Despite the expenditure of millions of dollars and even a venomous, lie-filled robocall by Donald Trump, Republicans were not able to stop Jon Ossoff from leading the polls in April’s Georgia special election.
Ossoff finished with just under 50 percent, which forced a runoff election on June 20 and Trump happily took credit for a “BIG ‘R’ win” that never took place. All that election accomplished was to put off the final reckoning.
Now, in the weeks leading up to that day, a new poll by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research shows Jon Ossoff leading his opponent, Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel 48 to 47 percent, with 5 percent undecided. This is precisely what pundits said was impossible with all the other Republican candidates removed.
There is even better news for Democrats, who experience poor turnout in midterms. According to the poll,
“Part of Ossoff’s success in earning 48% in the April special election was his ability to drive turnout among voters who do not typically vote in special elections or midterms. According to voter file results, 25% of all voters who participated in the April special election voted in 2016, but had not voted in 2014. In the current polling of run-off voters, Ossoff holds at 12-point lead over Handel among these voters.”
This was the first poll since the GA-06 primary and it was conducted by a progressive polling firm, Anzalone Liszt Grove Research, which was hired by the Ossoff campaign.
ALG is openly proud of its role in helping elect President Obama in 2008 and 2012. Don’t assume that invalidates the results, however, for as Rachel Maddow says, the company has “a good track record.”
Handel was the top vote-getter in April, finishing with 20 percent to Ossoff’s 48, and her numbers were expected to rise with her competition eliminated. That does not appear to have taken place.
This is an election Donald Trump told Karen Handel “You’d better win.” She told him not to worry about it. Now there is every reason for both her and Trump to be worried.
Despite Trump’s claims, it was Republicans who poured vast sums into the special election and they have poured millions more in since, yet now Ossoff is doing the impossible and literally out of nowhere running in a statistical dead heat against an established Republican candidate.
If she loses, it will be Democrat Jon Ossoff who replaces Tom Price in the House of Representatives, and not the Republican ally an embattled Donald Trump so badly needs.
Photo: Screen grab, MSNBC