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In Montana loss, Georgia Dems see hope for 6th District race

BOZEMAN, Mont. -- Democrats may have lost the special election for Montana's at-large House seat here last week, but the outcome still has some in the party optimistic about what could be possible in Georgia's 6th District contest next month.

Georgia Democrats say they see Republican Greg Gianforte’s relatively narrow margin of victory over Democrat Rob Quist Thursday as an opening for Democrat Jon Ossoff in the runoff for Tom Price's old congressional seat. Ossoff faces Republican Karen Handel on June 20.

Gianforte defeated Quist by roughy 6 percentage points, while a Libertarian candidate separately notched 6 percent of the vote. But Gianforte's Republican predecessor bested his Democratic opponents here by roughly 15 percentage points back in 2014 and 2016, and President Donald Trump carried the state by more than 20 points in November.

Democrats are gaining ground even in the reddest corners of the country, several Georgia Democrats argue, which they said bodes well for the party in Georgia's 6th District, which only narrowly voted for Trump last year.

“If the movement against Trump is consistent, then you should put Georgia in blue by those numbers,” said Stefan Turkheimer, a Democratic operative in Georgia.

Read more on myAJC: Both sides see lessons for Georgia’s 6th District from Montana election

More coverage of the Georgia and Montana special elections:

Montana victor calls for help defeating ‘liberals in Georgia’

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About the Author

Tamar Hallerman is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington correspondent, covering Congress, federal agencies and other government activities that impact Georgia.