Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel are locked in a dead heat in Georgia’s 6th District race, according to a WSB-TV poll released ahead of next week’s nationally-watched vote.
The poll conducted by Landmark Communications has Ossoff leading Handel 50-48, within the poll’s 3.5 percent margin of error. It’s the latest in a string of polls that shows Ossoff with a narrow edge in the race – and Handel within striking distance. Just 2 percent of voters are undecided.
It reflects many of the trends exposed in other polls: Ossoff leads Handel by double-digits among women, Handel has a commanding advantage with male voters. The Republican polls better with voters over 65 – the age bracket most likely to vote – and Ossoff thrives with younger residents.
Almost as important to his campaign, the poll shows roughly 15 percent of Republican voters backs Ossoff. The Democrat 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.
The Georgia GOP is gearing up for Saturday’s get-out-the-vote rally for Karen Handel by sending out a flurry of invites and reminders. But one in particular set tongues wagging in GOP circles.
State Sen. Michael Williams sent an email to his mailing list urging conservatives to show up to the 9:30 a.m. event to “make it clear that Hollywood liberals cannot buy Georgia’s 6th District.”
Beneath it was a “contribute now” button. That linked not to her campaign, but to his gubernatorial effort.
Williams campaign manager Seth Weathers said it was a “standard email template” not meant to mislead contributors.
“There is no confusion as the donation page opens to a giant image of Michael Williams with his campaign logo,” said Weathers. “Sounds like our opposition is too busy reading our emails and not enough time working on their failing campaigns."
In the final stretch before the 6th District vote, Republicans are starting to get imaginative.
One example: The Republican National Committee released a quiz Saturday asking the question “How well do you know Jon Ossoff?”