After Rep. Tom Price was nominated by President Donald Trump, many Democrats and progressives focused on this district as an opportunity for a real upset. Last year, the district, which comfortably re-elected Price and Senator Johnny Isakson, very narrowly voted for Trump over Clinton, a sizable swing in preference from 2012. From the moment the Governor called a special election with Price’s confirmation as HHS Secretary, almost a dozen Republicans, two independents, and five Democrats jumped at the vacancy. Democrat Jon Ossoff got a big boost in early support from websites like DailyKos, snowballing donations to an astounding $8.3 million as of earlier this month. Republicans remain divided on which candidate to back: polling shows Karen Handel with a slight edge over Bob Gray, who leads Judson Hill and Dan Moody, who in turn handily beats out the remaining seven Republican options.
If Ossoff manages to earn over fifty percent of the vote in the jungle primary today, he wins the Congressional race outright. Polling suggests he’ll fall short, but special election polling can be screwy, and modeling the electorate requires a lot of assuming and fancy guessing: we simply don’t know the mix of voters who will actually show up today, nor what Ossoff’s early vote share was. Most likely, Ossoff will face off against one of the big four Republicans. So, we’ve prepared for every scenario, beefed up our election team, and are bringing you the most unique coverage of this race you will possibly find.
I am currently in Manhattan, and will be live with BuzzFeed News as results roll in from the district. I’ll be hosting and giving analysis, with two reporting teams on the ground bringing you exclusive, front row coverage to one of the most talked about races in the country. The broadcast will begin at 6pm, an hour before polls close, and we’ll have it embedded here to supplement our results feed and blog. Speaking of results, the Desk has several unique features that give us a leg up over other news sites tonight. We have an active team on the ground to relay returns directly and ready to report any issues each county authority may be experiencing, an additional team analyzing precinct-level returns that will be generating multiple displays (because a straight county-by-county map of the district is just not going to tell you the whole story), and yet another team charged with the task of updating our findings constantly through our blog and social media.
So go ahead and bookmark this page, and we hope you’ll join us this evening as the numbers roll in.