Voters are already heading to the polls for Georgia’s closely watched special election runoff on Tuesday, the culmination of a monthslong battle that set a record for the most expensive House race in history.
The Democratic effort to win the 6th Congressional District, long held by Republicans, aims to make the race an early win against President Trump ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.
The almost-$60 million race has raised the stakes for Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel. With polls closing at 7 p.m., the campaigns now depend on their get-out-the-vote operations.
Turnout is already booming in the district, and polling indicates that the winner could be decided by just a small fraction of votes. Here’s where each candidate needs to come out on top.
Ossoff should do well in DeKalb, a Democratic stronghold, but it also has the fewest number of registered voters in the congressional district. Ossoff will have to maximize turnout there, running up his vote tally before returns come in from less friendly counties.
The DeKalb portion of the district was the only place where Ossoff outperformed the top four Republican candidates during April’s all-party special election. There, he won about 9,000 more votes than Handel, Bob Gray, Judson Hill and Dan Moody. Democrats have pulled 70 percent of the total vote in some DeKalb precincts, offering Ossoff his best opportunity for a big vote haul.Black voters
Every poll of the race has Ossoff outpacing Handel with black voters. By comparison, some polls show Handel receiving just single-digit support among African-Americans. That makes getting black voters to the polls key for Ossoff.
Ossoff has campaigned frequently with civil rights icon and longtime Georgia Democratic Congressman John Lewis, who joined him on the trail over the weekend. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has also spent about a half-million dollars targeting African-American voters in the district.
Black voters in Georgia’s 6th District are most concentrated in the DeKalb section of the district, making up 16 percent of voters, according to FiveThirtyEight.