That one candidate was Democrat Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old political newcomer whose popularity and impressive fundraising effort put him in the surprising position to possibly "flip the 6th" to Democrat, after decades of it being a Republican strong-hold (in 2016, for example, Price was re-elected with almost 62 percent of the vote). Even though this is an area that Trump carried by less than 2 points in November - after Mitt Romney won it handily in 2012 - Price won re-election easily each year. But the president called to congratulate her Wednesday morning, and Handel said she hoped he would come to campaign for her.
"It was just like, 'Oh my God, I'm not the only one, '" Melson said. "I mean look, all Republicans, it's all hands on deck for us".
"Despite major outside money, FAKE media support and eleven Republican candidates, BIG "R" win with runoff in Georgia", the President tweeted late on Tuesday.
In order to do so, the party will have to capture at least 25 Republican seats, an endeavor that could lead through a district like Georgia's 6th - where voters have traditionally leaned Republican, but are not sold on the president's agenda. "It is now Hollywood vs Georgia on June 20th", he said.
But Democrats say even without victories, the fact they're even competing in these races is proof they are poised for big things in next year's midterm elections, which will include easier districts than the ones they're now fighting over. "The current playing field - this handful of special elections - is on a tiny, unrepresentative patch of the country that is far more Republican than the nation as a whole". Please support our efforts. She said she supports more funding for women's health care, and that the best mechanism for that is local health centers.
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"We have a lot of wind at our back".
Democrats saw it as an opportunity to drive a wedge between Trump and congressional Republicans fearful that he could drag down the party in the 2018 midterms - while also delivering a psychic boost to an energized progressive base.
All eyes were on Georgia yesterday, when voters in three counties headed to the polls to decide who would fill the 6th Congressional District seat in the House of Representatives.
Ossoff received 48.1% of the vote, shy of the 50% he needed to win outright.
Trump repeatedly criticized Ossoff's record before Tuesday's vote, casting a runoff there as a victory for Republicans. "We have defied the odds, we have shattered expectations", Ossoff, who attended a Reform synagogue as a child, told a cheering crowd of supporters. "Bring it on!" he said.
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For Republicans, Ossoff's strong performance acts as another wake-up call alongside the closer-than-expected win in a House special election last week in archconservative Kansas. It also serves notice that GOP candidates may struggle to handle Trump, who engenders an intense loyalty among his core supporters but alienates many independents and even Republicans.
"We know what's at stake here and I don't think this is about any one person", Handel said Wednesday. "We all have to rise above it - that it is about the district that has a long legacy of Republican leadership". But while many took those tweets as an indication that the President was feeling uneasy about the potential embarrassment of having a Democrat take the seat, Trump himself appeared to take credit for Ossoff's loss in a follow-up tweet Tuesday night.
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.
With the slogan "Make Trump Furious", Ossoff aimed to galvanize opposition to a president struggling with an approval rating that has not topped 50 percent since he took office on January 20, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling. But tens of thousands of votes remained uncounted, and Ossoff's lead has been shrinking as more precincts roll in across a district that has been held by a Republican since Newt Gingrich was elected here in 1978.
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