Apr 19, 2017

What happens next in the high-stakes Georgia runoff


John Bazemore / AP

President Trump got to claim a Twitter victory early this morning after the high-stakes special House election in the Atlanta suburbs. The two parties now plunge into an expensive two-month runoff as they try to excite their donors and bases heading into next year's congressional midterms.

The bottom line, from Atlanta-Journal-Constitution's Greg Bluestein: "The proxy fight between Democrats and Republicans will continue in Georgia for two more months."

The lead: "Democrat Jon Ossoff [48%] is headed for a runoff in June against a Republican contender after failing Tuesday to score an upset victory to [replace now-HHS Secretary Tom Price in] a suburban Atlanta district in Congress. He goes into a June 20 runoff against Karen Handel," who got 20%. (The numbers.)

Trump's tweet: "Despite major outside money, FAKE media support and eleven Republican candidates, BIG "R" win with runoff in Georgia. Glad to be of help!"

What's next, from N.Y. Times' Jonathan Martin and Richard Fausset, from Atlanta: "Ossoff's strong showing will ensure that national Democrats continue to compete here and will increase pressure on the party to contest a special House election next month in Montana that it has so far ignored."

What it means: "Combined with Democrats' better-than-expected performance in a special House election in Kansas last week, the Georgia result will be an immediate boon to Democratic groups, lifting their fund-raising and bolstering candidate recruitment efforts, while sobering Republicans who are assessing whether to run in Mr. Trump's first midterm election."

Adding it up: "Already, Republican candidates and outside groups have had to spend over $7 million against Democrats in a series of deeply conservative districts."

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