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Jon Ossoff Comes ThisClose To Stunning Trump - Runoff Looms

21 April 2017

President Donald Trump slammed "failing" Democrats for falling short of securing a congressional seat in the most high-profile special election yet of Trump's presidency.

Jon Ossoff, a Jewish Democrat, led by a wide margin among 18 candidates in a special election in Atlanta's suburbs seen as a referendum on Donald Trump's young presidency, but failed to win it outright. The nearest Republican was former Georgia secretary of state Karen Handel, who won just 19.8 per cent of the vote.

If Ossoff were to finish below the 50 percent threshold - as most Republican and even Democrats expected - he'd then enter a run-off against the second leading vote-getter, in all likelihood a Republican candidate.

Ossoff was seeking to replace former Republican Rep. Tom Price when he barely eclipsed Clinton's performance, according to a Wednesday report from Real Clear Politics.

Roughly five hours after polling locations closed, major networks began projecting that Georgia's 6th District U.S. House special election would be heading toward a runoff on June 20. "His support will be critically important and should be looked at as a road map as we unify our party, bringing together Republicans and conservatives to stand against Democrats on June 20th", she said.

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Trump, a businessman and TV celebrity who previously had not held political office, has blasted Ossoff as a "super Liberal Democrat".

It's strongly supported Republican presidential candidates, too, giving Mitt Romney a greater than 20-point win in 2012. And Trump let the world know he played a role - via a robocall and tweets - writing this: "Glad to be of help!"

Winning such a seat will depend on Ossoff keeping voters like Shari Sprigle engaged in the race. But there were numerous Republicans in the race, and in aggregate they secured 51 percent, compared to 49 percent for Democrats, a sign Ossoff has a challenge before him to flip the district.

"There is no doubt that this is already a victory for the ages", Ossoff told his ecstatic supporters Tuesday night.

Ossoff, a former congressional staffer and documentary filmmaker, ran on a pledge to "Make Trump Furious".

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Demographic changes have made Georgia's affluent 6th Congressional District more competitive for Democrats.

Ossoff was backed by major Democratic PACs and raised $8.3 million this quarter, mostly from outside groups.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of SC said the race showed how the South was changing.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Wednesday that Trump will campaign for Handel "if needed", saying Trump is prepared to do "everything he can to maintain majorities to further the party".

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