Political Insider

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'BAD!' Trump says media plays 'game' with Georgia special election

President Donald Trump slammed the media for the sweep of national attention on Tuesday's special election in Georgia as Republicans try to prevent a surging Democrat from an upset victory.

Trump said in a Sunday tweet that last week's special election in Kansas was a "really big media event" until a Republican won the contest. "Now they play the same game with Georgia-BAD!"

The president was referring to a Republican candidate's closer-than-expected victory to represent an open Wichita-based Kansas district that had overwhelmingly supported Trump in November. Polls showed the race narrowing until days before the vote, when Republicans poured in resources to defend the district and Trump and Vice President Mike Pence recorded robo-calls.

That race sent a jolt through Democrats in Georgia who hope that Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old former congressional aide, can flip the district.

Ossoff raised an unprecedented $8.3 million haul and has flooded the district with advertisements and volunteers. He's leading the polls in the 18-candidate field - all the contenders will share the same ballot regardless of party - but they show him short of the majority-vote he needs to avoid a June 20 runoff.



The Democrat is trying to change the electorate by boosting turnout among millennials and women in the district, which spans from east Cobb to north DeKalb. But Republicans are growing more confident they have the votes to thwart him.

The White House is said to be closely monitoring the wild race, though this is the first time the president has publicly weighed in on it. He may have a chance to do so in again: He is set to headline a National Rifle Association rally on April 28 in Atlanta.

More recent AJC coverage of the Sixth District:

National implications push Georgia special election into spotlight

Democrats go for broke to win Georgia’s special election

Warring Republicans try to unite against Ossoff in Georgia’s Sixth

Nearly $14M in ads have flooded Georgia’s Sixth for special election

Georgia Democrats, Republicans seek lessons in tight Kansas race

Ossoff fights 'top-secret' attacks in Georgia special election

Staff raids and social media hijinks: GOP infighting ramps up in Georgia Sixth


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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.