Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel are neck-and-neck in the race to represent Georgia’s 6th District, according to a WSB-TV poll released on the eve of the nationally-watched vote.
Only one-tenth of a percentage point separated the two rivals in the poll conducted by Landmark Communications, which has both hovering at 49 percent. Just 2 percent of voters are undecided and the margin of error is 4.4 percent.
The poll of 500 likely voters was conducted on Monday and is the first taken since last week’s ambush of Republican lawmakers at a baseball practice and the threatening letters sent to Handel and several of her neighbors.
The poll showed a majority of voters who had yet to cast their ballots said the recent shootings had no effect on their decision. About one-third of election-day voters said the attack would make them “more likely” to cast their ballots, and most of those were Republican.
It shows the race is tightening: A Landmark poll released Friday showed Ossoff with a 2-point lead, within the margin of error. Ossoff’s lead among women, double-digits in the firm’s last poll, is at about 7 points. And Handel's lead among men has narrowed to about 8 points.
The poll shows about 1 in 10 Republican voters back Ossoff, a crucial bloc for his campaign: He can’t win the conservative-leaning district without wooing a chunk of the GOP electorate.
Both parties are desperate to win the open seat and have poured unprecedented resources into the race. The Tuesday contest is seen as an early test for Donald Trump’s popularity and a dry run for how Democrats can compete in fast-changing suburban districts.
More recent AJC 6th District coverage: