Democrat Jon Ossoff has a 7 percentage point edge over Republican Karen Handel among likely voters in a closely watched special election for a Georgia House seat, a new poll released Friday shows.
Ossoff leads Handel 51% to 44% among likely voters in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll conducted June 5-8 by Abt Associates.
The poll did not specify how many likely voters were included in the survey, but the figures have a 4-point margin of error, and with 5% saying they are still undecided, Ossoff’s advantage could close.
The poll shows Ossoff is picking off 13% of Republicans and 50% of independents in a district that historically has been reliably red — Newt Gingrich and, more recently, new Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price represented it. Handel, meanwhile, is drawing virtually no Democratic support.
Already, it’s the most expensive House race in history — with millions of dollars from party committees and super PACs flooding the Atlanta airwaves.
Ossoff’s campaign has raised a staggering $23 million, including $15 million in the last two months, according to campaign finance documents filed Thursday. Handel raised $4 million in that same two-month period.
Republicans have spent about $12 million on the race, almost double what Democratic outside groups have spent. The biggest player has been the GOP super PAC Congressional Leadership Fund, which has topped $6 million on the race itself.
The contest for Georgia’s 6th District seat is one Democrats have targeted for months as their best chance to win a special election and deal President Donald Trump a major setback.
The district is reliably Republican — Price never came close to losing a race — but saw a marked shift in its presidential results. Mitt Romney bested then-President Barack Obama by more than 20 points in 2012, but Trump beat Hillary Clinton by just 1.5 points in the district in 2016.
Its status as a diverse, highly educated, suburban district makes it the kind Democrats hope will be competitive in the 2018 midterms.