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Here's what you need to know about the Georgia special election

Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff speaks to the media during a visit to a campaign office to thank volunteers and supporters as he runs for Georgia's 6th Congressional District in Sandy Springs, Georgia. Ossoff is running in a special election against the Republican candidate Karen Handel to replace Tom Price, who is now the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The election will fill a congressional seat that has been held by a Republican since the 1970s. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The heated run-off race between Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff and Republican candidate Karen Handel will come to an end as the polls in Georgia's 6th Congressional District close Tuesday night.

As early polls show the candidates within a couple points of each other in Newt Gingrich's former district, many are viewing the results of the election as a barometer of public acceptance of President Donald Trump and his policies.

This has already become the most expensive House race in United States history, as the two candidates have combined to spend over $40 million on the race.

Here's what you need to know about the special election set into motion by former Rep. Tom Price's acceptance as Trump's new  Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The candidates

  • Democrat Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old former political aide who has never held office before, received a strong showing of 48 percent in the first race, almost receiving the 50 percent he needed to secure the congressional seat without a runoff even though he doesn't live in the district himself.  Ossoff has run as a moderate Democrat, distancing himself from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and stating previously that he wasn't sure if he would vote for Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as speaker of the House. He has also voiced his concern with the national deficit and intention to work across the aisle with the Republicans.
  • Republican Karen Handel, the 55-year-old former Georgia secretary of state, finished second out of the 18 candidates vying for the seat with 19.8 percent of the vote. Though Trump has publicly supported her as a candidate, Handel has distanced herself from the president, not even mentioning his name in her speech after finishing second in the initial race, securing her spot in the runoff against a crowded field of Republican alternatives. A win for Handel could give Republicans a confidence boost in the public's acceptance of their agenda.

What the polls show

In a traditionally Republican district which former Rep. Tom Price won by 20 points, early polls indicate a very close race that could come down to a percentage point. Local polls show different outcomes: Handel up by 2, a tie, and Ossoff up by 1 point. Real Clear Politics averaged the polls to a 0.2 percent lead for Handel.


Georgia's Special Election Comes to a Nail Biting Finish - NY Times

Hollywood Helps Jon Ossoff in Georgia Special Election, Republicans Pounce - Variety

Democrats march on Georgia - WSJ

Why the Georgia special election went national - The Week

Karen Handel closes campaign in a way that Jon Ossoff can't: by voting - Washington Free Beacon

Georgia's special election couldn't look much closer - Huffington Post

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