Political Insider

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Yet another poll: This one has Karen Handel, Jon Ossoff neck-and-neck

Another morning, another Sixth District poll. This time from 11Alive:

ATLANTA - With one week to go in the nation's most expensive congressional election in history, Karen Handel and Jon Ossoff are tied in the race to replace Tom Price, according to an exclusive new 11Alive poll conducted by Survey USA.

Ossoff, a Democrat, and Handel, a Republican, are tied at 47%, with 6% of voters undecided, in metro Atlanta's 6th congressional district race, a contest that has become a virtual must-win for both parties on June 20.

We’ll link to crosstabs when they become available. Perhaps the most important thing to note: Two weeks ago, this same polling partnership had Ossoff with a seven-point lead – as did an AJC poll last week.

But by this Survey USA measurement, the Sixth District race is tightening.


For some reason, the Monday event was kept rather hush-hush, but afterwards Karen Handel’s Sixth District campaign let us know about a GOTV gathering in Milton that featured WSB Radio host Herman Cain. Here’s the photo that was sent to us:


That’s state Rep. Betty Price, R-Roswell, on the left. She’s the wife of Tom Price, now in charge of the Republican effort in Washington to repeal the Affordable Care Act.


"I want to congratulate you on the men and women you've placed around this table. ... This is the team you've assembled that's working hand in glove with -- for the men and women of America, and I want to -- I want to thank you for that. These are -- are great team members and we're on your team."

As CNN’s Chris Cillizza points out, another Georgian, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, showed Perdue how it's done:

"Mr. President, what an incredible honor it is to lead the Department of Health and Human Services at this pivotal time under your leadership. I can't thank you enough for the privileges you've given me and the leadership that you've shown.


“It seems like there's an international flair to the messages that are being delivered. I had the opportunity to represent the United States at the G-20 Health Summit in Berlin and at the World Health Assembly in Geneva. And I can't tell you how excited and enthusiastic folks are about the United States leadership as it relates to global health security."

According to Cillizza, Price used all the right words: “Incredible! Honor! Leadership! Privileges! Excited! Enthusiastic!”


It’s only fitting that we cite The Guardian newspaper here

Congressman-elect Greg Gianforte was sentenced to community service, a $385 fine and 20 hours of sessions for anger management after pleading guilty to assaulting Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs on the eve of his election.


In a courtroom packed with journalists and spectators in Bozeman, Montana, Gianforte pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault, saying, “Although it was not my intention to hurt him, I understand Ben was injured.”


Too many years ago, when Zell Miller was making his first run for governor, the mountain man employed two partners who had done well for another Southern governor, Bill Clinton of Arkansas.

The campaign that James Carville and Paul Begala sketched out for Miller was built around a state lottery that would finance college educations for young Georgians who couldn’t afford it.

On Monday, state Rep. Stacey Evans, D-Smyrna, launched her campaign for governor with a biographical video that cited the HOPE scholarship and struck a chord with many people. Including Begala:


We told you last night that, in preparation for her own run for governor, state Rep. Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta, had tendered her resignation as House minority leader, effective July 1. So far as we know, three Democrats are in the running to replace her in that leadership spot: David Wilkerson of Austell; Carolyn Hugley of Columbus, and Winfred Dukes of Albany.

Former Missouri secretary of state Jason Kander and ex-Ohio state senator Nina Turner, two Democrats with national followings, will be in Atlanta on Monday to endorse Abrams' bid for governor.


Nathan Deal's top aide delivered quite a message at the Georgia Chamber's annual conference last week: If you're a Republican and decide to run against the Georgia's current governor in 2018, you're going to get hurt.

The message from chief of staff Chris Riley was directed at Republicans already lining up to replace him, and took the cryptic form of a football metaphor. Imagine a wide receiver running a route over the middle, Riley said. Now imagine the free safety on defense, ready to deck him. Hard.

Riley didn't say who that free safety would be. Just that he'd be there.

By and large, three GOP contenders -- Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Brian Kemp and state Sen. Hunter Hill of Atlanta -- have had nice things to say about Deal early in the campaign. State Sen. Michael Williams, a fourth candidate in the race, has taken the opposite stance: He's running against a "crony" establishment.


Another candidate who is not likely to win kudos from Gov. Nathan Deal's staff: State Sen. Josh McKoon of Columbus.

He's told supporters he's not likely to run for governor, but may join the already-crowded field for secretary of state. He's said to be considering entering the race over the next few weeks, and will make up his mind likely after the fundraising deadline at the end of the month.

At least three Republicans are in the contest: State Reps. Buzz Brockway of Lawrenceville and Brad Raffensperger of Johns Creek, and Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle. Democrat R.J. Hadley of Rockdale County has also filed the necessary paperwork.

For more on the Sixth District race, go to myAJC.com/politics — your most complete and credible source for news and views about what is really going on in Georgia politics.

Read more 6th District coverage: 

Tide of out of state donors buoy Ossoff, Handel campaigns

Putting Jon Ossoff’s record fundraising haul into perspective

Ossoff raises another $15M in Georgia 6th, setting new fundraising record

Surge of 10K early votes on Saturday portends a heavy 6th District turnout

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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.