Georgia special election result lets both sides claim victory

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Ossoff will face former Secretary of State Karen Handel, who received the most votes among the many Republicans in the running, in the June election.

The Democratic Party's best hope to steal a congressional seat from the Republican majority fell just short Tuesday in a race that sparked national attention and was cast as a referendum on the presidency of Donald Trump.

"It's a test case for how far a Democratic candidate can go in a Republican district on the strength of opposition to Trump", said Todd Rehm, a Georgia Republican strategist who is not affiliated with any candidate in the race. In this format, if one candidate gets 50 percent of the vote, he or she wins the election outright. Having allowed Democrats and progressive groups to almost steal a march on them in what should have been a relatively safe district, Republicans put up an Election Day response that barely snagged them a runoff in Georgia's 6th congressional district.

And according to Brian Fallon, the former spokesperson for failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Ossoff's showing in Georgia's 6th district could potentially be a roadmap for the Democratic Party's strategy going forward to win over wealthy, white voters.

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The remaining candidates had 15 percent of the vote or less: Republicans Royden "Roy" Daniels (15.21 percent), Gus Makris (10.19 percent) and Matt Campbell (9.99 percent), Democrats Bob Wiskind (8.68 percent) and Exton Howard (6.92 percent) and Republican Hamilton Matthew Beck (3.70 percent).

The Georgia seat is traditionally a GOP stronghold, with a Republican holding it every year since 1978, when Newt Gingrich was elected.

"I don't know", Sanders replied.

"They ran to win last night and they lost", White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters.

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Trump blasted Ossoff on Twitter and said in a robocall that the Democrat would "raise your taxes, destroy your healthcare, and flood our country with illegal immigrants".

Camerota then noted that Handel received 19.8 percent of the vote in the special election, while Ossoff attracted 48.1 percent of the ballots.

"Obviously, we're very excited, and what happened last night is very encouraging", said Handel.

Another congressional battle will play out late next month in conservative-leaning Montana, where voters will pick a replacement for Republican Ryan Zinke, who has become Trump's U.S. interior secretary. "He's going to weigh in on this race". Republicans had a large slate of candidates in the "jungle primary", including a few who unapologetically supported Trump.

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The hotly contested race carried major implications as a gauge of the President's popularity - and Trump himself seemed to grasp the high stakes, playing a direct role in its closing days. "And while Republicans have their backs against the wall, Democrats will keep their foot on the gas through Election Day because the residents of Georgia's 6district deserve a representative who will fight for them", he said.

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