Republican Karen Handel, within the margin of error.


A pretty shocking statement in a race for Newts seat in a district Romney won by 23 % 


The fact we are even discussing the 6th district is telling.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Hedley_Lammar

Telling how?

That soon the whole metro area will have been overtaken by minorities, and politically those minorities which overwhelming go to the party of free stuff combined with the dumb a s s whites that stick around gives the political clout to the lost and likely to stay that way?

Tell us something new.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@JohnnyReb @Hedley_Lammar  Telling how?


Telling in the fact we are seeing a 20 + swing from just a few years ago


Did the 6th district change ? Or did the Republican party ?


I would argue its the latter. 

DeepStateDawg
DeepStateDawg

Hey Kyle, 


If this race isn't all about Trump, what is your theory about the level of spending that's occurring? 


My thoughts are this: 


The Democrats would like to win Georgia's 6th, among the reddest in the country, so that they can claim it as a symbolic victory/referendum against Trump. If they win it, the district has turned its back on Trump's version of the GOP. 


Trump, a man who likes to win, recognizes this. So accordingly, he's providing funds and support for Handel, a woman of, by and for the Swamp, so that he won't have to suffer a defeat at the hands of the Democrats in a district that the GOP should carry easily. 


These two factors are combining to make this the most expensive congressional race in history (I think... if not, it's sure close). 


Ergo, it's all about Trump. 


JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

Pundits on the Jimmy Kimmel monologue and new born health problems are implying a new born with health problems would not be covered due to preexisting conditions.

Maybe there will be an insurance expert pay a visit here, but unless there has been a titanic shift a family with insurance prior to birth enjoys the new born being covered by the same policy.

On the otherhand, if a woman does not have insurance and gives birth to a baby with health problems, why should tax payers be on the hook to pay insurance premiums for the new born to have insurance?

That may sound uncaring, but you don't buy fire insurance when your house catches fire.

You might also reference my post below on Dems always blaming someone else for their problems.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@JohnnyReb  If a child is born with health issues and the parent/parents are uninsured or otherwise unable to pay for care the hospitals won't just toss the child out. The child is taken as a charity case.

breckenridge
breckenridge

@Hedley_Lammar @SGTGrit @JohnnyReb 

Yes, but by all  means don't give women a choice to terminate any pregnancy.


The hypocrisy of the smelly toothless oxygen tank social conservative old men makes me want to puke.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@Hedley_Lammar @SGTGrit @JohnnyReb  Specialty providers donate their time and expertise. The hospitals absorb charges which does come back to the taxpayers indirectly. The point is new born children with health issues do get care regardless of financial circumstance.