Opinion: Can Ossoff take the Sixth? Of course.

(AJC)

Could Georgia Democrats possibly pull off the impossible? Could some virtual unknown, a gangly political neophyte named Jon Ossoff¹, win the state’s 6th Congressional District, the GOP stronghold that was abandoned by Tom Price when he joined Donald Trump’s Cabinet?

I see you out there, Republicans … stop smiling and shaking your heads! It could happen.

You know it could happen.

Of course, “could happen” and “will happen” are two entirely different propositions. But look no further than your own TV sets. National Republicans wouldn’t be spending millions of dollars in TV ads against Ossoff unless they had at least some anxiety about a race that in an ordinary year, under ordinary circumstances, they would expect to win quite easily. And as you might have noticed, these are not ordinary political circumstances.

If you’ve followed Georgia politics, you know the 6th District is unique in the Peach State. More than 60 percent of adults in the district have a bachelor’s degree or better, well above the state and national averages, and more than two-thirds of 6th District residents were born outside the state of Georgia. Nonetheless, it still votes strongly Republican. In the 2012 presidential race, Mitt Romney swamped Barack Obama in the district by 23 percentage points.

In the 2016 race, however, Trump carried the district by a single percentage point, suggesting a high degree of uneasiness among the well-educated, upper-income Republicans who populate the district.  That’s a lot of Romney voters who held their nose and voted for Hillary Clinton, and who also might be available for Ossoff. I’m just guessing here, but I’d bet that Trump’s behavior since Election Day hasn’t exactly quieted those concerns, particularly among women. (You also have to think that the GOP’s base is a bit disheartened by its stunning failure to keep their promise about Obamacare.)

Then there’s the process. Under Georgia law covering special elections, candidates of both parties will appear together on the April 18 ballot. If none of the 18 candidates wins a majority, the top two will compete in a June 20th runoff. Eleven Republicans have jumped at the chance to win an open congressional district, and as they try to sort themselves out, Trump remains a defining issue. Some have competed to embrace the president; others have kept their distance.

Democrats have no such ambivalence about Trump. In fact, both nationally and locally, I have never seen a group of people more energized about politics and more mission-driven. I have no idea whether it will sustain itself, but so far it has allowed Ossoff to raise some $3 million. Liberals around the country see this  race down in suburban Atlanta, in Tom Price’s district, as their first chance to make a statement and be heard.

In short, the race in the 6th will come down to a contest between Democratic passion against a significant Republican numerical advantage, and ordinarily that would be an easy contest to predict. Again, though, nothing about this is ordinary. In a special election, turnout is everything. Early voting only began Monday, but Nate Cohn, who writes the data-driven Upshot column for the New York Times, reports that of those who cast ballots on that opening day, 55 percent had most recently participated in a Democratic primary. Conversely, just 31 percent had participated most recently on the Republican side.

“Democrats also enjoy a similar 45-to-21-point edge among the larger group of voters who have requested but not yet returned absentee ballots,” Cohn writes. Those are impressive numbers, given the district’s overall tilt toward Republicans.

Again, that’s just Day One. However, Republican operatives are watching those numbers as well, and are probably buying up more TV time as you read this to try to ensure the race goes to a June runoff. Ossoff and the Democrats are still the underdog, but as I’ve been reminded countless times by conservative friends since Nov. 8, sometimes the apparently impossible isn’t so impossible after all.

—————

¹Four Democrats in addition to Ossoff have filed to run, including Ron Slotin, who was an effective, intelligent and conscientious state legislator back in the early to mid-’90s. Under different circumstances, Slotin might have been the candidate whom Democrats rallied around in the 6th, but Ossoff seized that banner before Slotin could and he has never relinquished that first-mover advantage.

Reader Comments 0

1466 comments
gotalife
gotalife

Country dropping faster than expected.


We had a good run.



250 years then collapse.

F-15
F-15

@gotalife Dang!!!    I'm just starting to make some money.  


Its done? 

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@gotalife  He's advocating for Ohio and Texas to secede for the Union.  Just another left-wing nut job.

td1234
td1234

@StraightNoChaser Building is not permanent. It will take thousands of people years to actually build the pipeline and thousands of others to support the work. 


You progs do not want to talk about all of those jobs. BTW: The builders are skilled jobs and pays way more than minimum wage. 

honested
honested

@td1234 @StraightNoChaser 

Lots of good UNION jobs.

Then when it leaks, the environmental damage is permanent.

But, the Chiiiinese get the high sulphur diesel so the cons are happy.

F-15
F-15

@StraightNoChaser StraightNoChaser    All construction jobs are temporary, and yet we are starting to have a thriving construction business.  

gotalife
gotalife

I have to give the gop credit for consistently blocking Obama.

The weak dems could never do that.

It is what it is.

td1234
td1234

Sonny is one step closer to becoming AG Sec. 

honested
honested

@td1234 

The South Georgia Farmers who profit handily by selling to the 'SNAP' program must be cheering.

honested
honested

@DownInAlbany @honested @td1234 

Food is food.

Food comes from farms.

In Georgia, most farms are in south Georgia.

Most markets in Georgia are not.

Without the market, what happens to the food at the farm?

td1234
td1234

@gotalife Great victory for social conservatives. Thanks for sharing. 

td1234
td1234

@gotalife @td1234 Nothing PP does is not covered under Obamacare at a Dr's office (except abortions) and abortions is not HC. 

TBS
TBS

He likes his speaker gig too much.

He isn't happy that the FC assisted him with his epic face plant last week but he isn't so upset that the FC still aren't his buddies.

BFFs 4 Life!!!!

gotalife
gotalife

Anyhoo, the dems are back to being weak.


It is what they do.


No killer instinct.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@gotalife 

Anyhoo, the dems are back to being weak.

-

They haven't stopped being weak, gotalife.

TBS
TBS

Not just when it comes to Trump

td1234
td1234

"Nobody has suggested, "not even in a vague way," that President Donald Trump himself is under investigation for having ties with Russia during his 2016 campaign, House Speaker Paul Ryan said.

"I have no knowledge to that," Ryan told CBS News' Norah O'Donnell in an interview airing on "CBS This Morning" on Thursday. "I do not believe that's the case . . . I won't speak for the FBI, but I've never seen any suggestion or evidence that that's the case."

honested
honested

@td1234 

Of 'coarse' ryan has no knowledge.

Who would trust him with such sensitive information?

gotalife
gotalife

The dems did not collude with the russians.

td1234
td1234

So members of the Senate intel committee went to the WH in 2015 and told them they needed to do something about Russian involvement in the election and they were ignored. 


Now it is all Trump's fault. 

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

So. 

Should the Democratic Party double down on neoliberalism?

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

The dems are caving on the sc.

-

So far, I'm batting a thousand. 

It is what it is.

stefpe
stefpe

@Donnie_Pinko "So far, I'm batting a thousand. 

It is what it is."

This reminds me of a friend of mine... are you sure you don't lean libertarian in real life?

Kamchak
Kamchak

@Donnie_Pinko 

 It is what it is.

And it ain't what it ain't, and it never will be what it never will be.

Not even tautology, merely mindless repetition.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@Donnie_Pinko Now you are sounding like td, claiming victory in everything you do even if it has to be made up (not you, td).  It was not much of a "prediction".   

TBS
TBS

That will probably end up being the case. These little deals being bantered around have no substance or ability to be enforced are just a way for the Rs to keep highlighting the issue enough so they get at least 8 Dems to vote with them.

Hope that's not how it goes but wouldn't be surprised.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@honested

Been a pretty narrow range, but he seems to bounce up to lower highs and fall back down to lower lows   

TBS
TBS

Funny thing is that when Rasmussen had Trump at 50 or higher it didn't take a Dem / lib to bring up this issue.

Now not so much

honested
honested

@Kamchak 

See what happens when three days go by and he doesn't act like an ahole in public.

He must be ready to explode!

Just wait for the next poll-dropping outburst!

honested
honested

@TBS 

You have to wonder, who do 'they' at razmunchken sample?

stefpe
stefpe

@honested @TBS Oh it's the same crowd being sampled but see the folks over at RazzMunchken understand that this produces "skewed" results, so they have a very intricate formula to "unskew" to poll. The formula is as follows:
IF REPUBLICAN

  UNSKEWED = SKEWED * (1.15 + Phase of the moon)

ELSE

   UNSKEWED = SKEWED - 5